After a six-week hiatus for the World Cup in Qatar, the Premier League will get back into action on December 26. The forced hibernation provided several premier league clubs with a chance to regroup, rest important players, and speed up the recovery of injured players.
English top flight winners and loses
Some players will return from the tournament full of confidence, while others will be nursing an injury or carrying the guilt of having cost their team at a crucial moment. BBC Sport analyzes who may gain and who may lose from the return of the English Premier League.
Although Erling Haaland, the Premier League’s most lethal striker, was not on display for the world in Qatar, Manchester City will be hoping that a break in the middle of the season would not dampen Haaland’s explosive form. Many of City’s hopes for domestic and European glory rest on the shoulders of the Norway international, who has scored 18 goals in 13 league games and another five in four Champions League matches. Haaland’s goal-scoring prowess is scary enough.
But City also has Riyad Mahrez, whose Algerian team didn’t cut, and Julian Alvarez, who was instrumental in Argentina’s World Cup victory, both of whom should be raring to go for the Citizens. On the other hand, Arsenal’s five-point lead at the top of the table looks much more precarious after Gabriel Jesus’s tournament was cut short due to a knee injury. Brazil forward has been a game-changer for the Gunners this season.
Still, he will miss a significant amount of time due to injury as Mikel Arteta’s squad faces a daunting stretch of games: at home against West Ham and on the road at Brighton to start the month, followed by contests against Newcastle, Tottenham, and Manchester United.