Arsenal are top of the Premier League at Christmas.
Although the World Cup break means far fewer games would have been played at that time than in other seasons, being top at Christmas is often seen as a good omen for a team’s title chances. .
However, fourteen teams have failed to win the Premier League since 1992 after coming top at Christmas, including Arsenal in 2002 and 2007.
This season, however, Arsenal enter the World Cup break with a five-point lead over second-placed Manchester City.
And while this break could hurt Arsenal’s momentum, the World Cup itself could hurt Manchester City.
With most World Cup squads already announced, Manchester City have the most call-ups of any Premier League side.
Sixteen Manchester City players have been called up for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, compared to just ten from Arsenal.
Predicting who will win the World Cup is no easy task, but City players usually play for countries that are likely to go far in the tournament.
Based on OPTA’s chances of winning the World Cup, Manchester City have 15 players playing for countries with a greater than 5% chance of winning the tournament, including five players from England and three from Portugal.
All of these call-ups may have already affected Manchester City, with some pundits suggesting City players had Qatar in mind when they lost to Brentford at the weekend.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have just six players from teams with a greater than 5% chance of winning the World Cup, including Brazil favourites, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli.
They also have one player from a team with between 1% and 5% chance of winning (the Swiss Granit Xhaka) and three players from teams with less than 1% chance of winning.
It means Arsenal players are less likely to be fatigued when the Premier League returns after Christmas, and head coach Mikel Arteta will have more first-team players to work with during training camp. ‘Arsenal in Dubai.
The Manchester United squad are in a similar situation to their cross-town rivals. United have 14 players at the World Cup, including twelve from teams likely to go far in the tournament.
Newcastle United, on the other hand, have just five players in the World Cup. Eddie Howe’s side have got off to a great start this season, but often teams outside the so-called ‘Big Six’ have less squad depth and start to decline later in the campaign as fatigue and injuries take their toll. The World Cup break could give Newcastle United a chance to cool off so they don’t suffer as much fatigue as the season progresses.
Liverpool also have relatively few World Cup players. Their seven summons are the fewest among the “big six”. Having so few players at the World Cup could help Jurgen Klopp turn things around for his side in the second half of the season.
Every Premier League team has at least two players at Qatar 2022, but for many teams this World Cup will provide a much-needed chance to recover from a tight Premier League schedule, so they are ready to go again. the end. of December.