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England’s Southgate Seeks Clubs’ Help In ‘Unique’ Season Before World Cup

  • 2 min read

England manager Gareth Southgate said he will lean heavily on clubs to provide fitness updates and allay injury worries next year due to the short turnaround time before the mid-season World Cup in Qatar.

The Premier League announced its 2022-23 season will be paused on the weekend of Nov. 12-13, giving national teams only a week to work with players who ply their trade in England’s top flight before the World Cup kicks off on Nov. 21.

National teams usually have two to three weeks before an end-of-season tournament such as the World Cup to prepare their squads but the November-December tournament presents a new problem.

“What’s important is that there is a break at the end of this season. Next season is unique,” Southgate told reporters.

“The unknown is what will happen with the tight turnaround after the last league matches. Sometimes when you pick up injuries before summer tournaments you can have a few weeks to get things right.

“That won’t be possible for any of the countries that qualify, so everybody is going to have to select their squad in a very short period of time. It is going to be key to get those decisions right.

“I think, without a doubt, that medically we will hope to get the help of clubs because medically you can’t always get the full picture until the players are with us. And because the turnaround is so tight, we’re going to need a bit more insight.”

England have all but qualified for the World Cup and will need only a point against bottom side San Marino on Monday to guarantee qualification at the top of their group.