How Will the World Cup Affect the Start of the Premier League Season?

11:27pm Jul 16 2018

Key Premier League players from Spurs and Manchester City look set to miss Gameweek 1

With Gameweek 1 kicking off less than 4 weeks after the 2018 World Cup Final, a number of Premier League teams could be missing key players, who will need a period of rest or holiday before their return to pre-season training.

But which teams will be affected the most by this and who are the players at risk of missing out early on and which players could benefit with game time, as a result.

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Spurs

9 Spurs players made it into the last 4 places at the World Cup, including key players such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and almost their entire first-choice defence: Lloris, Trippier, Alderweireld and Vertonghen.

Rose, Dier and Dembele will also be at risk for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Fortunately, they have options to come in at the back, with the likes of Serge Aurier, Ben Davies and Davinson Sanchez but their midfield and forward positions could be significantly affected.

With Heung-Min Son also unavailable, after being named in South Korea’s squad for the 2018 Asian Games, both Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura could earn starting places in the opening games.

Manchester City

There were 7 key players from Man City to make it into the latter stages of the World Cup; De Bruyne and Kompany with Belgium, Sterling, Stones, Walker and Delph with England, and Mendy was part of the winning France squad.

Again, they should have the players to come in at the back, with Otamendi exiting the World Cup at the Round of 16 stage with Argentina, while Laporte should be fresh after he wasn’t included in the France squad.

Danilo suffered an injury while away with Brazil but he’s expected to recover in time to start the season.

Leroy Sane wasn’t part of the Germany squad, so he’ll be well-rested to come in, as will new signing Riyad Mahrez.

Manchester United

Their Manchester rivals could also have 7 key players missing, after Lukaku and Fellaini secured 3rd place at the World Cup with Belgium, while Lingard, Jones, Rashford and Young finished 4th with England and Paul Pogba played a key role in France’s World Cup win.

Defensively, the likes of Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling will be expected to start the season, while Alexis Sanchez could benefit with a more advanced striker role, with Anthony Martial potentially set to come in on the left side of midfield.

Chelsea

Chelsea are likely to be without World Cup winner N’Golo Kante early on, while Courtois and Hazard were both part of the Belgium team that finished in 3rd place. Other players at risk for the blues include: Giroud, Batshuayi, Cahill and Loftus-Cheek.

Alvaro Morata could be one player to benefit here; after losing his starting place, following a poor second half of last season, he’ll be looking to return to form under the new manager.

Pedro and Willian, if he stays at the club, could be the players to fill the remaining attacking positions, early on.

Burnley, Leicester and Everton

Finally, Burnley’s Nick Pope, Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire were all part of the England squad that finished in 4th place.

You’d expect that pre-season training wouldn’t be as much of a factor for goalkeepers, so there’s less of a risk there but Leicester may need to rely on the strike force of Okazaki and Iheanacho early on, if Vardy misses out.