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Does the Premier League have a winter break?

Jurgen Klopp
(Image credit: PA)

English football has an established tradition of playing games throughout the festive period, while other major European leagues have a break.

Supporters enjoy seeing their teams play several times around Christmas and New Year, often with only short gaps between games.

This packed schedule has often been cited as a contributing factor to the national team’s poor performance, with players worn out by the end of the season.

The increased risk of injury is another major concern, particularly given the pace and intensity at which Premier League games are played.

This has led to many managers advocating a winter break, which was finally sanctioned ahead of the 2019-20 season.

It took place in February, with a complete round of fixtures split across two weekends, supposedly guaranteeing each side a rest of at least 13 days.

But Liverpool’s FA Cup replay at home to Shrewsbury Town was arranged to take place in the middle of the break, leading Jurgen Klopp to select his youth team instead, overseen by Neil Critchley.

“I said to the boys already two weeks ago that we will have a winter break, which means we will not be there,” said Klopp.

“You cannot deal with us like nobody cares about it. I know that it's not very popular but that's the way I see it.

“The Premier League asked us to respect the winter break. That's what we do. If the FA doesn't respect that, then we cannot change it. We will not be there.”

The winter break was cancelled last season, because of the effects of coronavirus, which meant that games had to be packed in more tightly than unusual.

However, with the situation finally returning to normal, a winter break has been reinstated for the current season.

It will take place between 23 January and 7 February this time, coinciding with an international window for some countries.

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