The first ever winter World Cup is coming to an end.
For many football fans attention will now return to the Premier League and the second half of a unique season of football. There are plenty of talking points in the Premier League this season.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal currently sit top of the league heading into Christmas for the first time since 2008. The Gunners have enjoyed a sensational start to the season but were handed a huge blow in the World Cup after an injury to striker Gabriel Jesus.
Arsenal are chasing a first Premier League title since their invincible season in 2004, but will face difficult competition in the form of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side. The Citizens possess a star studded team featuring the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden. Man City have dominated English football and have won four of the last five Premier League titles.
Meanwhile high flying Newcastle will look to continue their promising start to the season under Eddie Howe and Manchester United will look to react from the bombshell departure of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
But when does the Premier League return and what fixtures can we expect to see after the break?
When did the Premier League break up for Qatar 2022?
The Premier League season began on Friday 5 August 2022 and officially broke off for the World Cup on Sunday 13 November.
Those called up to represent their country in the World Cup jetted off to join their international team mates on Monday 14 November. Meanwhile many of those that stayed at home had a second pre-season training camp to keep them fresh for the business end of the season.
How will the World Cup affect Premier League teams?
Some teams will have viewed the mid-season break as a blessing in disguise.
Managers such as Steve Cooper of Nottingham Forest signed many new players over the summer and will have had increased time to gel those players together without the pressure of Premier League football.
On the other hand the World Cup will come as an unnecessary distraction for teams in a rich vein of form as it will break up their momentum ahead of the second round of fixtures. A notable example of this will be league leaders Arsenal who will have to contend with an injury to their talisman Gabriel Jesus.
Why did the World Cup take place in the winter?
The FIFA World Cup was held in November and December to avoid high temperatures during Qatar’s summer months.
Traditionally the World Cup has always been played in the UK’s summer months since it was founded in 1930. However, in this case it would be unsafe for the players to do so.
When does the Premier League resume after the Qatar 2022 World Cup?
The final of the World Cup will take place on Sunday 18 December.
The Premier League will officially resume eight days later on Monday 26 December 2022. The first game will see Brentford take on Tottenham Hotspur in a London derby.
Each team can expect a busy schedule following the return to the Premier League and will be looking to fit in all of the fixtures missed during the World Cup, as well as the games that were postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Here are all the first week of fixtures taking place after the World Cup break.
Monday 26 December
- Brentford vs Tottenham Hotspur - 12:30pm
- Crystal Palace vs Fulham - 3pm
- Everton vs Wolverhampton Wanderers - 3pm
- Leicester City vs Newcastle United - 3pm
- Southampton vs Brighton - 3pm
- Aston Villa vs Liverpool - 5.30pm
- Arsenal vs West Ham - 8pm
Tuesday 27 December
- Chelsea vs Bournemouth - 5:30pm
- Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest - 8pm
Wednesday 28 December
- Leeds United vs Manchester City
Friday 30 December
- West Ham United vs Brentford - 7:45pm
- Liverpool vs Leicester City - 8pm
Saturday 31 December
- Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United - 12:30pm
- Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace - 3pm
- Fulham vs Southampton - 3pm
- Manchester City vs Everton - 3pm
- Newcastle United vs Leeds United - 3pm
- Brighton vs Arsenal - 5.30pm
Sunday 1 January
- Tottenham Hotspur vs Aston Villa - 2pm
- Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea - 4:30pm