Gareth Southgate has confirmed that the FA has submitted a request to the Premier League asking that no matches between the so-called Big Six be played in the weekend before the 2022 World Cup.
ESPN recently reported that the Football Association requested that matches between Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool not be held on the weekend of November 12-13, with the final matches taking place before the World Cup in Qatar. The Premier League will reveal its schedule for the 2022/23 season on Thursday and England boss Southgate has admitted he hopes to consider the aforementioned request to help his team prepare for the tournament.
“We have asked the Premier League to think things through, but we also understand that they have a lot of[things to consider],” the Three Lions coach said. “The match schedule is very complicated, Manchester City cannot be on the same weekend as Manchester United (at home) and so there are all those differences that we know are difficult.
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“We wouldn’t like any of those big games, but frankly, the difference you’re going to make is pretty marginal. It could help us with a medical report maybe if the team plays on Saturday, it would give us an extra day to evaluate.
“Because we’re going to meet on Monday and fly on Tuesday and we’re going to have to make really quick decisions about medical situations in particular. So that’s the one thing we’re looking at that might help but we understand the landscape. We’d be stupid not to ask if it could make a difference” .
England’s opening match of the tournament will take place in Doha where they will battle Iran on November 21. The Three Lions will also include the USA, as well as Wales – who defeated Ukraine in the play-off final last week to only qualify for the World Cup finals. The second World Cup in their history.