Manchester City hit hardest by international break
The international break has commenced and Manchester City are losing a staggering 15 stars to World Cup qualifier travels, with these players set to clock up the most amount of mileage, compared to the rest of the Premier League’s big six’s international stars.
For the top Premier League clubs, there is a trade-off between boasting some of the best international talent that football has to offer and having to surrender these players several times a year as they travel the world with their national teams.
A grand figure of 80 players from Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs will be representing a combined toal of 27 nations from across Europe, South America and Africa.
City will have 14 individuals away on international duty over the break and they are set to cover a combined distance of 106,873 miles. This staggering figure is over 35,000 miles more than Liverpool, whose internationals place second in terms of racking up mileage.
The Premier League’s ‘big six’ boast some of the world’s best footballers within their ranks but, more often than not, this means that clubs have to relinquish many of their star players when they are called upon for international duty.
Spurs players who have been called up to for their country will be covering the least amount of ground, at 38,186 miles between them. This means they could arguably field a fresher squad for their games immidiately after the break.
Considering that their remaining fixtures in October are a Champions League clash at the Bernabeu and Premier League games against Liverpool, West Ham and Manchester United, Mauricio Pochettino will rather glad to know that his 11 players departing this week could be less fatigued than their league rivals.
Despite covering the third-least amound of mileage in the coming days, Arsenal’s internationals have the second-highest average distance to travel per-player, at 5494 miles – owed in part to the fact that they have the least number of individuals on away on duty (11).
Manchester City’s globetrotting contingent will be able to rest assured knowing that they have four consecutive home games upon their return against Stoke, Napoli, Burnley and Wolves, giving them a certain degree of breathing room.
It’s going to interesting, though, to see if Pep Guardiola opts to rotate his starting eleven to provide respite to some potentially jetlagged players against the Potters in the first game back or, if not, how much their form and work-rate are impacted as a result.
For example, City stars such as Ederson Moraes and Gabriel Jesus must make the long round-trip to South America and it’s conceivable that they will suffer from a degree of tiredness and jetlag upon their return to the Etihad.
Pep’s men are in with a serious title shot but, with so many of their players travelling such long distances at different points of the domestic campaign, Guardiola will have to factor in fatigue and deal with injuries suffered on international duty and we may begin to find that the club suffers across the length of the season.