Dubai is a popular destination for Premier League clubs during the World Cup, while others opt for Abu Dhabi or Spain. One club is squeezing in two trips; two are staying at home.
Here’s how every Premier League club is spending their World Cup break…
Mikel Arteta has given his Premier League leaders between 10 and 14 days off before reconvening ahead of a behind-closed-doors friendly with next-door-neighbours Watford on November 28. Arsenal then head to Dubai for warm-weather training and friendlies against Lyon (December 8) and AC Milan (December 13). Arsenal are also reported to be in talks with Barcelona over a possible friendly at the Emirates before Christmas.
First game back: West Ham (H), Boxing Day.
Unai Emery discussed his plans for the World Cup break in his first interview as Villa boss: “The break will help us. After 10 days we are going to be off, we are going to start again, we will have training days to improve and create identity and our style.” Villa then face Cardiff in a memorial match for Peter Whittingham on November 30 before flying to Dubai, where they will take on Brighton in a friendly. Emery has also scheduled a friendly against his former side, Villarreal, for December 15 at Villa Park.
First game back: Liverpool (H), Boxing Day
The Cherries squad was given a fortnight off after Saturday’s win over Everton. Upon returning to training, they will fly to Dubai on November 30 before taking on Royal Antwerp on December 4. Bournemouth are also planning a couple of friendlies when they return to England, though they are probably prioritising the appointment of a manager.
First game back: Newcastle (A, Carabao Cup), December 20.
Thomas Frank explained the Bees’ plans: “First there is a couple of weeks off for everyone. Then the rest of the players and the staff come back in. We move to our new training ground in that period which is nice. Then we are going away for a week to Spain and we are playing friendlies.” No word yet on who they will face in Spain.
First game back: Tottenham (H), Boxing Day
The Seagulls will fly to Dubai after a fortnight off in the wake of their defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday. Once in Dubai, they will have a chance for revenge – of sorts – when they take on the Villans in a friendly.
First game back: Charlton (A, Carabao Cup), December 20
“We’ll have a few days break,” Graham Potter said last Friday. “There are only about three or four players left. Then we will reconvene, a bit of training and off to a warm-weather camp and couple of games to prepare for the restart.” The Blues will be heading to UAE, but that’s all we know at this stage.
First game back: Bournemouth (H), December 27
Patrick Vieira has give Palace players a fortnight off before ‘a mini pre-season’, part of which will be spent in Turkey where the Eagles will face Napoli. Palace will also host Botofogo at Selhurst Park on December 3 and they are looking to arrange a game against Real Valladolid. On the trip to Turkey, Vieira said: “It will be really important. That’s why we will bring everyone, even the injured players. It’s important to spend time together and go even more into the tactical details to improve ourselves as a team.”
First game back: Fulham (H), Boxing Day
There is no immediate break for the Toffees after their two Bournemouth beatings, with Frank Lampard taking his men to Australia to play in the inaugural Sydney Super Cup. They will face Celtic on November 20 and, three days later, Western Sydney Wanderers. Lampard will then give his players some time off before returning for some as-yet-unscheduled friendlies.
First game back: Wolves (H), Boxing Day
Marco Silva has given his players a fortnight off before they gather to travel to Portugal for a week-long training camp. A week before they recommence the Premier League season, the Cottagers will host West Ham on December 17.
First game back: Crystal Palace (A) Boxing Day
Jesse Marsch has issued some strict instructions to his players: “They will all have a week off then we give them a physical programme for another week to do on their own. So they will have two weeks off but the first week they do absolutely nothing.” Nice. The squad will report to Thorp Arch on November 28 and though there was talk of heading to California, Leeds will stay in Europe, possibly heading to Spain. They will also host Spanish opposition, Real Sociedad, at Elland Road on December 16.
First game back: Man City (H), December 28
The Foxes have earned themselves a fortnight off with their recent form. Upon returning to work, the players not involved in the World Cup will head to Abu Dhabi for some winter sunshine. The plan is then to play friendlies at the training ground. “It’s a strange one,” said Brendan Rodgers. “There’ll be a period of rest at the beginning but then we’ve got to get to work, and we’ve got to build our way through into a good place physically, mentally and tactically, ready for the first game. For that, it will mean hard training and hard work, but also getting minutes under the belt in organised games. We’ll have some games confirmed over the coming days to play.”
First game back: MK Dons (A, Carabao Cup), December 20
After a fortnight off and a week back at Melwood, Jurgen Klopp will take his remaining players to Dubai on December 4. Once there, like Arsenal they’ll take on Lyon (December 11) and AC Milan (December 16). Assistant manager Pep Lijnders explained the choice of Dubai: “It’s close to Qatar so players can come quickly back, so they can prepare quick with the team again, and it gives us real time to prepare for the second sprint of the season.”
First game back: Man City (A, Carabao Cup), December 22
Dates for our two friendly matches against Lyon and AC Milan next month
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 15, 2022
Pep Guardiola is the manager most affected by World Cup call-ups and he has given the players left in Manchester some time off until November 28. Then City will head to Abu Dhabi for a week-long training camp on December 5. Will Guardiola head to Qatar to watch any of his players? “The best way to enjoy the matches is at home with red wine,” he said. While he’s got his feet up, reports suggest Guardiola might be contemplating his future.
First game back: Liverpool (H, Carabao Cup), December 22
Aside from searching for whatever channel Piers Morgan is spouting off on these days, United players are still training while most other squads are resting. “We will train here at Carrington for one week, or eight or nine days, and then we will have a short break,” said Erik ten Hag last week. “Then we will train and go to Spain for a training camp for one week.” In Andalucia, United will face Cadiz on December 7 and Real Betis on December 10.
First game back: Burnley (H, Carabao Cup), December 21
Like Leeds, Newcastle players have been given the first week off before they embark upon personal training schedules prior to returning to the training ground. On December 4, Eddie Howe will take his men to Saudi Arabia for a week, during which time they will take on Al-Hilal in a friendly on December 8. Upon returning to Tyneside, Newcastle will welcome Rayo Vallecano to St James’ Park on December 17. They are also expected to squeeze in another friendly, possibly against Championship opposition.
First game back: Bournemouth (H, Carabao Cup), December 20
“We do have a plan for the break, in terms of scheduling, training content and games, which we will announce soon,” said Steve Cooper recently. “It’s taken a little bit of finalising.” And Forest are certainly squeezing a lot into the break. They will travel to Greece and Spain, with friendlies confirmed against Olympiacos (December 10) and Valencia (December 16).
First game back: Blackburn (A, Carabao Cup), December 20
Saints were due to head to Miami before they sacked Ralph Hasenhuttl. His replacement, Nathan Jones, did not confirm if they were sticking to that itinerary but the new boss has a great opportunity to get his message across with just Mohammed Salisu and Armel Bella-Kotchap heading to the World Cup. “We’re pretty much set on what we want to do,” he said after the Liverpool defeat. “First, I’m going to sleep. I’ve had a month with literally no sleep so I’m going to do that first, and spend some time with my family. We will be back in next week and will plan everything, leaving us just over four weeks to work with the group before the Brighton game. We’ve got games arranged and a trip away.”
First game back: Lincoln (H, Carabao Cup), December 20
Antonio Conte wanted to take his Spurs players, those that are left, away during the break but the club have decided against it. “Before, our idea was to try to find a solution to go away from London and to stay in a place with sun, but in the end it was difficult to find this type of solution. For this reason we continue to stay here, having training sessions and using our training ground.” Spurs are planning to arrange friendlies, perhaps as many as three, but no details have yet been confirmed.
First game back: Brentford (A), Boxing Day
The Hammers are also staying local after an extended break that allows the players time off until December 1. There is a friendly scheduled against Cambridge United on December 6 and West Ham will also travel to Fulham on December 17, just over a week before the Premier League recommences.
First game back: Arsenal (A), Boxing Day
Like Saints, Wolves will use the World Cup break to integrate a new manager, with Julen Lopetegui taking over from Steve Davis after the defeat to Arsenal on Saturday. The Spaniard, though, won’t see his players for 10 days after they were given a break. Upon their return, Wolves will spend a week in Marbella, with the intention of playing a friendly or two.
First game back: Gillingham (H, Carabao Cup), December 20
Read more: World Cup squads: Every final 26-man squad for Qatar here now
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