Premier League World Cup stars are suffering with injuries and the festive period promises even more

20 of England 23-man World Cup squad have suffered at least one injury since the tournament - PA
20 of England 23-man World Cup squad have suffered at least one injury since the tournament - PA

Almost five months to the day since France were crowned champions, the World Cup is still taking its toll on its starring players.

A vast number of those who went deep at the tournament have struggled with injury this season, and with the festive fixtures soon to pile up things are only going to get worse.

48 of the players that made it to the World Cup quarter-finals now play in the Premier League, and between them they have suffered 75 injuries since the start of the season, according to

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The majority of those Premier League representatives then made the semi-finals, with 39 in the England, Belgium, France and Croatia squads. Since the World Cup, those players have suffered 66 separate injuries.

More than half of those injuries are classed as muscular injuries, suggesting overworking players is a major contributing factor to time on the sidelines. Those 48 Premier League players that made the quarter-finals have already missed 528 days of the season through muscular injuries alone.

Kieran Trippier sits on the pitch injured at Wembley - Credit: Reuters
World Cup star Kieran Trippier is still struggling with an injury he sustained in Russia

There have been many more non-muscular injuries. Mousa Dembele has spent 41 days (and counting) out with an ankle ligament injury, Danny Welbeck has broken his ankle, Dejan Lovren was sidelined for 73 days with a pelvic injury earlier in the season and Kevin De Bruyne has suffered two serious knee injuries. Then there are many others who have not actually been out injured but have looked fatigued all season, such as Harry Kane. The demands on these players are putting them at significant risk.

Manchester City manager earlier week complained about the number of injuries to his squad, saying City "cannot survive" with the 15 fit players they have. With nine first-team players currently out injured as they head deep into winter, Guardiola will be need to be extremely wary of further problems developing.

Last season, the number of injuries suffered by Premier League players in December rose from its monthly average by 32 per cent. While 103 injuries were sustained, on average, in the months from August to November 2017, 136 players were struck down in December.

Soft tissue injuries - damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons - increased by 45 per cent, from an average of 43.5 to 65.

Players tend to need between 48 and 72 hours to recover between matches, but that becomes increasingly difficult for squads stretched to their limits by injuries to other players. Sufficient rest becomes impossible when teams are asked to play four games in as few as 10 days over Christmas.

Ahead of this weekend's Premier League fixtures, 105 players are absent or struggling with injury across the 20 teams. That is only likely to increase in the next few weeks, and the planned winter break starting in February 2020 may be positioned too late in the season.

December is a testing month at the best of times, and with 20 of the players in England 23-man World Cup squad having been hit by injury in the last five months, managers will have to be very careful about the workload placed on their players. In a World Cup year, there is even more danger of injury than usual.