After the short break during the last weekend due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the top flight football of England, the Premier League is set to resume this week. All of the Premier League’s fixtures were postponed following the passing of the Queen and doubts were also over this week’s fixtures. But as things stand, the top flight football is set to resume. After the meeting on Monday between Police officers and the football body, United Kingdom’s Football Policing Unit has agreed to provide protection during this weekend for the matches to go through as swiftly as possible.
In an official statement, the Premier League published, “Seven of the 10 Premier League fixtures this weekend will be played”. So, only three matches remain postponed this weekend – Manchester United’s home game versus Leeds United, Chelsea’s match at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion’s game versus Crystal Palace. The first two games are categorized as ‘Category A’ fixtures – this essentially represents that these fixtures carry the highest risk in terms of the number of away spectators present in the stadiums and also the number of police officers required to control the entire crowd, especially when both these rivalries have such significant history.
Premier League was scrambled briefly due to national mourning
Brighton’s match against Crystal Palace has been postponed due to reported train strikes. Although the strikes are suspended now, the match is unlikely to go through at this stage. Talking about the impact of fixture postponements on European football, the Europa League clash between Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven has been postponed as the match is also categorized as ‘Category A’.
With all these postponements, the teams are set to face fixture congestion as the season progresses. The big teams like Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United will now have to play one more game than others during one period of the season and that may well affect their performance due to lack of time to take rest in between matches.
The Qatar World Cup is knocking on the door and the season break during the tournament has also raised many eyebrows. So, for most of the teams in the Premier League, it becomes a period of load management to avoid player fatigue and injuries.