Gareth Southgate asks Premier League for fixture list that aids England’s World Cup preparations
Gareth Southgate has asked the Premier League to keep England’s World Cup preparations in mind when deciding next season’s fixtures.
He said that it would be helpful if England’s stars did not play any big games just before they fly over to Qatar.
Six of the players in Wals’ squad are also currently set to compete in the Premier League next season, and Wales will play England in Group B of the World Cup on 29 November.
ESPN recently reported that England’s Football Association has submitted a formal request to the league requesting that no match between the so-called big six takes place on the weekend of November 12/13 before England fly out to Qatar the 15th.
The Premier League reveal their fixture schedule for the 2022/23 season on Thursday and Three Lions boss Southgate hopes they have considered the request to help deal with the rapid turnaround.
“We have asked the Premier League to have a think about things but we also understand that they’ve got a lot of (things to consider),” he said.
“The fixture programme is very complicated you can’t have Manchester City the same weekend as Manchester United (at home) and so there’s all of those variations that we recognise are tough.
“We’d have a preference for none of those big games but to be honest the difference it’s going to make is fairly marginal.
“It could help us with perhaps a medical report if a team played Saturday it would give us an extra day to assess.
“Because we’re going to have to meet on the Monday and fly on the Tuesday and we’re going to have to make really quick decisions on medical situations in particular.
“So that’s the only thing that we’re looking at that might help us but we understand the landscape. We’d be stupid not to ask the question if it could make a difference.”
Southgate added that “information sharing is pretty good medically” and the FA receives performance data from the Premier League, giving England “some markers” to aid selection calls.
There is, though, “a bit of an element of the unknown in that period” as clubs that have big matches may want to keep information close to their chest.
England now only have three fixtures before the World Cup, with Tuesday’s Molineux encounter against Hungary followed by the trip to Italy and home match against Germany as the Nations League concludes in September.
Asked if there would be a meeting before the World Cup, Southgate said: “Well, no, because there’s going to be midweek fixtures every week whether that’s a couple of League Cup weeks but definitely six European weeks and midweeks with Premier League games so you just won’t be able to.
“I’ve got to bear in mind the load for the players and to drag them for a meeting probably wouldn’t achieve very much and would actually end up being detrimental rather than anything else.”
Wales meanwhile face the Netherlands away tomorrow, Belgium away on 22 September, and Poland on 25 September before their opening World Cup fixture against Iran on 25 November.
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