Gareth Southgate has confirmed that the FA have submitted a request to the Premier League asking that no match between the so-called big six takes place the weekend before the 2022 World Cup.
ESPN recently reported that the Football Association had asked that no games between Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool occur on the weekend of November 12-13, the final fixtures before the Qatar World Cup will take place. The Premier League will reveal their fixture schedule for the 2022/23 campaign on Thursday and England manager Southgate has admitted that he hopes the aforementioned request will be considered to help his side’s preparations for the tournament.
“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),” the Three Lions’ head coach said. “The fixture program 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 recognize are tough.
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“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.”
England’s opening match of the tournament will take place in Doha where they will battle against Iran on November 21. The Three Lions’ group will also contain the USA, as well as Wales – who defeated Ukraine in last week’s playoff final to qualify for just the second World Cup in their history.