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How Will The Premier League's New Winter Break Work?

Premier League Champions Manchester City and their rivals will get a mini break next year but it's nothing when compared to those of the Bundesliga and Serie A
Premier League Champions Manchester City and their rivals will get a mini break next year but it's nothing when compared to those of the Bundesliga and Serie A

As fans of Premier League clubs furiously go through their planners adding the new season fixtures, they may have to look twice when they get to February.

That’s because the fixtures will be split with five matches take place over the weekend of February 8, with the other five played on the weekend of 15 February.

While it’s not a winter break in the tradition of competitions such as the Bundesliga, it provides a welcome respite for clubs after the busy Christmas schedule. It’s designed to help the England national team and the Premier League clubs which are involved in European competition.

The exact dates will only be known by December 14 when adjustments to that period are announced due to television coverage. Clubs will not be allowed to play overseas friendlies in this period in case that was your first thought.

As part of the new schedule, the FA has moved the Emirates FA Cup fifth-round matches to midweek and replays in these ties will be scrapped and replaced with extra time and penalties in the first tie.  

All five games on each weekend will be broadcast live in the UK.

If this mini-break is a success, there will be calls to extend it in line with other nations. Let’s look at how the break worked last season.

Germany

The Bundesliga takes 22 days off - the biggest of all the European nations. Last season, there was a shutdown between December 20 and January 12.

France

Not quite the break enjoyed in Germany, Ligue 1 affords its players 16 days off from December 20.

Italy

Serie A shut down between December 23 and January 3.   

Scotland

Last season, for the first time in a decade, Scottish teams were out of action between New Year’s Eve and late January.

Holland

There were no games in the Eredivisie between December 18 and January 13. 

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