Manchester City Benefit From World Cup Quarter-Final Results, But Tottenham Hotspur Could Suffer

Almost 50 Premier League players were on the losing side in the World Cup quarter-finals and head home early from Qatar 2022.

While those players will be devastated that their World Cup journey abruptly ended, fans of their club teams might be secretly rejoicing.

Portugal, Brazil, England and the Netherlands were all on the wrong end of results in the World Cup quarter-finals, and all four teams are packed with Premier League stars. Some 48 Premier League players were knocked out in the quarter-finals. Just 14 Premier League players remain in the World Cup.

Manchester City had the most players in Qatar of any Premier League club, so it’s probably not surprising that they are the biggest beneficiaries of the quarter-final results.

Ten Manchester CIty players, including Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson and Netherlands defender Nathan Ake, along with their five players in the England squad and three from Portugal, were eliminated. That’s bad news for Leeds United, Everton and Chelsea, who could face a full-strength Manchester City side after Christmas.

Nine Manchester United players were also on the losing side in the quarter-finals, along with five Liverpool players and four players each from Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle United.

All those returning players have more than two weeks between their quarter-final and first Premier League game.

This means head coaches can give them some time to recover, roughly between eight and ten days, then get them back training with their squad ahead of those league games.

Players still in the tournament, such as Tottenham Hotspur’s French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Argentina defender Cristian Romero or Croatian winger Ivan Perisic will have just one week to recover from the final or third-place match. Spurs are the only Premier League team with more than two players still in the World Cup. Arsenal and Aston Villa are also missing key players William Saliba and Emiliano Martinez, respectively.

But even with two weeks between the World Cup and the first Premier League game back, those returning quarter-finalists won’t necessarily be in peak condition.

Some players like Nathan Ake and Liverpool’s Virgil Van Djik played every minute of the World Cup, including extra time, whereas others like Leicester City’s James Maddison spent the whole tournament on the substitutes’ bench. Others picked up knocks, or in some cases like Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus, serious injuries. The fatigue from the World Cup could build throughout the season as players won’t be able to take a proper winter break.

There is also the psychological impact of the World Cup. The tournament is the pinnacle of players’ careers. With everything building to that one event, players have to pick themselves up again after they’ve been knocked out.

For the likes of England’s Harry Kane, who missed a penalty that could’ve tied the match against France, it might be even harder to put the World Cup behind them.

Usually, players have a full summer holiday and pre-season to get the World Cup out of their system. Sometimes that isn’t long enough.

Former England women’s midfielder Karen Carney reckons it takes six months for players to recover mentally from a major tournament, while for more traumatic experiences like Harry Kane’s penalty miss, former England men’s striker Alan Shearer says it could haunt Kane for the rest of his life.

With players returning to Premier League action in two weeks, they might not have had time to process the shock of elimination, which could have knock on effects for their form in the second half of the season.