When is the Premier League's winter break? AFCON and Asia Cup schedules explained – Football.London

Premier League news as each of the 20 clubs look ahead to later on in the season for their next scheduled rest period
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In the modern game, footballers are playing more matches than they ever have done in a single season and it was no more apparent than in last season's winter World Cup squeeze which saw hundreds of domestic matches from leagues to cup competitions packed together arguably too tightly.
Despite the 43-day mid-season break for the tournament in Qatar, many players, teams and managers were still complaining about burnout as they came back from the competition. Now, with new rules being implemented, games are lasting even longer without schedules being reduced as Premier League referees try to crackdown on time wasting.
While there's no major competition taking place in Europe this winter, there are two important tournaments that will affect the Premier League taking place over the winter. Both the Asia Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations will take place almost simultaneously, with the former running from January 12, 2024 to February 10, 2024 whilst the latter runs from January 13 until February 11.
Therefore, the Premier League is reintroducing the winter break which wills give those players representing their countries the opportunity to not miss any domestic action as a result. It'll also mean a much-needed rest period for those players not affected by the two competitions.
It'll be the first time the break is actually implemented in a season since it was introduced back in the 2019/20 season. Previous seasons since then have seen the Covid-19 pandemic cause a shortened schedule in the 2020/21 season, leaving there little need for a winter break.
The 2022 World Cup also caused scheduling chaos for the F.A who used the tournament as a natural break in the season for the players to use as a rest period, despite 133 stars from the top-flight going to the tournament in Qatar. Despite being a regular occurrence in the Women's Super League (WSL), the Premier League has never followed suit until this season.
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The league will be implementing the winter break from January 13, 2024 until January 21 later that month, with the F.A promising that no club will have to play two matches within a 48-hour period over that part of the season. Ten matches will be split evenly across the two weekends, giving each team in the league a long rest period either ahead of or after their matches.
The ten matches that are already scheduled for the weekend of January 13 and could be subject to a change of date are:
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Bournemouth v Liverpool
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
Burnley v Luton Town
Chelsea v Fulham
Everton v Aston Villa
Manchester United v Tottenham
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Sheffield United v West Ham United
However, clubs might be forced to return sooner than they might like if FA Cup matches are scheduled in that period. To incorporate the break, the F.A agreed to move the F.A Cup fifth-round matches to midweek, while removing the competition's replays for that stage from the calendar in order to reduce the number of games needed to be played and promote player welfare, instead replacing them with extra-time and penalties.
The Premier League will then be set to return with midweek matches on January 30, 2024 and January 31 which are Tuesday and Wednesday nights, before the regularly-scheduled weekend matches returning on the weekend of February 3.


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