After an abrupt halt to matches following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Premier League briefly returned last weekend with a series of exciting matches. Now, fans will have to wait a little longer as the league undergoes another pause due to the international break that started on Monday and will run until September 27.
The main action starts on Wednesday with six games.
While many of the teams on this list of matches will not be competing in Qatar, there are plenty of matches between World Cup opponents including South Korea and Costa Rica, United States and Japan Iran and Uruguay.
Here’s a look at the current international break and where to pick up your favorite stars:
What is the international rest period?
International breaks are a set period that allows players to leave their club temporarily to represent their national teams in competitions such as the World Cup qualification matches, the UEFA European Championships, the African Cup of Nations and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
This season’s schedule is particularly unusual due to the fact that the World Cup begins in November, rather than the traditional summer start date.
This week is the last international break before the Games officially kick off in Qatar.
What is the date of the 2022 World Cup?
The 2022 World Cup kicks off on Sunday 20 November, with Ecuador taking on host country Qatar. That kicks off nearly a month of competition, which culminated in the World Cup Final on December 18.
The schedule for each round is below:
- Group matches: November 20 – December 2
- Round of 16: December 3 to December 6
- Quarter-finals: December 9 and 10
- Semi-finals: December 13 and 14
- Third place: December 17
- Final: December 18
There are six rest days scheduled for December 7, December 8, December 11, December 12, December 15 and December 16.
Full schedule available over here.
Are these friendlies important for the World Cup?
In short, no.
The groups are set for the World Cup and these matches have no effect on the World Cup standings. However, it’s a chance for national teams – who rarely play together as a unit – to get some much-needed representatives with the World Cup two months away.
Who are the Premier League players competing with their national team this week?
Dozens of players in the Premier League will trade their club kits in the country’s colors this weekend.
For the United States, Matt Turner (Arsenal), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace) and Leeds United’s young duo of Brendan Aaronson and Tyler Adams will all be in the spotlight as the US face Japan and Saudi Arabia, both teams competing in Qatar.
Some of the biggest names around the league will also be competing this week.
Topping the Premier League table is Arsenal, who have gone strong within their first month of playing in the league despite losing out to fourth place last season. Ten Arsenal players will participate in the international break, such as Bukayo Saka (England), William Saliba (France) and USMNT Turner.
Behind Arsenal in the Premier League table, there is a tie between Manchester City and Tottenham.
City have 16 players representing their national teams, including the wonderful kid Erling Haaland of Norway and Kevin De Bruyne of Belgium. Meanwhile, Tottenham have 14 players called up to the national team, led by Harry Kane, Eric Dier (England), Richarlison (Brazil) and Son Heung-min (South Korea).
A full list of Premier League players competing in this weekend’s friendlies is available over here.