The Premier League has never had it this bad where almost every club is being faced with at least one injury worry. Almost all the clubs are blaming the high number of injuries in the league on the high number of matches the clubs are forced to play per week.
Recall that since the coronavirus pandemic hit the Premier League in mid-March 2020, the calendar of the league has been disrupted and the handlers of the league have been doing everything possible to balance things up.
In the quest to ensure that the Premier League starts flowing smoothly, the league schedule has been compressed in such a way that clubs now have to play a game after two to three days.
The condensed nature of the Premier League has resulted in clubs playing about 8 games within a month which was not the case before the outbreak of coronavirus. Then, a club could play at most 5 games in a month especially if such a club is involved in continental engagements.
With the increased workload and little or no time to rest, players are now prone to sustaining different degrees of injuries. This situation has further highlighted the research conducted by artificial intelligence platform Zone7.
The platform specializes in injury risk forecasting and works with 35 professional football teams across the world. According to the platform’s latest findings, ‘playing eight matches in 30 days increases the incidence of injury by 25% when compared with playing four to five matches in the same timeframe.’
No wonder a club like Liverpool football club has at least eight of their top players out with different degrees of injuries. The case of Crystal Palace is even worse, the club currently has 10 players out with different degrees of injuries.
In the case of the manager of Newcastle United, Steve Bruce, the coach currently holds the record of being the first manager in the Premier League that was forced to make two substitutions during a league match due to injuries.
Bruce made the record on Saturday, February 6, 2021, when Newcastle’s Right-back Javier Manquillo and top scorer Callum Wilson had to be substituted in the first half of the match between Newcastle United and Southampton which ended 3-2 in favor of Newcastle.
SB on injuries:— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) February 6, 2021
“That’s the disappointing thing for me. It looks as if we’ve picked up an awful injury with Manquillo. Fab Schär looks like a bad knee injury and Callum Wilson now has a hamstring injury too.” pic.twitter.com/TJ46Ouxtp2
After the game, Bruce admitted that Premier League clubs are falling to pieces with injuries due to the number of games the clubs have to play.
“It’s one step forward, two steps back at the minute,” said Bruce.
“Javier Manquillo looks like he’s done his ankle ligaments. Fabian Schar looks like he’s done his knee – that could be pretty serious.
“Callum Wilson is another one, we don’t know how bad it is. The amount of games we’re playing at the moment is ridiculous…
“You can understand why managers were complaining. We were simply playing too much in December and January and most clubs are falling to pieces with it.”