A break for European clubs?

Some clubs will only have a couple of weeks off

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Should clubs competing in Europe start their Premier League campaigns later?

By Joe Harker

The Premier League is due to return on September 12, so we won't need to wait too long before England's clubs get back on the football pitch.

However, there are some teams which could be involved in European football until late August, so there's little chance of a proper break before they get back to it.

Should players be entitled to a break and return to the Premier League later on?

The Claim:

The Premier League is expected to guarantee players still competing in the Champions League and Europa League this season a 30 day break before they have to play a new domestic fixture.

Players need a proper rest over a sustained period of time and starting the new season is going to be a strange experience as it is so close to the end of the last one.

There won't be much time for a pre-season, meaning players will be thrown right back into fixtures before building up match fitness, so a chance to rest and recover becomes even more important.

The matter is further complicated by international fixtures, with Nations League games due to be played mere days before the Premier League is due to start. Many of England's best players ought to be resting during that time.

The question of time off is being discussed at the Premier League's annual general meeting tomorrow, so we may soon have an answer.

The Counter Claim:

However, it would cause disruption for the Premier League as several teams will need their fixtures moving to make way for the break.

It won't just be the teams playing in European competitions that will need to wait, their opponents will need to be delayed as well.

Meanwhile, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes the Premier League is starting too soon.

He said: "Players need to be given a break to play at the level and quality the Premier League is.

"Hopefully they give us a fair start next season. Even in a worst-case scenario - we don't go through against Bayern - the 12th feels too early for me for the players to start playing again."

The Facts:

The Champions League final falls on August 23, while the Europa League final is on August 21.

Manchester City and Chelsea are still in the Champions League, with Pep Guardiola's side already 2-1 up on aggregate over opponents Real Madrid, while Lampard's team face Bayern Munich and must overturn a 3-0 defeat in the first leg.

Manchester United and Wolves still compete in the Europa League, with United 5-0 up against LASK and Wolves held 1-1 against Olympiakos.

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