The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak financial havoc amongst football clubs, but the longer-term knock-on effect to fixtures is threatening to derail England’s charge to European Championship glory.
FA Cup ties in the 2020/21 campaign won’t have replays in order to cut down on any extra games, whilst the Carabao Cup semi-finals will be one, rather than two legs.
However, as pointed out in the Daily Star, some England players are already running on empty and this season for the likes of Marcus Rashford still hasn’t finished.
Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker and Phil Foden only ended their 2019/20 campaign on Saturday night thanks to Man City’s surprise Champions League elimination by Lyon, and there are now just four weeks to go before the beginning of the new season.
Not only that, there will be no winter break which had been planned for the end of this year, whilst Champions League and Europa League fixtures will also need to be factored in.
Harry Kane and Dele Alli et al will be playing qualifying games for the latter right after the start of the new Premier League season kicks off, and should Tottenham go deep into the competition, their fitness levels by the end of the season will be sorely tested.
On paper, Gareth Southgate should have one of the best squads at Euro 2021, however, the reality could be very much different.