Festive Season Is When Teams Make Their Move
The festive season is around the corner and whilst everyone else is on a well earned break the premiership keeps going. The games come thick and fast as the teams play basically 2 games every week compared to the normal once a week. Other leagues in Europe take it easier and I think I am right in thinking they have a break of some sorts.
Liverpool play something like 11 games in 6 weeks and if you have a good run in this period it sets you up for the remainder of the season. Leagues are won in May, but they are also lost over the Christmas period. This has been the case for ever year I have been watching and teams generally make their moves over this time period.
As you can see if you are first at Christmas the chances are fairly high of taking it all the way.
This is why having a fit and healthy squad over the 6 week period is very important as most teams will lose players due to injury. There is nothing a team can do, but just be prepared and getting players fit and injury free before this period starts. This is why the other day it didn't make sense why some teams have spent nothing and others have spent a small fortune as the squad is going to be tested and everyone should get a game at some point.
Suspensions also start to kick in around this period as the number of yellow cards received by certain players forces them to sit games out. A total of 5 yellow cards before week 19 or match 19 results in a one game ban. 15 yellow cards during the season results in a 3 match ban. Currently there are 46 players on 3 or more yellow cards across all the teams so there are going to be loads of players missing for at least one match.
Rotating players has mostly worked with the bigger squads if everyone is available and match fit and that is all you can do. lately teams like Manchester United and Manchester City have had injury issues and not having a full squad will count against you when you hit January.
I don't expect any time besides the top 4 to come hurtling out the pack but definitely teams in the top 4 can slip back and lose ground. I suspect the top 4 will make it through until Mid January with their buffer between the other teams and the season will be in the home stretch and very difficult to reel in the runaway front runners.
Teams will tick off game by game calculating what is needed leaving the others to hope they slip up. When it is no longer in your control all you can do is to try and win as many games as possible hoping the leaders slip up. Playing so many games in a short congested period of time it does happen and is worth watching how it plays out.