sport news Premier League clubs' plans for the World Cup will be crucial, claims fitness ... trends now
The season ahead presents a challenge for football clubs and coaches like no other, and the way they pilot their players through the World Cup period could prove the difference between success and failure.
About a quarter of all Premier League players will be bound for Qatar in November, representing their countries in what could become a campaign crammed with more than 60 games, but the majority will not be involved.
Manchester City are braced to lose over half of their first-team squad for the Qatar World Cup
Others, such as Newcastle, Everton and Southampton, could be barely hit. Either way, it serves up problems.
'This World Cup could be the difference between where teams finish in the Premier League,' says Ade Mafe, the former Olympic sprinter turned fitness guru, who spent 10 years on the coaching staff at Chelsea.
'It is unique, an unprecedented situation and it will come down to who manages it the best. It could be a season where you see a team spring a surprise.'
Fitness guru Ade Mafe (above, left) says how clubs prepare for the tournament will be