There Is A Major Change Coming To The Premier League Fixtures This Season
The 2019-2020 Premier League season will mark the introduction of a winter break for the first time.
Following in the footsteps of European Leagues, the Premier League will introduce a period in February that allows players to have a rest as well as keep the festive football fans love.
It will be a staggered break over a two-week period commencing weekends of February 8 and February 15.
Games will still be played, with ten teams playing one week and then ten the next.
Clubs will find out when their break will be on December 14.
Speaking at the announcement of the change last year, Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: "It's all come together at a nice time and it's now definite.
"We will have this split weekend and we are calling it a 'mid-season player break'. We're not calling it a winter break. Why is that? Because we're not breaking.
"We're playing five games one week and five the other. I think that's positive I think it's good for English football.
"I have to compliment (former FA chief executive) Martin Glenn, he doesn't see anything other than a successful Premier League as being good for English football."
The lack of a winter break has been used as an excuse for England's failure to win an international trophy since 1966.
:rotating_light: Announce 2019/20 #PLfixtures :rotating_light:
Full list :point_right: https://t.co/iQKSNaf596#PremierLeaguefixtures pic.twitter.com/dKBinVJGV9
- Premier League (@premierleague) June 13, 2019
Furthermore, it's also been cited as a reason for past Champions League falters as clubs in Germany, Italy, France and Spain all get breaks of between 11 and 22 days respectively.
The announcement of the fixture list has presented an interesting opening weekend, beginning with Liverpool v Norwich City on Friday August 9.
West Ham have been drawn to each of Premier League "Big Six" opponents on the opening day of the last 6 seasons:
2014/15: vs. Tottenham (H)
2015/16: vs. Arsenal (A)
2016/17: vs. Chelsea (A)
2017/18: vs. Man United (A)
2018/19: vs. Liverpool (A)
2019/20: vs. Man City (H)
- Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 13, 2019
The highlight of opening weekend however will surely be Manchester United v Chelsea on Sunday August 11 as the two top six teams collide at Old Trafford.
Do you think a winter break will benefit or hinder the Premier League? Let us know in the comments below.