Manchester City Boast Best Post-International Break Record

Manchester City Boast Best Post-International Break Record
© PA

The Premier League returns this weekend following the conclusion of the group games in the Nations League.

The international break may have come at a good time for teams like Everton who have lost their last three league matches, but it may have come at a bad time for sides like Tottenham and Southampton who picked up a maximum nine points from their last three fixtures.

Will Spurs manage to pick up where they left off and maintain their momentum against Manchester City this Saturday?

The Citizens should be severely tested as Tottenham are unbeaten in their last five when returning from international duty, but the team that shines the brightest after a fortnight's break is actually Manchester City themselves.

Average Points Post-International Break Since 2017-18

TeamPoints Per Game
Man City2.75
Liverpool2.31
Aston Villa2.25
Arsenal2.00
Chelsea2.00
Tottenham2.00
Man Utd2.00
Burnley1.75
Wolves1.44
Everton1.38
Leicester1.31
Crystal Palace1.15
Newcastle1.00
Sheffield Utd1.00
Southampton0.92
West Ham0.92
Brighton0.92
Fulham0.66
West Brom0.33
Leeds0.00

Pep Guardiola's side have won 11 of their 12 games after international breaks since the start of the 2017/18 season taking an average 2.75 points per game.

The one game City lost was arguably the biggest surprise result of last season when Norwich beat them 3-2 at Carrow Road.

City's impressive run after international breaks will be tested this weekend at Tottenham who are unbeaten in their last five when returning from international duty.

Klopp’s Conundrums

For players, international breaks are a chance to establish themselves as first choice players when major tournaments like next year's European Championships roll around.

For managers, it's a worrying time as they don't know if all their players will return to their respective clubs fit and healthy.

Jurgen Klopp's fortnight started badly when news broke of a serious knee injury to England defender Joe Gomez which is likely to rule the Liverpool defender out for several months.

Gomez is the latest Reds defender to be sidelined following injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold and the bad news continued for the champions when their skipper Jordan Henderson limped out of England's 2-0 defeat to Belgium on Sunday, although the injury might not be as bad as first feared.

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They say bad news comes in threes and that was true for Klopp when he found out leading scorer Mohamed Salah tested positive for Covid-19 which has ruled the Egyptian out of their home game with Leicester on Sunday evening in a battle between the current leaders and the reigning champions.

The Reds are a point behind the Foxes, and Klopp will take any good news right now and his side's form after international breaks should cheer him up a little bit.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 12 fixtures following international football breaks and that includes their last five games at Anfield since the start of the 2017/18 campaign.

However, the omens are good for Brendan Rodgers whose side has won their last two away games following an international break without conceding a goal.

Best Of The Rest

This has been Aston Villa's fifth international break since their return to the top flight and their game against Brighton on Saturday, will be their fourth at Villa Park.

In their previous three at home, Dean Smith's team have taken seven points and that includes a 2-1 win over the Seagulls last season.

Villa's clash with Brighton this weekend is one of three rematches from last season's round of fixtures following the second international break.

Chelsea beat Newcastle 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, but this weekend's game at St James' Park is a chance for Steve Bruce's side to avenge that defeat.

Frank Lampard's side has taken 16 points from a possible 18 after a fortnight's break while for Newcastle, this is a chance to win back-to-back home league games for the first time this season.

The third rematch takes place at Molineux where Southampton take on Wolves.

The two sides took a point in last season's 1-1 draw, but a win for Wolves this time will see Nuno Espirito Santo's side move level on points with the fourth-placed Saints who have been the surprise team so far this campaign.

David Moyes has had two weeks to prepare a game plan for West Ham's visit to Sheffield United hoping it will bring a change in fortune to their results after a fortnight's break.


Longest Winless Run After An International Break

  • 8 - West Ham
  • 7 - Brighton
  • 6 - West Brom
  • 4 - Southampton

The Hammers have not won any of their last eight post-international matches and a trip to Bramall Lane could be a tricky fixture to break their winless run which is the longest in the league following an international break.

Brighton, who travel to Aston Villa this weekend, are next on the unwanted list with no wins in their last seven while West Brom have also struggled after a fortnight away from Premier League duty.

The Baggies have taken just two points from their six games played when their players return from representing their countries and a trip to Old Trafford will test Slaven Bilic's squad on Saturday night.


Longest Unbeaten Run After An International Break

  • 12 - Manchester Utd
  • 12 - Liverpool
  • 6 - Chelsea
  • 5 - Tottenham
  • 4 - Wolves

United share the longest unbeaten run over the last four seasons with 12 games along with Liverpool, although the Red Devils have had to share the points in six of those matches following international breaks and that includes two of their last three.

After winning 3-1 at Everton a fortnight ago, the break perhaps came at a bad time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who would have preferred to play West Brom last weekend when confidence within his squad was high.

Anything less than a comfortable win will see the pressure on Solskjaer return even though United's chief executive Ed Woodward insists the club are 'absolutely committed' to the Norwegian. Bookmakers are already taking bets on who will be the next Man Utd boss.



Following the last international break, the Premier League saw six of the 10 fixtures end all square – the most this season. Could we see a similar number of draws this weekend?

The next international break is scheduled for the end of March which is a long way in the distance for those teams struggling at the bottom of the table.

Between now and the next break, the majority of clubs are scheduled to play 21 more league games as well as cup games.

It's a long stretch of the season that could be defining not just for football clubs, but for players and managers too.

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