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English football to have mid-season break from 2019-20 season

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The annual two-week winter break - agreed by the FA, Premier League and EFL - will occur in February in a move the FA hopes will improve England’s fortunes at major tournaments The break will be staggered to ensure that Premier League fixtures will still be played on both weekends of the fortnight, with each featuring five matches.

The fixtures for the 2019-20 Premier League season are announced today, with that forthcoming campaign containing a winter break for the first time.

Spain and Germany have enjoyed huge international success recently, while a Uefa study published in 2013 indicated that a player is four times more likely to be injured in the final three months of the Premier League season than over the same period in other European leagues.

All three divisions within the EFL will remain unchanged, with a full Football League programme taking place on each of the weekends during the break.

The 10-day hiatus brings the Premier League into line with Europe’s other leading leagues like Germany, Italy and Spain and the evidence suggests that it will benefit players both mentally and physically.

FA Cup third-round replays, often a source of much-needed income for lesser clubs, will be safeguarded.

The governing body has agreed to move the FA Cup fifth-round matches to mid-week, while replays from the fifth-round onwards will be scrapped and replaced with extra time and penalties.
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