• Premier League

Pellegrini calls for winter break

ESPN staff
December 20, 2013
Pellegrini is not a fan of football during the festive season © PA Photos

Manuel Pellegrini believes the Premier League should copy the rest of Europe and have a winter break after labelling the congested Christmas schedule as "incredible".

The winter break is utilised across many European domestic leagues and many critics of English football suggest a similar schedule would benefit both the Premier League and the national team.

Top-flight sides will play four games over the next twelve days, with City having just one day's rest in between their matches against Liverpool on Boxing Day and Crystal Palace on December 28.

And Pellegrini, who spent nine years between 2004 and 2013 as a manager in La Liga, believes Premier League players are being put at risk by the hectic festive schedules.

"I don't know [whether it can be implemented] because it is a very important time in the Premier League, with the Christmas period and Boxing Day but all the other countries always stop," he said ahead of City's clash against Fulham.

'It is better for the players to have a winter break, because they are playing too much and too many games. But the rules are the rules, it has always been the same in the Premier League so we must play."

Pellegrini's concerns are not helped by City's growing injury list, with Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Micah Richards, Marija Nastasic and Stefan Jovetic all ruled out of the trip to Craven Cottage.

And the Chilean believes there is a risk every Premier League club will have further injury concerns after the Christmas period.

"We have to play on December 26 and December 28, less than 48 hours, it is incredible that two games are so near to one another.

"I think that to play two games in less than 72 hours is not a good thing. The players have not recovered in less than 72 hours normally. Playing after 48 hours is a very bad thing. That's a lot of games and I think that in this case it does not put us in a very bad situation."

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