Premier League data reveals there have been FEWER injures in 2020-21 campaign than last season despite jam-packed schedule… but Liverpool have suffered most with stars absent for 1,118 days
- Top-flight bosses have been complaining about injuries caused by fixture pile-up
- Data has revealed that the excuse of more players being absent is unfounded
- Last season there were 462 injuries, decreasing to 438 so far this season
- However, Liverpool have had the worst luck, suffering 1,118 days of absences
Premier League managers will have to cut out the excuses about the impact of injuries on their squads after it was revealed there have been fewer absences in this jam-packed season than in previous campaigns.
Jurgen Klopp has most cause for complaint with injuries ruling out key players such as Virgin van Dijk and Jordan Henderson for 1,118 days, but overall teams have faced fewer injuries.
Data compiled by Premier Injuries shows that the 2020-21 season — up to March 21 — has seen 438 injuries and players out injured for 11,784 days before the international break.
There have been less injuries in the 2020-21 campaign than there were in the 2019-20 term
Premier League bosses have been complaining that the fixture pile-up has caused more issues
Liverpool have suffered most with absences so far this season as their title defence fell apart
It’s an improvement on the 462 injuries and 13,937 days out in the 2019-20 campaign — before Covid — and the 464 and 12,440 in the 2018-19 season.
‘It surprises me because the amount of games the players have had to undergo this season has been massively congested,’ said Liam Anderson, former Liverpool first-team sports scientist.
‘For teams like Liverpool, Manchester City, Spurs and teams playing in Europe, this hasn’t changed a great deal.’
Anderson, now head of sports science at Crewe, added: ‘However, I’d expect to see a lot higher injury rate in teams like Burnley and Sheffield United because they’re not used to performing on a Wednesday-Sunday fixture basis.
‘Also at these clubs they won’t have the resources to rotate their quality players as much.’
The figures have tracked injuries that keep players out of match action for a minimum of 10 days up until the end of the 29th gameweek of each campaign. Liverpool top the table for the number of days players have been forced out this term at 1,118 with 33 injuries.
For number of injuries Burnley have amassed the most with 37. Yet their number of days out injured is 687 — 431 fewer than Liverpool.
Everton, Leicester and Sheffield United have suffered the next most injuries with 29 and 27 each. Fulham, West Brom and Aston Villa have had the least (13).
Jurgen Klopp has been forced to find players in the academy amid an injury crisis at the back
Medical staff are baffled that the increase in the frequency of matches has had no effect
Crystal Palace and Sheffield United are the next worst with 922 and 802 days lost. Arsenal and West Brom have been the least affected with 308 and 416.
Premier League consultant and former Liverpool physio Andy Renshaw is similarly taken aback.
‘An important point is that each club keep their injury information to themselves. But from that data, it’s a fantastic testament to a lot of staff at a lot of clubs who have managed to keep their preventable injury rates down. Those injuries will be a mix of contact-related problems,’ he says.
‘It does surprise me because this season has been so different to any other. If the injuries were higher, every club member of staff would be saying this is a totally unique season you can’t prepare for.’
The lockdown appears to have made top-flight players better at taking care of themselves
Anderson says there could be a number of factors as to why clubs haven’t experienced a spike. Less alcohol and more responsibility are two.
‘Speaking to people at Premier clubs, there’s definitely been an uptake in players taking a personal responsibility for their recovery,’ he says. ‘I’ve heard of some players having cryogenic chambers in their house so when they come back from a European night they can jump in the chamber before going to bed.
‘Nights out drinking with friends, obviously this season that has not really been possible. So it could be changes in players’ lifestyle that have resulted in a reduction.’
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