Footballing Weekly: Will compelling EPL storylines be lost after World Cup?

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker (right) tries to punch the ball away from Tottenham Hotspur's Ivan Perisic (left) during their English Premier League match
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker (right) tries to punch the ball away from Tottenham Hotspur's Ivan Perisic (left) during their English Premier League match. (PHOTO: David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images) (David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Do we really want the 2022 Fifa World Cup Finals to happen now, just as the English Premier League is getting into its groove?

The league will pause after this weekend's matches, as top players will say "see you next month" to their teammates, and fly off to join their respective national teams to prepare for the World Cup in Qatar, which begins on 20 November.


EPL TALK: Stopping league now, just as things are getting good, seems such a foolish waste

No one is certain whether this World Cup edition will be a thrilling one, but they must be rueing the fact that the EPL has to be stopped just as it is getting exciting.

Sunday's clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool conjured up a rip-roaring affair, with Liverpool bursting out of the blocks and getting two superb goals from Mohamed Salah, before Spurs came roaring back with a vengeance after half-time, bombarding the Reds' suspect defence and scoring through Harry Kane before bowing out in defeat.

It was classic EPL end-to-end action, and it comes amid fascinating developments within both clubs. Spurs fans are a little anxious over a mini-slump by Antonio Conte's men, and the Italian was compelled to call for patience as he builds up a potent team. Meanwhile, Liverpool's morale-boosting win was somewhat overshadowed by news of their American owner willing to consider selling the club.

And compelling storylines are sprouting everywhere. Arsenal are going through a magical period where everything clicked for them, and whether they can sustain their brilliant early-season form and deny Manchester City's title defence will be a key narrative throughout the season.

Elsewhere, Graham Potter's start to his Chelsea tenure has not been too impressive, and he is in a race against time to steer the Blues back to title-challenging form before the axe falls on him. Meanwhile, Manchester United remain a fascinating study of a side gelling under Erik ten Hag, but still carrying the baggage of Cristiano Ronaldo as they battle for top honours.

It's all kicking off, and yet, it has to be paused for a month. Will there still be enough momentum after the World Cup? Will the players come back sharp and fit?

All these questions will dog the EPL this season, and it would be a waste if such compelling storylines go awry due to the World Cup.

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