The Premier League Returns After the World Cup: A Look at the League Table, Player Absences, and Beyond

The World Cup in Qatar confirmed the premier league’s status as the world’s best league where the best footballing talents turn up for the world’s favourite clubs. Many premier league stars showcased a glimpse of their talent, but none more than the golden gloves and World Cup winner Emi Martinez. But now, after a rather untraditional winter world cup, tradition takes precedence when premier league action returns on Boxing Day.

After battling a month-long battle for world supremacy, friends turn foes will be gearing up to fight alongside for glory again. But before moving toward the future, let’s rewind a little bit to what the league table currently looks like:

Story so far

After more than a decade, Arsenal finds themselves at the top of the premier league at Christmas with them being five points clear of the defending champions Manchester City. Newcastle is the surprising number three, while Tottenham HotSpurs, Manchester United, Liverpool, Brighton, and Chelsea all are in the race for the champions league positions. At the back end of the table, Nottingham Forest, who signed more than 20 players in the summer transfer window, find themselves in the relegation zone alongside Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Key Absences

With the World Cup ending just a week ago, there would be many players, particularly those who went far in the competition, missing for their clubs when the premier league action resumes. Emi Martinez (Aston Villa), Mac Allister (Brighton), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea), Ibrahama Konate (Liverpool), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez (both Manchester United) are a few of the short-term absentees for their respective clubs. On the other hand, Arsenal would be without the services of Gabriel Jesus for a longer time frame after the forward suffered a knee injury while playing for Brazil at the World Cup.

Players to watch out for

Even with these absences, the league would not be short of world-class talent who would hold the key to their clubs’ success. Here are a few players to keep an eye on:


Marcus Rashford. Source:

a. Having missed the limelight during the World Cup, Erling Haaland (Manchester City), Mo Salah (Liverpool), and Ivan Toney (Brentford) would aim to be the main ingredient of their clubs’ success.

b. Darwin Nunez (Liverpool), Leonardo Trossard (Brighton), and Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspurs) would like to forget the World Cup despair and breathe fresh hope into their clubs’ pursuit of the champions league football next season.

Tip: For 8.9 credits, Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford (738 points), who scored as recently as in United’s 2–0 victory against Burnley in the carabao cup, could be a great inclusion.


Wilfried Zaha. Source:

a. Casemiro (Manchester United) and Paqueta (West Ham) formed a strong Brazilian midfield that would continue to light up the premier league. Bruno guimarães (Newcastle United) would see a higher work rate at his club compared to 70 odd minutes in a Brazilian shirt.

b. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Christian Eriksen (Denmark) would be keen to show their class after having a subdued World Cup. On the other hand, Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) would attract increased attention to his performances with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

c. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) & Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) hope to bring their World Cup form into the premier league too.

Tip: For 9.7 credits, Crystal palace’s midfielder Wilfried Zaha (862 points) would find many suitors. Zaha scored two goals in Crystal Palace’s win over Real Valladolid in a club friendly on 16th December.


Dan Burn. Source:

a. Liverpool would expect great performances from Andrew Robertson to be fresh with Scotland not being part of the World Cup.

b. Fabian Schar (Newcastle United), Conor Coady (Everton), and Lewis Dunk (Brighton) would be key to their teams gathering momentum in the second half of the season.

c. Nathan Ake (Manchester City), Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), and Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United) will be eyeing the winner’s medals after being crashed out of World Cup quarterfinals with their national sides.

Tip: For 5.6 credits, Newcastle United’s defender Dan Burn (772 points) who holds the distinction of tallest outfield player in the premier league (1.98 m) currently, could be a towering presence in your squad.


David Raya. Source:

a. David De Gea (Manchester United) & Ederson (Brazil) would be defining figures for their clubs’ success even when they played little to no part in their national squads for the World Cup.

b. Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspurs would see their second-choice goalkeepers, Robin Olsen for Aston Villa and Fraser Forster for the Spurs, taking the center stage with Emi Martinez and Hugo Lloris missing out due to their involvement in last week’s spectacle of the World Cup final.

Tip: For 4.7 credits, Brentford’s goalkeeper David Raya (801 points) could be a safe yet affordable bet, with him already leading the race for the most saves this season with 64 saves.

What Next?

So there you have it, a comprehensive preview of the quality players who are set to light up the English Premier League. Now all that is left to do, is to pick your team and make sure you win the Krida Fans fantasy game!

This Xmas is more enjoyable because you can use promo code “XMAS2022” and get 20% off your entry fees. If you want to test it out, then you can join KridaFans platform for free too.

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