Is there a winter break in the 2023/24 Premier League?

  • 2022 World Cup disrupted the Premier League's usual festive schedule
  • Busy Christmas period returns in 2023/24
  • Premier League clubs will enjoy winter break in January
Manchester City and the rest of the Premier League will have a winter break during the 2023/24 campaign
Manchester City and the rest of the Premier League will have a winter break during the 2023/24 campaign / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Before he left his post at UEFA in disgrace, Michel Platini once sniffed that English players were "lions in the winter and lambs in the summer".

The lack of a winter break has long been held up as an explanation for the national team's half-century trophy drought in men's football - the Lionesses won Euro 2022 after a two-week hiatus over Christmas which is standard practice in the Women's Super League.

In 2013, a UEFA study suggested that a Premier League player is four times more likely to be injured in the final three months of the season compared to their counterparts in other European top flights.

England's FA finally compromised at the turn of the decade but the outbreak of COVID-19 and the Qatar World Cup curtailed the experiment. Here's everything you need to know about the winter break's return in the 2023/24 Premier League season.



Has the Premier League ever had a winter break?

Technically, no. The powers that be in the Football Association sanctioned a "midseason player break" for the first time between 8 February and 22 February 2020.

Across the two-week period, there were only ten Premier League fixtures (rather than 20) as each side was given at least 13 days between consecutive top-flight outings.

Liverpool had a FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury scheduled during the break which Jurgen Klopp and the first team boycotted. Under-23 coach Neil Critchley led the youngest starting XI in the club's history to a 1-0 win at Anfield.

Less than a month after the partial hiatus, the outbreak of COVID-19 forced the suspension of football and sport across the globe. To make up for lost time, the compressed 2020/21 Premier League season did not include a winter break.

However, it was dusted off for the 2021/22 campaign. Aside from a rearranged goalless draw between Burnley and Watford, there were no league matches between 23 January and 7 February 2022. Although, international players from the South American, North and Central American, Asian and Oceanic confederations were called up during this window.

The World Cup in Qatar between November and December 2022 provided a natural break in the 2022/23 Premier League season even if 133 players from the division competed in the international jamboree.

Is there a winter break in the 2023/24 Premier League?

Unless the globe is swept along in another storyline from a dystopian thriller, the 2023/24 Premier League season is scheduled to have a winter hiatus - which the competition insists on exclusively calling a "mid-season player break".

Alongside the return of the mini-retirement period, England's top flight has committed to ensuring that rounds of matches during the packed festive period will be separated by at least 48 hours.

The first draft of the 32nd Premier League season will be made up of matches on 34 weekends, three midweeks and one Bank Holiday special.

When is the 2023/24 Premier League winter break?

While there will be a winter break of some sort between 13 and 22 January, the Premier League are doing things differently to other European leagues.

Instead of a complete shutdown, Gameweek 21 will be played over two weekends as opposed to one. There are five games on one weekend (13-15 January) and five on the other (20-22 January). Thus, every team will earn at least one weekend off in between the FA Cup third and fourth rounds.

2023/24 Premier League winter break fixtures

Date/Kick-off Time (GMT)


13/01/24 / 12:30

Chelsea vs Fulham

13/01/24 / 17:30

Newcastle vs Man City

14/01/24 / 14:00

Everton vs Aston Villa

14/01/24 / 16:30

Man Utd vs Tottenham

15/01/24 / 19:45

Burnley vs Everton

20/01/24 / 12:30

Arsenal vs Crystal Palace

20/01/24 / 17:30

Brentford vs Nottingham Forest

21/01/24 / 14:00

Sheffield United vs West Ham

21/01/24 / 16:30

Bournemouth vs Liverpool

22/01/24 / 19:45

Brighton vs Luton Town