The World Cup is behind us but there’s no rest for the weary with club football already back underway with several sides in Carabao Cup action during the week.
But all eyes are on the return of the Premier League on Boxing Day, which will continue after over six weeks off. It varied in terms of how many players from each team were at the tournament in Qatar – from just two at a few sides to a massive 16 at Manchester City – but how did clubs’ players get on? How far did they get, and how many minutes did they play?
Sportsmail have had a look at how the World Cup impacted each side in the top division, and how they may be affected going forward because of the competition.
The Premier League makes it triumphant return after Argentina won the World Cup in Qatar
There were originally 133 players from the Premier League at the World Cup, with 10 of them coming from Arsenal.
The main outcome from Qatar for the Gunners was a negative, as star summer signing and lead forward Gabriel Jesus limped off during Brazil’s group stage defeat to Cameroon. Turns out he’ll be out for three months with a knee issue.
It also seemed central defender William Saliba would miss the return to action after reaching the World Cup final with France despite making just one appearance in Qatar, though there is a possibility he will be fine to face West Ham on Boxing Day.
Ben White (left) and Bukayo Saka (right) were both at the World Cup with England, though White left early
Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White – who left the tournament early – failed to play a minute for England, while game time for Gabriel Martinelli and Takehiro Tomiyasu with Brazil and Japan was also limited.
Matt Turner (USA) and Thomas Partey (Ghana) played every minute of their sides’ tournaments despite early exits, while Granit Xhaka played four full games for Switzerland.
The star of Arsenal’s tournament was undoubtedly Bukayo Saka, though, who shone for England and announced his name on the world stage.
Everyone could be back for the Gunners’ game against West Ham on Boxing Day bar Jesus.
Saka shone for England, scoring three goals and announcing himself on the world stage
Key forward Gabriel Jesus picked up an injury while playing for Brazil at the tournament
New Aston Villa manager Unai Emery didn’t have long to work with his squad before the World Cup, but would have had a lot of time to work with his players over the break, with just four away in Qatar.
The main man, of course, was Emi Martinez, who played every minute as Argentina won the tournament. He saved a penalty in the shootout against France and won the Golden Glove, too, though the less said about the celebration the better.
He is set to miss Villa’s game against Liverpool on Boxing Day, but should be back for the game against Tottenham on New Year’s Day.
Matty Cash and Jan Bednarek (Poland) and Leander Dendoncker (Belgium) all exited early however and should be back after Christmas.
Bednarek and Dendoncker didn’t play too many minutes in Qatar, with five and 161 respectively, though Cash played every minute of Poland’s four games during the tournament.
Goalkeeper Emi Martinez won the tournament with Argentina and picked up the Golden Glove
The Cherries were one of the sides with only two players in Qatar, and they were both with Wales, who were knocked out in the Group Stages without winning a game.
Chris Mepham and Kieffer Moore both played regularly, clocking 270 and 225 minutes respectively, with Moore helping change the game when he was brought on at half time of the 1-1 draw with the United States. He did though fail to score in the tournament.
Both should be available to play in Gary O’Neil’s first game as permanent manager against Chelsea on December 27.
Kieffer Moore struggled with Wales, who left the competition at the group stage without a win
The most dramatic part of the World Cup for Brentford wasn’t even in Qatar. Star man Ivan Toney has been charged with betting offences – which could have played into why he was left out the England squad – but he has not been suspended by his club.
At the tournament, though, Brentford had six players. There’s a strong Denmark link at the club as Mathias Jensen, Mikkel Damsgaard and Christian Norgaard were all away with the national team, but amassed just 240 minutes between them as their side crashed out in the group stage.
David Raya didn’t play for Spain, Saman Ghoddos played just one half for Iran in England’s group, and Bryan Mbeumo played 233 minutes for Cameroon.
No injury problems for the Bees – just that Ivan Toney issue to keep an eye on.
Ivan Toney was not at the World Cup after plenty of speculation but has been charged with betting offences
Alexis Mac Allister will be absolutely loving life after winning the World Cup. He played 556 minutes for his Argentina side as they made it all the way, and won’t be available for selection against Southampton on Boxing Day.
Elsewhere, Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan played every minute for Ecuador as they exited in the group stages, with Jeremy Sarmiento amassing 85 minutes for the side.
Like Brentford keeper Raya, Robert Sanchez didn’t play a minute for Spain, Tariq Lamptey managed 102 minutes for Ghana and Leandro Trossard played one more with 103 for a disappointing Belgium side.
Kaoru Mitoma played 165 minutes for Japan as they won the hearts of the world, but all eyes were on Mac Allister, and rightly so.
Midfielder Alexis Mac Allister will be back late after winning the tournament with Argentina
Mac Allister shone during the tournament after working his way into the first team in Qatar
Chelsea players amassed over 3,300 minutes in Qatar, with several stars on show.
Conor Gallagher, Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling were all with England, though the first of the trio did not make a single appearance.
Mount lost his place to Jordan Henderson in midfield after starting the tournament, while Sterling unfortunately had to return home before England’s last-16 game with Senegal after his house was burgled.
Kalidou Koulibaly played every minute for Senegal, as did goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, though he did make the worst team of the tournament. He may be needed as the Premier League returns, with doubts over Kepa Arrizabalaga’s fitness still rife.
Edouard Mendy had a difficult tournament for Senegal and may now be number two at Chelsea
Thiago Silva (Brazil), Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain), Kai Havertz (Germany) and Denis Zakaria (Switzerland) all had tough tournaments, though there was success for Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech.
The two reached the semi-finals with Croatia and Morocco respectively, both falling one step short of the final.
Croatia then won the third-place play-off between the two sides, but Kovacic playing 639 minutes is a plus for the Blues as he looks for a solid run without injuries.
Ziyech was much more impressive for Morocco than he has been for Chelsea as they became the first African side to reach a World Cup semi-final, but it’s unlikely both he and Kovacic will be available for selection upon the Premier League’s immediate return.
Hakim Ziyech (left), impressed for Morocco, who became the first African side ever to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup
Palace are the second side on the list who had just two players in Qatar, so it was a relatively quiet tournament for Patrick Viera’s men, though he would have been grateful for the time with his players after a disappointing start to the season.
Joachim Andersen (Denmark) and Jordan Ayew (Ghana) both exited at the group stage as they played 270 and 136 minutes respectively, so a drama-free tournament for the Eagles.
They’ll back to business as normal against Fulham at Selhurst Park on Boxing Day.
Joachim Anderson (left) was one of only two Crystal Palace players at the tournament
Everton went into the break in really disappointing form, so manager Frank Lampard would also have been grateful for the time off to try and fix some of the issues.
The Toffees had four players out in Qatar, though one of them, Conor Coady – who is inelegible for their Boxing Day tie against Wolves – didn’t play a minute.
Jordan Pickford played every game in goal for England, while Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana played 153 and 104 minutes for Senegal and Belgium respectively.
A relatively quiet tournament for the Merseyside team.
England keeper Jordan Pickford again showed why he is his nations’ No 1 between the sticks
All eyes were on star man Aleksandar Mitrovic for the tournament after injury issues building up to it, but he played 262 minutes for Serbia, scoring twice as they exited in the Group Stage.
Marco Silva has however confirmed since that the forward is struggling with an issue and ‘not fully fit’ ahead of his side’s game against Crystal Palace, so keep an eye on his situation.
Elsewhere, Dan James and Harry Wilson played for Wales, Antonee Robinson and Tim Ream enjoyed plenty of minutes in the USA’s journey and Joao Palhinha got on the pitch for just over half-an-hour for Portugal.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored two goals for Serbia in the group stages but is a doubt for Fulham
All eyes were on James Maddison in the build-up to the tournament, but he didn’t play a single minute for England.
He went onto sit out the Foxes’ Carabao Cup tie against MK Dons on Tuesday, and Brendan Rodgers is set to make a late call on his fitness for the game against Newcastle on Boxing Day.
Wout Faes, who has helped transform Leicester’s defence, also failed to play for Belgium, while Youri Tielemans played just 95 minutes as the Red Devils were knocked out in the group stage. Timothy Castagne has better luck in terms of minutes, playing every moment of the three games.
Danny Ward found himself second choice between the sticks behind Wayne Hennessey, but was called into action when the Nottingham Forest man was sent off against Iran. He then played against England, but may prefer to forget the game as he struggled throughout.
Elsewhere, Nampalys Mendy (Senegal) and Daniel Amartey (Ghana) played regularly for their sides, but there should be no doubts over the availability of any of their players when the Premier League returns.
James Maddison went through the tournament unused for England and is now injured
Danny Ward endured a difficult game against England for Wales but will look to impress at Leicester
Leeds had a relatively quiet tournament but will be happy that no injuries were picked up.
Brenden Aaronson had to settle for minutes off the bench for the USA in Qatar, playing just 108 of them in his side’s four games, but Tyler Adams captained the side and presented himself well, playing every minute and answering some tough questions thrown at him about his country’s history.
Rasmus Kristensen was the third Leeds player out in the Middle East, playing 224 minutes for Denmark.
Midfielder Tyler Adams captained USA – who impressed – to the last 16 of the tournament
Ibrahima Konate tasted defeat with France in the final, playing 294 minutes for Didier Deschamps’ men, and may be back late as a result.
Apart from that, however, Reds players arrived back early. Jordan Henderson impressed for England and played against Man City in the Carabao cup, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, though rested on Tuesday, has also been back with the squad.
Alisson impressed with Brazil while countryman Fabinho struggled for minutes, but the duo, alongside Virgil van Dijk – who missed his penalty for Netherlands against Argentina – and Darwin Nunez, all exited the tournament earlier than expected.
Jurgen Klopp will hope extra time with his players has helped as they try to turn their season around, and all bar Konate should be good to go for the return of the Premier League.
Ibrahima Konate played several times for France as they lost the final on penalties to Argentina
Jordan Henderson (left) was one of England’s key players after forcing his way into the team
City players played the most minutes of any Premier League team in Qatar, racking up a staggering 4,652 minutes between 16 players. Ready?
Julian Alvarez worked his way into the Argentina team and played 467 minutes as his side went onto lift the trophy, scoring four goals including a brace against Croatia in the semi-final. He will be absent for a while, with Guardiola confirming he will have 10 days off following their victory.
Kyle Walker, John Stones, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Kalvin Phillips all played for England, with Walker returning to fitness just in time for the tournament, while Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva featured for Portugal, though Dias is expected to be out for around a month after picking up an issue early on in the tournament against Switzerland, which he continued to play through.
Phillips, who has dealt with injury issues all season, is struggling again as Pep Guardiola admitted he returned from international duty overweight.
Forward Julian Alvarez will take some time to return after winning the World Cup
Nathan Ake shone in a Netherlands team that only lost to Argentina on penalties, while Rodri and Aymeric Laporte enjoyed good runs with Spain despite their early exit, with the former playing in central defence.
Kevin De Bruyne was a name on everyone’s lips during the break with the midfielder central to Belgium’s poor showing, and he even took some time to launch a verbal attack on some team-mates, branding them ‘too old’. But he shone against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, and will feel much more comfortable in a City shirt than a Belgium one.
Ilkay Gundogan (Germany), Manuel Akanji (Switzerland) and Ederson (Brazil) also featured, though the latter had to settle for back-up to Alisson, playing just one game.
Kyle Walker (left) and Phil Foden (right) were unable to help England succeed in Qatar
Kevin De Bruyne’s Belgium exited in the group stage with the midfielder receiving widespread criticism from fans
Manchester United players played the third-most minutes of everyone at the World Cup, and Erik ten Hag’s side had a player on both the winning and losing sides in the final, as Raphael Varane played 621 minutes for France after doubts he would miss the tournament, and Lisandro Martinez – his regular centre-back partner – played 301 minutes for Argentina.
Bruno Fernandes endured an awkward reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo as he played 357 minutes for Portugal, and Diogo Dalot continued his fine form, playing 357 minutes before picking up a hamstring injury.
He sat out of the Carabao Cup in the week and is a doubt for the league’s resumption, causing a headache for ten Hag.
Diogo Dalot has been vital to both Manchester United and Portugal this season but has picked up a hamstring issue
Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw were regulars in defence for England, with Maguire in particular impressing after a tough season at club level, while Marcus Rashford, though only playing 137 minutes for Gareth Southgate’s side, shone, scoring three times.
Casemiro and Fred had a chance to build on their midfield partnership for Brazil, of whom Antony also featured for after shaking of an injury, while Christian Eriksen returned to major tournament football for the first time since his cardiac arrest with Denmark, playing every minute as the bowed out in the group stages.
In terms of the more fringe players, Tyrell Malacia was unused for the Netherlands, while youngster Facundo Pellistri played a handy 181 minutes for Uruguay.
Defender Lisandro Martinez could miss the Christmas period after winning the tournament
Perhaps surprisingly, Newcastle players mustered up just 458 minutes between them at the World Cup – the third fewest of any Premier League team.
Kieran Trippier lost his spot at right-back to Kyle Walker upon the Man City man’s return to fitness and Callum Wilson was a true back-up to Harry Kane. Nick Pope, meanwhile, didn’t play.
Bruno Guimaraes, meanwhile, played just 69 minutes for Brazil, while defender Fabian Schar played 135 minutes for Switzerland.
It feels strange given the recent transformation of the club and their good form, but all five players played in the Carabao Cup midweek and the club can now focus on a serious push for a top-four finish.
Bruno Guimaraes spent the tournament with Brazil but played just 69 minutes throughout
As Steve Cooper’s side try and build a squad full of stars capable of keeping the club in the Premier League, international recognition is increasing, and the Reds had five players at the World Cup.
Wayne Hennessey made two starts for Wales until his red card, and Cooper will be hoping he can call on the 35-year-old against Manchester United with regular goalkeeper Dean Henderson unable to face his parent club. Hennessey picked up a knock after returning from the tournament, but Cooper is ‘hopeful’.
Full-back Neco Williams also featured for the Welsh, starring against the USA just hours after finding out his grandfather had passed away. He paid an emotional tribute to him after the game. Brennan Johnson managed 91 minutes for Rob Page’s side in Qatar.
Elsewhere, Remo Freuler was a key member of Switzerland’s squad, while Cheikhou Kouyate played for Senegal, but tore his hamstring in their opening game and faces a spell on the sidelines.
Nottingham Forest back-up goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off playing for Wales
Neco Williams, who also features for Wales, lost his grandfather before his side’s game against the USA
Saints players played the fewest minutes out of all the clubs in the Premier League at the World Cup, with Mohammad Salisu the only man to feature, playing 270 minutes for Ghana, scoring against South Korea along the way.
Young defender Armel Bella-Kotchap, meanwhile, was in the Germany squad but didn’t see a minute.
New manager Nathan Jones may be quietly happy about his players’ lack of game time, with the former Luton man keen to hit the ground running with a fit a squad as possible at St Mary’s.
Mohammad Salisu (right) was the only Southampton player to feature during the World Cup
Ah, Harry Kane.
The forward was tasked with leading England to glory but missed a penalty against France in the quarter-final to bring the game back to 2-2, against no other than Spurs captain and team-mate Hugo Lloris.
Kane appeared to pick up an ankle issue against Iran in England’s opening game, but played on until his side were knocked out and should be okay for the return of club football after he returned to training.
Lloris, meanwhile, played every minute as France lost the final, failing to save a penalty in the shootout as he failed to win the tournament for the second time in as many competitions as captain. It’s unlikely he will be available for his side’s game against Brentford, so Fraser Forster may have to deputise.
Harry Kane missed a key penalty for England against France in his side’s quarter-final
Hugo Lloris captained France and came within touching distance of a second trophy lift
The same goes for defender Christian Romero, who won the tournament, and has been partying his way back to Buenos Aires after playing 549 minutes in Qatar. Ivan Perisic, who played 671 minutes for Croatia as they came third, may also not be back in time.
Spurs players played the second-most minutes at the tournament out of all Premier League sides behind City, including Eric Dier playing 33 minutes for England, Ben Davies 270 for Wales, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 270 for Denmark and Rodrigo Bentancur 213 for Uruguay, though he was forced off through injury in the South American’s final group game. That was on December 2 and a three-week timeframe was given for a return, and he is set to return on New Year’s Day.
Though Son Heung-min made it through the tournament injury free wearing a protective mask for South Korea due to a fractured eye socket, fellow forward Richarlison picked up an injury while leading the line for Brazil, and he faces four weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring issue.
A busy one for Antonio Conte’s men.
Defender Cristian Romero won the trophy and shone for Argentina during the tournament
Five West Ham players played 1064 minutes between them in Qatar, including Declan Rice, who managed 418 for England as he shone again on the world stage.
Lucas Paqueta was a regular for Brazil, playing a bit deeper than he has been at club level, while Thilo Kehrer played for Germany. Alphonse Areola was unused as France lost in the final.
A perhaps more curious case is that of Nayef Aguerd. He has played just 75 minutes in the league for the Hammers this season after arriving in the summer for £30million, but played 354 minutes for Morocco as they became the first African nation to reach a World Cup semi-final, eventually finishing fourth.
Moyes will hope he will be able to call on Aguerd more often as the league resumes, but said ‘we’ll see’ when asked on the 26-year-old on Friday, insisting he has suffered with a virus recently after picking up an injury out in Qatar.
Nayef Aguerd was a regular for Morocco before getting injured as they reached the semis
Wolves had five players out in Qatar, but not many of them played too many minutes, which new manager Julen Lopetegui will probably be grateful for with his side sat bottom of the Premier League table.
Ruben Neves played 271 minutes for Portugal, but Matheus Nunes only managed 73 and Jose Sa was unused as the former European Champions – and Cristiano Ronaldo – crashed out in the quarter-finals, upset by Morocco.
Hwang Hee-chan played 115 minutes of South Korea’s campaign, scoring against his team-mates’ Portugal, while Raul Jimenez managed 59 minutes for Mexico.
All five players came back fine and got on the pitch in their side’s 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Gillingham in the week, so should be good to go.
Hwang Hee-chan scored for South Korea against Portugal before they lost to Brazil