International breaks are generally disliked among many soccer fans around the world. After all, these national team games break up league schedules several times throughout the season. Not only are popular leagues disrupted, but many of these national team fixtures ultimately do not matter very much.

Players are often forced to play meaningless friendlies for their countries. FIFA and UEFA attempted to ‘fix’ this issue by creating the Nations League. The competition was designed to replace unpopular friendly fixtures with more competitive matches. However, the tournament is still essentially pointless and only puts more pressure on players.

Top players around the world now regularly play 50 or 60 total matches each season between club and country. The added games to the schedule have created additional injury issues with these stars. Players deal with burnout and more injuries. Plus, they happen at key moments in the season due to the wear and tear on bodies.

Top three Premier League teams now have fresh injury concerns

Several players vying for a Premier League title picked up injuries during the most recent international break. Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City are fighting it out in a tense battle for the English top-flight trophy. With only 10 games remaining for each side, all three teams need their key players healthy for the home stretch of the season.

Nevertheless, Gunners winger Bukayo Saka departed the England national team’s training due to a nagging hamstring issue. Center-back Gabriel Magalhaes also departed Brazil‘s sessions early with an Achilles issue. The stars are currently two of the north London club’s most important players in the squad.

The Arsenal duo did not feature for their national team’s friendlies this past international break, as City had three players suffer injuries during these fixtures. John Stones and Kyle Walker both limped off of the pitch in the recent week.

Walker required a substitution against Brazil after feeling tightness in his hamstring. Stones, on the other hand, had a groin problem in the early stages of the Belgium matchup. Manuel Akanji also had to withdraw from Switzerland‘s squad as well. Arsenal and City face off this weekend in one of the biggest Premier League games of the season. The availability of these players is unclear at the moment.

Liverpool also endured an injury headache as well. Star defender Andy Robertson suffered an ankle issue during the first half of Scotland’s friendly with Northern Ireland. The left-back previously picked up a nasty shoulder injury while on international duty back in October. Robertson missed multiple months of action due to the previous problem. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp will hope the star can face Brighton at the weekend.

Barcelona also sweating a series of player setbacks as PSG awaits

Injuries, however, did not only just affect the Premier League. Barcelona also saw multiple players pick up injuries during the international break as well. Star defenders Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo have fresh concerns following recent issues with their national teams.

Kounde experienced muscle discomfort following a game against Germany. Araujo left Uruguay‘s training after feeling a similar problem. Cameras spotted star striker Robert Lewandowski with an ice pack on his leg following Poland‘s triumph over Wales.

Although Barca may be too far behind rivals Real Madrid for the LaLiga title, they are still very much alive in the Champions League. The Spanish side is facing Paris Saint-Germain on April 10. The return leg back in Spain is six days later. Manager Xavi will be crossing his fingers that the trio can feature in these important matches.