Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Brentford, Newcastle and Sheffield United have suffered from injuries more than any other Premier League club this season.

Brentford players have have lost a whopping 725 days due to injuries since the season kicked off on August 11 – merely 130 days ago, according to Premier Injuries data.

Injury-stricken Newcastle are second on the crocked list, losing 691 days after fighting on three fronts – having played six tough group games in the Champions League and in reaching the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

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Sheffield United sit rock bottom in the Premier League table and reinstated Chris Wilder at the helm after sacking Paul Heckinbottom a fortnight ago – but the Blades’ injuries have compounded matters with 667 days lost so far.

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Brighton (594), Manchester United (574), Chelsea (557) and Crystal Palace (493) have also registered above-average totals for days lost.

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At the other end of the scale, West Ham have lost only 158 days so far – which is nearly a fifth of Brentford’s crippling tally. Wolves (245), Bournemouth (277), Everton (306) and Manchester City (380) have also experienced comparatively quiet treatment tables.

What about sheer number of injuries?

In terms of the sheer number of injuries resulting in players missing one game or more from an injury, Manchester United’s woes show no sign of abating and their squad depth has been tested to the limit with a table-topping 22 separate injuries inflicting players at some stage to date.

Casemiro, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane have all suffered three separate injuries resulting in missing one game or more, while Mason Mount has suffered two. Another 11 players have been unavailable for one game or more during this campaign.

While Crystal Palace have only a slightly higher-than-average number for days lost from injuries, the Eagles’ squad depth has been stretched with 20 separate injuries keeping players out of action for one game or more.

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Brighton – who have progressed into the round of 16 in the Europa League and sorely missed Julio Enciso, who has now lost a team-topping 118 days with a knee injury – have also had their resources stretched with 19 players sidelined.

Newcastle United’s Joelinton receives treatment for a thigh injury

Newcastle’s injury crisis is compounded by scale – in addition to duration – having also suffered 19 separate injuries, with Harvey Barnes and Sven Botman both clocking in excess of 80 days out with with toe and knee injuries, respectively.

As was the case with days lost, West Ham (eight), Wolves and Bournemouth (both nine) have been the most fortunate to date.

What’s the injury and suspension status now?

Factoring current injuries and suspensions, Manchester United’s list of absentees has never been longer with 12 players out of action going into the weekend, of which 10 have been ruled out completely for the upcoming visit to West Ham – who once again sit at the polar end of the current injury table with only Michail Antonio sidelined, although the Hammers’ squad has been hit with a ‘bug’.

Newcastle also have 12 players unavailable, while Tottenham (11), Chelsea (10) and Brentford (nine) are also potentially depleted for the next round of fixtures – with Chelsea and Newcastle coming head to head in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals in front of the Sky cameras on Tuesday.

Which injuries have resulted in most days lost?

Hamstring strains have resulted in the most time lost this season with 2,082 days so far, and that number swells to 2,319 when also factoring ‘hamstring injuries’ and ‘hamstring surgery’.

Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has missed a table-topping 129 days to date with a hamstring strain as he prepares to make his comeback for the reigning champions., while Brentford’s Josh DaSilva has missed 121 days.

Other costly injuries include general ‘muscular injuries’ (859), calf strains (710) and ‘knee injuries’, while anterior cruciate ligament injuries have resulted in 454 days lost, affecting the likes of Jurrien Timber and Tyrone Mings (both 128 days lost), Rico Henry (93 days) and Ivan Perisic (90 days).

In terms of which clubs have been affected by specific injuries most, Luton have lost 284 days from one specific injury type – hamstring strain: Albert Sambi Lokonga (78 days), Mads Andersen (64 days), Reece Burke (58 days), Amari’i Bell (53 days) and Ross Barkley (31 days), while Dan Potts also missed 14 days with a hamstring injury.

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Manchester United, Brentford, Chelsea and Crystal Palace have also lost players for considerable time from this injury type.

Muscular injuries have plagued Brighton, including the likes of Danny Welbeck, twice (74 days combined), James Milner, twice (51 days combined) and Tariq Lamptey (also 51 days).

What’s causing the injuries?

Is there a correlation between workloads and the rising trend for intense playing styles? Well, high-flying Aston Villa, Manchester City and Arsenal have all played the most games across all competitions this season with 26 each – but none of those clubs feature among the most affected clubs for days lost through injuries.

Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham are next up with 25 games and those teams have been affected to wildly varying degrees – most notably Newcastle being deeply affected at one end of the scale and West Ham being at the polar opposite.

In terms of intensity, sprints have been on the rise since tracking data is available – when these metrics changed parameters at the start of 2020/21 – with sprints per game rising incrementally season on season from 127 to 136 per game – with that overall rise equating to a seven-per-cent increase.

So, are clubs suffering more injuries than usual this term? The forecasts below suggest no. Current trajectories project clubs will collectively lose 20,457 days through injuries this term, which is fewer than last term but slightly more than 2020/21 and 2021/22.

How have clubs been reacting to injuries?

Have clubs been forced to dive deep into their squads and rotate to manage injuries? The table below shows the total number of players used by each team and appears to correlate fairly consistently with the clubs most affected by injuries.

Newcastle, Sheffield United and Brighton have all struggled with players on the treatment table and have also used the most players, with the Magpies deploying a table-topping 30 players in the Premier League so far in this campaign.

Likewise, West Ham and Wolves rank among the bottom for players used and have also been among the least affected clubs for injuries.

In terms of starting XI changes, there is far less correlation – apart from Brighton – who have lost the fourth-most days from injuries and third most individual injuries – with the Seagulls making a league-high 70 changes, which is a staggering 26 more than the next club on that list, Nottingham Forest.

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