Manchester United at set to find themselves up against it over the course of the last eight Premier League games of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side did not have the best preparation for the March international break as they suffered back-to-back losses to Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Prior to those defeats, the Norwegian had not lost a domestic match since taking over at Old Trafford from Jose Mourinho in December.
Unai Emery’s Arsenal struck the first blow with a 2-0 win at the Emirates, as United lost ground in the fight for top four, before Wolves dumped the former champions out of the FA Cup.
With barely a fifth of the season left to be played in the Premier League, the Gunners are on top with a two point lead on their old rivals in fourth place, and the international break may hand the Londoners a key advantage – one that Maurizio Sarri may also be able to benefit from.
Arsenal and Chelsea’s players will clock up the fewest miles away from their clubs during the international break among the teams in the race for a top four spot.
Members of the Chelsea dressing room will travel 24,140 miles in total while Arsenal’s squad will complete a combined 30,695 miles in travel.
By comparison, United’s playing staff will have to travel 36,072 miles – although that’s nothing compared to the journeys that the Spurs squad are set to undertake.
Tottenham’s players will be travelling a combined 63,782 miles between them this international break.
|Brighton and Hove Albion||20,216|
That’s by far the most of any Premier League club.
The distances have been calculated as a round trip from each player’s home ground, to the stadiums where their national team will play and back again.
Even before this gruelling schedule, Solskjaer was facing injury problems across his squad. Their famous win over Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital came with the Norwegian beset by fitness problems and no fewer than 10 players out with various issues.
Flights around the world to play in international matches could be the last thing they need – and exactly what Arsenal and Chelsea need to overhaul their rivals for a top four spot.