Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea are set to be hit the hardest by the petty ban that has been imposed by FIFA at the behest of the Brazilian FA.
Jurgen Klopp must make do without Alisson Becker and Fabinho as well as Roberto Firmino although the forward is injured so it isn’t as much of an issue.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will only need to make his team work without Fred but he must do so for two games as the five-day ban includes Man Utd’s first Champions League fixture of the season against Young Boys.
Thomas Tuchel must do without the influential Thiago Silva this weekend and in the Champions League against Zenit.
I wrote on Wednesday that Liverpool must appeal and should use the fact that the Brazilian FA and FIFA have not sanctioned Everton and Richarlison as a way to avoid punishment.
However, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea have a risky solution and it involves not obeying FIFA and including their Brazilian players in their starting squads anyway.
This could result in further punishment but given the obvious favouritism from the Brazilian FA and FIFA with October and November international breaks ahead, Premier League clubs need to show the governing bodies that their players’ safety and health comes first.
This whole row started over concerns from Premier League clubs that Brazil is on the red list for travellers re-entering England and quarantine would be required to do so.
These concerns were well-founded as Brazil vs. Argentina was suspended over concerns over Covid rules.
Liverpool (and other clubs) should not be punished for protecting their players and Jurgen Klopp has long since been prosecuted for campaigning for more rest, winter breaks, fewer international breaks and fewer domestic cup competitions to ensure his players and the players of other clubs remain as healthy as possible.
Man Utd, Chelsea and the Reds are certain to appeal FIFA’s decision and I’m sure they’ll use Everton’s lack of a sanction as a way to get off but if they don’t, it’s going to be very interesting to watch the three managers’ press conferences heading into the weekend’s fixtures.