This is the season when squad depth and investment in fitness personnel reap the biggest dividends.

Making up the numbers with cannon fodder doesn’t count. The elite in the Premier League will have quality cover in every position, even fully-fledged internationals as backups.

And the backroom staff concerned with the recuperation and peak fitness of the squad will be earning their money this season.

For once, Jurgen Klopp moaning about the fixture schedule is entirely warranted.

The ludicrous winter World Cup in Qatar has led to rescheduling of the domestic schedule. Despite recent moves such as scrapping Carabao Cup replays in favour of one-legged results, clubs are in the shadow of crisis.

Let’s examine the impending chaos.

As I write (16/09), every single midweek slot is taken up with European fixtures or Carabao Cup matches, all the way until the World Cup. Which means the earliest that the postponed fixtures taken off the calendar after the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II is mid-January.

The Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League return in mid February, meaning a window of 4 weeks to play these delayed matches. If this does happen, then clubs will be playing, conceivably, three matches a week for the entire season – or until the nadir of the season at least.

For clubs not involved in Europe, they will have the rest they need to rejuvenate fatigued muscle injuries – but those clubs have less international involvement. The clubs involved across all competitions are the clubs that will also be more involved at the World Cup.

Players who are called up by their country and ply their trade for Euro-battling clubs could see themselves in action in 10 games between Boxing Day and Valentines Day.

Key players will drop. Deputies will get their chances to show what they can do and establish themselves.

Arsenal squad training, with Eddie Nketiah closest to the camera

The season will be a marathon and involve multiple runners. But maintaining an assault on a cup competition, Europe, the Premier League and also contend with the WC is going to be an impossible task – even for the likes of City.

But we aren’t concerned with that – what about Arsenal?

It’s a certainty that Aaron Ramsdale and Bukayo Saka will be called up for the World Cup. Matt Turner will get his chance between the sticks and Marquinhos will enjoy more opportunities on the pitch with Saka needing to be wrapped in cotton wool.

William Saliba is a good bet to be selected for France and Gabriel (all three of them) are recent attendees for La Selecao – even if they weren’t picked in the latest Brazil squad, so they will likely be going.

At this point, it’s probably easier to mention the players who will escape the World Cup. Kieran Tierney, Zinchenko, Cedric Soares perhaps, Rob Holding, Ben White maybe, Odegaard, Smith-Rowe maybe, Vieira, Sambi maybe – and Eddie.

We’ra actually better off than most of our rivals, but the above will still not make a team. Plus, that’s a lot of maybe’s.

So it’s good that for once, our injury list isn’t crippling and our medical staff have actually done a great job in keeping our players on the pitch in recent months.

If we can maintain that, get lucky with some international selections and our fringe players stand up and play like they can, we have the opportunity to take full advantage of the chaos that will reign in the second half of the season.

It’s cooking up to be very interesting – do you think our squad will stand up to scrutiny?