The Effects of Fixture Congestion on Injury in Professional Male Soccer: A Systematic Review

Page, Richard Michael, Field, Adam, Langley, Ben, Harper, Liam David and Julian, Ross ORCID: 0000-0002-8558-7132 (2023) The Effects of Fixture Congestion on Injury in Professional Male Soccer: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine, 53 (3). pp. 667-685. doi:10.1007/s40279-022-01799-5

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Methods Following pre-registration on the Open Science Framework ( and conforming with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, systematic searches of four electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science) were conducted by independent researchers from inception until February 2022. Articles were included if they were original articles written in English and contained relevant time-loss injury data (injury that results in unavailability for training and/or match-play) for male professional soccer players regarding periods of fixture congestion (a minimum of two matches with ≤ 4 days recovery). Results A total of eight articles were included in the review. Five studies identified that congested fixture schedules expose players to increased match injury incidence, although layoff duration was typically lower during congested periods. Two studies identified that training and overall injury incidence were higher during congested periods, with another study identifying a lower training injury incidence during congested periods. Conclusion Injury risk is, overall, increased during fixture-congested periods; however, the layoff duration is typically shorter. The current findings have implications for practitioners regarding the management, periodisation, monitoring, and design of training and competition schedules.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sport injuries; Soccer injuries
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 15:06
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:06

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