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The Premier League returns today Saturday for what is seen as the most mentally and physically gruelling six weeks in its history.

Forty-four days in which six of last season’s top seven will play 13 times across all competitions, condensing around a quarter of their season into just over 10 per cent of the available calendar.

“Insane. Wild. Absolute madness,” said Simon Brundish, a consultant sports scientist for various clubs and players. “Crazy,” agreed Antonio Conte, the Tottenham manager.

“When we start talking about it, I really get angry,” added Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp who, in likening the situation to climate change, declared that “we all know we have to change” but evidently feels utterly powerless to shift football’s governing bodies.