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Evading Europe’s exhausting demands should benefit Chelsea and Liverpool

Liverpool's Sadio Mane

Forget Brexit. Now Chelsea and Liverpool are first and second in the Premier League we should start discussing Chexit and Lexit. This weekend I asked an executive from a leading Premier League club whether Chelsea and Liverpool had an advantage by not being in Europe this season. Of course they have, he replied. The only question is, how much?

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Newcastle United's Ayoze Perez celebrates scoring their sixth goal with Isaac Hayden and DeAndre Yedlin

Isaac Hayden and Newcastle on a high under Rafael Benítez

If Isaac Hayden required proof of the benefits of “Rafaology” he received it after rejoining the England Under-21 squad during the international break. “The England staff have really picked up on the change in me,” reports the Newcastle United midfielder. “They say that, compared to last season, my ‘game understanding’ is massively different. They say it’s obvious it’s down to Rafa’s tutelage.”