The Premier League season is underway and England manager Gareth Southgate will be looking to see whether a tweak to the calendar produces a marginal gain for his squad heading into Euro 2020.
For the first time ever the English top-flight will dip its toes into the water of a mid-season break, mooted for many years as of potential benefit to the national team in a World Cup or European Championship summer.
In practice it means a split of the Premier League fixture list in early February, five games being played on one weekend and five the next to ensure each club has a break.
The FA, for their part, have agreed that the FA Cup 5th Round can be played in midweek having already brought forward the scrapping of replays at that stage to the season just ended.
When the changes were first announced last year, Martin Glenn, FA chief executive, said: "This is a significant moment for English football and one that we believe will greatly benefit both club and country. It’s no secret that we have a very congested fixture calendar and over recent years we have been working with the whole game to find a solution.
"Today’s announcement proves that football can come together for the good of the game. We have also found a way to give the players a much needed mid-season break, whilst keeping the much-loved Christmas schedule in place.
"As we head into summer international tournaments in the future we are sure that this mid-season break will prove to be a valuable addition for our players."