by Aiden Daries
The resumption of the Premier League is less than a week away as fans chomp at the bit.
The resumption of the Premier League season is set to commence on 17 June and fans around the world are eagerly awaiting its return. The Premier League was forced to announce a halt in proceedings as the global COVID-19 pandemic hit the world.
It’s been about three months since the league saw a ball being kicked, with the last fixture being played on 9 March when Leicester City beat Aston Villa. Coincidently, Villa will resume the Premier League season as they welcome Sheffield United to Villa Park.
Millions around the world are eagerly awaiting the resumption of the league. However, they won’t be able to get into the grounds as strict measures continue to be implemented in England. We’ve recently seen the German Bundesliga and the Spanish La Liga recommence their seasons.
Premier League officials allowed small group training sessions as per the government’s go-ahead, and recently teams have been training as per normal with strict rules being applied in training grounds around the country.
The league was halted with leaders Liverpool being two wins away from clinching their first ever Premier League trophy and first English League title in 30 years. Liverpool come up against Merseyside rivals Everton, and they can clinch the coveted prize at Anfield when they welcome Crystal Palace.
The main focus however will surely be on the fight for the top 4 with Chelsea FC and Manchester United being the main teams in the running.
United looked on course to be challenging the Blues after their last fixture saw them do the double over city rivals, Manchester City. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal will also be challenging fixtures.
There have been talks that at least six Premier League fixtures that were identified as high-risk by officials will be played at neutral stadiums. The attendance of fans to the remaining games will still be fully restricted, as was announced before the halt to the season.
All remaining fixtures will be played behind closed doors. This however has prompted new concerns that fans will start gathering outside of the stadiums which is a major health concern during the current crisis.
Liverpool’s fixture against Crystal Palace, where they could possibly win the league title, was the main game in question regarding whether fans would gather outside of Anfield considering this momentous occasion.
The league has also confirmed a new rule change for the remainder of the season which sees clubs making five substitutions in a game, instead of the standard three. Many people believe this new rule change will benefit the teams who have strength in depth within their squad.
Many players have used this time off to recover from their injuries they endured before the league put a stop to proceedings, with Harry Kane, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and others being in this bracket. This will surely inspire teams to kick on and challenge for their various objectives as the season heads for its final stretch.