Having originally pencilled in the 4th April as a potential return date for Premier League football, the resumption of the English top-flight is now certain to be pushed back yet further, with the Coronavirus outbreak showing no signs of improving. While fans up and down the country are patiently awaiting the return of their favourite teams and players, it remains to be seen as to just what will happen when matches do take place, with a number of questions remaining unanswered.
What to Expect When the Premier League Returns
With the European Championships having now been postponed until 2021, it would appear that major domestic leagues will be completed over the summer months. While a return date of April 30th for now also seems unrealistic, it does look like Liverpool will be in a position to secure their first Premier League title, even if they have to do so behind closed doors. Jurgen Klopp’s side sit 25 points ahead of Manchester City, with the Reds needing just two more wins to be crowned champions. While fans at Anfield will have been nervously awaiting news regarding whether the campaign would be declared null and void, this outcome now appears unlikely.
Meanwhile, many clubs are still battling it out in Europe and domestically, with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers facing the prospect of playing a large number of games in a short period of time once football is back in action. Pep Guardiola’s City are bidding to win the Champions League for the first time, while United and Wolves remain in the hunt for the Europa League title. Online football betting action at major bookies is currently on hold, however punters remain in a position to stake on an English club coming out on top in Europe, with games potentially being held over just one leg, rather than the normal two.
Players Could Return Too
Elsewhere, many players who looked to have been ruled out for the season due to injury could still play an important role for their respective clubs, with Tottenham Hotspur likely to be one of the biggest beneficiaries from the break. The likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn are all now likely to be fit to take part should the season resume in the near future, aiding their push for an unlikely top-four place. The likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford for Manchester United, Sead Kolasinac at Arsenal and Nathan Redmond at Southampton could all now take to the field this season, which will likely have an impact at both ends of the Premier League table.
Ahead of a potential return, some within the game have voiced concerns as to how the players themselves will cope, with increased injuries having been suggested by those in the know. While players are keeping themselves fit from the confinement of their own homes, reaching match fitness again is another matter. As a result, many are worried that forcing Premier League players to take part in high-intensity matches quickly may have negative effects in both the short and long term.
With clubs across Europe this week maintaining their hope of completing the domestic season by the 30th June, fans may well have a huge number of games to look forward to, however at what cost will this come at?