Premier League football returns on Wednesday after a three-month coronavirus-enforced absence. Nothing realistically will stop Liverpool from being crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years. But there are a whole host of other issues to sort out, including relegation and next year’s European places, with the drama set to take place in empty, echoing stadiums. The English top flight follows Germany’s Bundesliga and La Liga in Spain in rebooting their seasons after the coronavirus lockdown, aiming to cram 92 games into six weeks of breathless action.
Aston Villa kick off against Sheffield United, to be followed later on Wednesday by Manchester City v Arsenal, before a cascade of matches.
Piping crowd chants into stadiums, cardboard cut-outs of supporters and live video fan walls will add colour but it will be impossible to mimic the usual vibrant atmosphere.
In total, about 300 people will be allowed in stadiums for each match, with strict health protocols in place.
There will be widespread disinfection of changing facilities, dugouts, matchballs, goalposts, corner flags and substitution boards.
People other than players and coaching staff on team benches must wear face coverings.
List of fixtures for the restart of the Premier League on Wednesday (all times IST):
June 17 (Wednesday)
Aston Villa vs Sheffield United (10:30pm)
June 18 (Thursday)
Manchester City vs Arsenal (12.45am)
June 19 (Friday)
Norwich vs Southampton (10.30pm)
June 20 (Saturday)
Tottenham vs Manchester United (12.45am)
Watford vs Leicester (5pm)
Brighton vs Arsenal (7:30pm)
West Ham vs Wolves (10:00pm)
June 21 (Sunday)
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace (12:15am)
Newcastle United vs Sheffield United (6:30pm)
Aston Villa vs Chelsea (8:45pm)
Everton vs Liverpool (11:30pm)
(All telecast timings are as per the information received from the host broadcasters)
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