So Many Storylines As Premier League Sets Return Date

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The English Premier League will return on Thursday, June 18 (Australian time) with two matches: Manchester City against Arsenal and Aston Villa at home to Sheffield United.

These are the two “in hand” matches which will ensure that every team will have played 29 games before the  next round of fixtures begins with a staggered start from June 19 through June 21.

All the matches will be played behind closed doors, with the aim of ending the league season before the end of July with six weekends of fixtures and three midweek rounds.

FIRST TWO MATCHES

Manchester City v Arsenal

Thursday, June 18, 3am AEST

Talking points: 2nd place City won’t catch Liverpool, but a win here puts them seven points clear of 3rd place Leicester City. For Arsenal, currently in 9th, a win would see them leapfrog rivals Spurs into 8th and possibly higher. It’s also a big chance for Mikel Arteta’s men to reset their season.

WIN-DRAW-WIN
$1.36 Manchester City
$5.00 Draw
$8.00 Arsenal

Markets here.

Aston Villa v Sheffield United

Thursday, June 18, 3am AEST

Talking points: A win puts 7th place Sheffield United into the top five, ahead of Manchester United. 19th place Villa are in the relegation zone and in desperate need of points to save their season.

WIN-DRAW-WIN
$2.88 Aston Villa
$3.40 Draw
$2.37 Sheffield United

Markets here.

TALKING POINTS

1. Liverpool: Obviously the biggest storyline surrounds Liverpool’s quest for a first-ever Premier League crown (and a first top-flight title since 1990) and whether or not it will be tainted by the COVID-19 affected season.

2. Relegation: Another huge issue that was threatening to blow up if the Premier League (and The Championship) hadn’t made plans to resume their seasons. It appears the traditional three up/three down system will remain, but don’t discount a lawsuit somewhere down the line.

3. Home fields v Neutral grounds: There had been talks about all matches being played at neutral sites, but it appears now that teams will be able to play at their own grounds, admittedly with no fans in attendance. The only exceptions could be for crucial matches – eg: Liverpool’s potential title-clincher – where there is concern about large groups of home fans gathering outside the grounds.

 

What do you think?