The Premier League Returns!
If a seer had predicted that the world would be without football for 60+ days, I am sure we would have faulted such prediction, apparently Covid-19 has other plans for us.
This pandemic successfully brought football to a standstill with only non-major leagues going on with their fixtures. There were fears that football may never return and the major leagues might have to declare the 2019/2020 season null and void or they just end it where it stopped. Some leagues such the French Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie went for the latter option and declared Paris St. Germain and Ajax Amsterdam winners of this season’s competition respectively. Other leagues such as the Italian Serie A, English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga and the German Bundesliga were undecided about going on with the competition at a favourable time, declaring it null and void or just declaring the table toppers winners.
The German Bundesliga was the first to take a stand by deciding to finish the competition albeit with strict rules guiding players and officials.
After lots of meetings, deliberations and Covid-19 tests, the English Premier League has decided to follow the footsteps of the Germans.
On the 30th of May, the English FA announced that the English Premier League will return on the 17th of June after it had been suspended indefinitely on the 3rd of April. The news was met with lots of jubilation from football fans around the world which is a testament to the fact that it is the most watched football league in the world.
Fans will not be allowed to be at the stadia but I have compiled a list of what fans and football lovers will be looking out for in the closing stages of the premier league.
- The Pogba – Fernandes partnership: You do not need to be a Manchester United fan to have heard about Bruno Fernandes, the new hot cake that apparently became their saviour in the last few matches before the suspension of the league. I believe you must have also heard about how ManUtd fans go on to hype the partnership they believe Paul Pogba will strike up with the Portuguese talisman. Many of them believe both of them might just be the next best thing after Jollof rice. Well, let us see how it all goes down in the last few matches.
Who finishes fourth?: Just three points separate Chelsea in fourth place and Manchester United in fifth though Manchester United has a superior goal difference. I believe it will be an interesting tussle for the final champions league spot in the next 8 matches or so.
Players’ new looks: During the suspension of the league, pictures of some players like Sadio Mane, N’golo Kante, Anthony Martial amongst others trended on social media for the unusual hairstyle and look they had on. It would be funny seeing Kante on the pitch with actual hair on his head. Lol.
Bizarre substitution rules: There are new that the number of allowed substitutions may be increased to 5 or 7. Wow! It is bad enough that teams use substitutions as an avenue to waste or buy time, now you increase the number of times they can do that? Wow. Just wow! I still need to find out the reason behind such move since fielding more players does not reduce their chances of getting the virus.
Liverpool winning first EPL: Every football fan knows that Liverpool deserves the EPL trophy for this season. Establishing such gap is not a child’s play and it would have been really unfair if the league had been suspended. They have put their heart and soul into this and therefore should be rewarded. However, I would like to see how they celebrate their triumph in an empty stadium. It does not take the trophy away from them so I guess they will take what they get.
Are you looking forward to anything else that I failed to capture here? Let me know in the comment section.
Thanks for reading.