Premier League restarts after four month delay due to Covid-19

The Premier League returned to action today, June 17, after a lengthy delay of the season since early March due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The players were eased back into training ahead of the restart with individual training and training in small groups for the players that have tested negative for Covid-19.

With only nine rounds of fixtures remaining in the season, The Football Association (FA) have given premier league clubs permission to make up to five substitutions per game in an effort to reduce the risk of injury.

The remaining nine rounds will be played in tournament style with all games to be completed by July 26, should providing Covid-19 guidelines are adhered to.

Due to the break in the season, many clubs have had the chance to rejuvenate their squads with players returning from injury that perhaps wouldn’t have been fit in time for the usual Premier League schedule.

Manchester United have welcomed Marcus Rashford and record-signing world cup winner, Paul Pogba, back to training after their respective back and ankle injuries have cleared up over the break.

Bruno Fernandes had Manchester United on a 10 game win-streak before the suspension of the league and fans now welcome the prospect of Fernandes and Pogba forming a long-term partnership in the United midfield as the club goes up against Tottenham, Chelsea, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the race for the top four.

Tottenham Hotspur will also have a rebolstered attacking outfit as Son Heung-Min returns from his mandatory military service in his home country of South Korea.

With Liverpool all but certain of winning their first top-flight title in over 30 years, the top four and the relegation battle remains.

Norwich City, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham United and Brighton and Hove Albion are all in danger of facing relegation with only eight points separating 20th placed Norwich with 15th place Brighton.

Ahead of his squad returning to action in the first game back, Sheffield United manager, Chris Wilder, says that his club are physically and mentally ready to “finish what they started” in what promises to be a remarkable season for the Blades, regardless of top four finishing.

Aston Villa and Sheffield United kicked off the remainder of the season in Villa Park at 6pm June 17 and the later game involving Manchester City and Arsenal was played at the Etihad at 8.15pm.

Mark Brien