Premier League clubs have agreed to resume the 2019-20 campaign in three weeks’ time, subject to government approval, as Project Restart takes another step forward.
As initially revealed by the Telegraph, the first matches will take place on Wednesday, June 17, as the two ‘games in hand’, Manchester City vs Arsenal and Aston Villa vs Sheffield United, are fulfilled.
The league’s other 16 teams will continue their campaigns behind closed doors over the weekend of June 19-21, with the BBC reporting that the aim is to have completed the outstanding 92 fixtures by July 25.
Exclusive: Premier League clubs provisionally agreed to end the season on Saturday 25 July, it is understood (with match round 38 that day). Plan is to play the remaining nine full rounds using six weekends and three midweeks. More on @BBCSport shortly.— Laura Scott (@LauraScott__) May 28, 2020
Each game is also set to be allocated a live television slot.
2019-20 Premier League remaining fixtures - kick off times (BST):
Saturday: 1230, 1500, 1730, 2000
Sunday: 1200, 1400, 1630, 1900
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 1800, 2000
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, English football at all levels has been suspended since March 13. Premier League clubs returned to training last week, initially in small groups with no contact between players, though the second phase of the return, involving contact training, was approved unanimously on Wednesday and started today.
The third phase will include a step closer to ‘normal’ training, and further build-up to the return of competitive matches. The league’s twice-weekly testing procedures will continue, following 12 positive results returned from 2,752 tests so far. Any player diagnosed with the coronavirus must then self-isolate for seven days.
Should events go as planned, it is likely that this season’s Goodison Park Merseyside derby will mark Everton’s first game back in action since the resumption. If certain Manchester City results go Liverpool’s way before then, it could give Jurgen Klopp’s men the chance to clinch the title by beating their near neighbours.
As yet, though, definitive fixture dates have yet to be confirmed by the Premier League, nor is it known whether some or all games will be played at neutral venues.
It has been suggested that neutral venues will be used at the request of the police for particularly high-profile games, namely the Merseyside derby.
Premier League return - likely opening fixtures
- Manchester City vs Arsenal
- Aston Villa vs Sheffield United
- Aston Villa vs Chelsea
- AFC Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
- Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal
- Everton vs Liverpool
- Manchester City vs Burnley
- Newcastle United vs Sheffield United
- Norwich City vs Southampton
- Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United
- Watford FC vs Leicester City
- West Ham United vs Wolverhampton
Everton - remaining 2019-20 fixtures
- Liverpool (H)
- Norwich City (A)
- Leicester City (H)
- Tottenham Hotspur (A)
- Southampton (H)
- Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)
- Aston Villa (H)
- Sheffield United (A)
- Bournemouth (H)