The Premier League is set to return on Wednesday 17 June, with Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United and Manchester City at home to Arsenal, according to a report.
The 2019/2020 campaign was brought to a screeching halt back in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, while ‘Project Restart’ has been ramped up in recent days with clubs approving a return to full contact training on Wednesday.
Throughout the crisis, Premier League sides has kept in dialogue and at their most recent meeting on Thursday a consensus over the exact return date of top flight English football appears to have been reached.
As reported by the Telegraph, action will resume on 17 June with City vs Arsenal the headline act.
Villa will also take on Chris Wilder’s side in a game that could have significant implications at the bottom of the table.
The season should then be completed by 1 August with the FA Cup final scheduled to take place one week later. These dates line up with UEFA’s plans to have the Champions League sewn up by the start of September.
As well as agreeing a resumption date, clubs also discussed the contentious issue of where games will be staged.
Meanwhile, the police have told the Premier League that they are happy for the majority of matches to be played at their original venues – though some ‘high-profile’ fixtures could be moved to neutral grounds (via Daily Mail).
Concerns have previously been raised over the possibility of fans congregating outside empty stadiums – breaking social distancing protocol in the process. The mayor of Liverpool caused controversy when he suggested that Reds supporters would be likely to do this if Jurgen Klopp’s side secured the club’s maiden Premier League title.
Despite these concerns, the police are content for the vast majority matches to be played at their original venues with only ‘high-profile’ games being considered for neutral venues. The Bundesliga – which returned earlier this month – have experienced no such issues with fans respecting social distancing regulations and staying away from stadiums.