The 2019/20 Premier League season gets back under way today.
There has been no action in the English top-flight since early March, with all sport put on hold due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Tonight! ‘Project Restart’ was initially planned for June 12, but clubs voted on Wednesday, June 17 for the season to resume after being given the green light by the government. There will be a number of strict social distancing guidelines in place, while no fans will be allowed in stadiums.
The action restarts with Aston Villa vs Sheffield United at 6pm and is followed by Manchester City vs Arsenal at 8.15pm.
Those are both rearranged games, and will mean all 20 clubs have played 29 matches heading into the weekend of June 19-21, when the rest of the top-flight will be in action once again.
New staggered kick-off times will be used for the remaining matches.
Games on a Friday will kick off at 8pm, while on Saturday the slots will be 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm and 7.45pm.
Sunday matches will kick off at 12pm, 2pm, 4.30pm and 7pm, with Monday games starting at 8pm.
Midweek games on Tuesdays and Wednesday will kick off at either 6pm, 8pm or 8.15pm.
Here’s this week’s matches:
Wednesday, June 17
6pm – Aston Villa vs Sheffield United
8:15pm – Man City vs Arsenal
Friday, June 19
6pm – Norwich City vs Southampton
8:15pm – Tottenham vs Man United
Saturday, June 20
12:30pm – Watford vs Leicester City
3pm – Brighton vs Arsenal
5:30pm – West Ham vs Wolves
7:45pm – AFC Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace
Sunday, June 21
2pm – Newcastle United vs Sheffield United
4:15pm – Aston Villa vs Chelsea
7pm – Everton vs Liverpool
Matches are due to be played at the clubs’ own stadiums as normal but neutral venues could be used for some ‘key matches’ if it is considered necessary by the emergency services and safety advisory groups, or where games have to be switched due to a localized lockdown.
A league statement on venues read: “The Premier League’s ambition is to complete all of our remaining fixtures this season home and away, where possible.
“We are working with our clubs to ensure risks are assessed and minimized, while cooperating with the police at a local and national level.
“Discussions with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and UK Football Policing Unit have been positive and are continuing. We are prepared for all outcomes and have a neutral-venue contingency.”
Liverpool are way out in front – an incredible 25 points ahead of nearest challengers Manchester City – and are just two wins away from winning the Premier League for the first time.
Leicester are on course to secure Champions League qualification while there is set to be a big battle for the final top four spot, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Wolves, Sheffield United, Tottenham and Arsenal all still in with a shot.
At the bottom, Norwich look doomed to relegation, while Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham and Brighton are all battling for survival.