Project Restart: Premier League edges closer to return

Fans across the world can brace themselves for a summer festival of football after the Premier League confirmed a restart date of June 17.

Conditional on safety requirements being met, the remaining 92 matches will take place behind closed doors but will be screened live by the league’s existing broadcast partners.

With important issues still to be resolved at both ends of the table there are plenty of exciting fixtures to look forward to over the coming weeks.

Read on as we take a closer look at the resumption of the Premier League and some of the key matters still to be decided.

Liverpool two steps from heaven

Liverpool fans have been desperate for the action to resume with their team on the cusp of winning the Premier League title for the first time in their history.

The bookmakers listed at rate the Reds as certainties to claim top spot and it would be a major surprise if they blew this opportunity.

Jurgen Klopp’s team, who need a maximum of six points to clinch the title, resume against Everton on June 21 before hosting Crystal Palace three days later.

The Merseyside derby may be switched from Goodison Park to a neutral venue, but Liverpool will be confident of completing the job in swift fashion.

City aiming to exert some pressure

Realistically speaking Manchester City need a miracle to happen if they are to win the Premier League title for a third successive year.

Pep Guardiola’s side been inconsistent this term and a 25-point gap with 10 games to play is likely to prove insurmountable.

However, home matches against Arsenal and Burnley give City the opportunity to try and exert a modicum of pressure on the champions-elect.

Both those teams are currently drifting along in mid-table and City are fully expected to bag six points from their first two fixtures after the resumption.

United have Chelsea in their sights

With Leicester City looking a good bet to finish third behind Liverpool and City, two of England’s biggest clubs are expected to battle for the remaining top four place.

Chelsea currently hold fourth position, three points ahead of resurgent Manchester United with nine games to play.

The Blues return to action with a visit to Aston Villa on June 21, before returning to Stamford Bridge to take on Man City the following Thursday.

United resume with fixtures against Tottenham Hotspur (A) and Sheffield United (H), and will be eager to crank up the pressure on Frank Lampard’s team.

Big battle in store at the bottom

Norwich City look destined to make an immediate return to the Championship, but who will be relegated alongside them is less clear.

Aston Villa will have a chance to get out of the bottom three when they play the first game after the restart at home to Sheffield United.

With the home match against Chelsea to follow, Villa will be desperate to pick up three points against a Blades team who are still in with a chance of qualifying for Europe.

Fellow strugglers Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion all resume with home matches, adding further pressure onto Villa’s shoulders.

Project Restart: Premier League edges closer to return

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