The COVID-19 pandemic forced the English Premier League (EPL) to shut down for a hundred days which started from March 13 and ended on June 17. The resumption of games last June resulted in squeezing nine match days into a month for all Premier League clubs.
English Premier League 2019-2020 Recap
Hectic schedules have been made to prevent delays in future league events. The 2019-2020 Premier League season closed its curtains on July 26, which witnessed a triumphant Liverpool Football Club winning their first league title since 1990.
The 30-year drought ended in a record-breaking fashion as the Reds won the title with seven games to play. However, they came up short for breaking the highest points in a season which is still held in Manchester United, who accomplished the feat in the 2017-2018 season.
As for the player stats, Jamie Vardy of Leicester City led the league in most goals with 23. Tied for the second spot are Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Southampton’s Danny Ings at 22. Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne led the league in most goal assists at 20.
Start of the 2020-2021 EPL Season
The start of the season is set on September 12. The season welcome gives the top-tier clubs a seven-week breather to prepare and get ready for another titans’ clash for the title.
The Football Association reportedly preferred an August start due to UEFA Nations League matches of England on September 5 (vs Iceland) and September 8 (vs Denmark). However, shareholders of the Premier League want a longer rest time for their players as they ended the season in a body-taxing fashion.
A three-month break is usually given to clubs, but the current pandemic took away those three months. The clubs also will not experience a normal pre-season due to the short gap between the two seasons. The season was expected to end on May 23, 2021. Scheduling of other domestic competitions will be a three-pronged conversation between the Premier League, the English Football League, and the FA.
The 2020-2021 season will be tough for the Premier League teams as the European Championship is scheduled to be reopened next summer. However, speculation reports that the EFL Cup or Carabao Cup will be a sideline to decongest the hectic schedules. If the season starts in September and the schedule goes on smoothly, the 2021-2022 season will start under normal circumstances.
The current pandemic barred the clubs’ loyal fans from entering their stadiums but a glimmer of hope was seen as the British government suggested that fans may be allowed to attend games from October. However, with just over 30 days from the scheduled start, no official announcement was made. This means fans could be enjoying matches behind closed doors.
What to expect on Premier League
The bottom three clubs at the end of 2019-2020 season will be relegated to the Championship (EFL). Bournemouth and Watford both ended a five-year run in the top league after finishing with 34 points each.
Norwich City finished with 21 points and was relegated again to the Championship a year after it was promoted to the Premier League.
Championship kings Leeds United and runner-up West Bromwich Albion are set to battle against the top-tier teams after being promoted to the Premier League. The last club that will join the Premier League will be determined in a final showdown between Brentford and Fulham set on August 4.
A Fulham win means a comeback after relegation in the 2018-2019 season. However, a Brentford win marks a historic moment as the club will reach England’s top division after being absent in it since 1947.
Will the anthem of Anfield be played triumphantly as the Reds retain their title? Or will the Red Devils, the Lilywhites, the Blues, the City, and the Gunners steal the title from Liverpool? We will see as the Premier League starts its new season this September.