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English Premier League Return
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English Premier League’s Return Provides Hope For Sports Fans Everywhere

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: A General view of the London Stadium, home of West Ham United as all Premier League matches are postponed until at least April 4th due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic on March 14, 2020 in London, England. It has been announced that all football league matches, including the Premier League and Women’s Super League, have been postponed until at least April 4 in response to the threat of coronavirus. This follows UEFA's decision to suspend fixtures in the Champion's League and the Europa League, as many top flight players enter self-isolation. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – On Wednesday all 20 EPL clubs agreed unanimously to resume full-contact training.

Clubs have been training for well over a week and this is another huge step towards Project Restart. There have also been rumors of what the TV schedule would look like.

Also on Wednesday, the 3rd round of COVID-19 test results came back. Of the 1008 tests on players and staff, 4 positive tests was the result coming from 3 different clubs.

All 20 EPL clubs have agreed to restart the season on June 17. When the league shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic in March, not all teams had played 29 games. So, it would allow Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United and Manchester City vs. Arsenal to happen and going into the weekend of June 20, all 20 clubs would have played 29 matches, with nine to play.

This gives Premier League managers just over 3 weeks of full training to get the lads as close to tip-top condition as possible. Clubs were posting pictures on social media of the full contact training sessions as things looked a lot more familiar than in weeks past.

The rumored TV schedule will be a sight for sore eyes if true as well. Games played Saturday and Sunday 5:00 a.m., 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. – and then Tuesday and Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (times are all MST).

Even the cautious Troy Deeney of Watford, is open to returning to training after holding talks with the government’s deputy chief medical officer. Deeney has been outspoken on the measures taken to restart the league and wanted more assurances that it would be safe to return. His concerns have been valid the entire time but his conversations over the last few weeks with the deputy chief medical officer have seen him soften his stance, and as someone who was most vocal about the return, the sight of him on the training ground soon should help build confidence over the coming weeks that things are moving forward appropriately.

Deeney’s son was born prematurely and had some breathing difficulties. Having every right to be concerned and now open to returning should, as I said, give everyone confidence, inside and outside of football.

Bundesliga In Action

Meanwhile, over in Germany, Bayern Munich went to closest title rivals Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday and came away with a 1-0 victory, tightening their grip at the top of the Bundesliga as they look to claim a record 30th title. They now sit 7 points clear. with 6 matches to play.

Plenty more games coming up Friday through Monday. With the title chances seemingly slipping away for Dortmund and RB Leipzig, there is plenty to play for as clubs try to solidify Champions League soccer for next season (although what that will look like next season is anyone’s guess). Matches, as usual, can be caught on FS1 and FS2.

Once again, the steps taken by the German government and the Bundesliga has given every sports fan hope that things can be put together, and restarting various sports relatively smoothly. Things are going to be different for a while, particularly until a vaccine is made but, for the most part the healing power of sports is in full effect.

Until next week, keep looking after each other.

 

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