Premier League return: the issues to resolve

May 29, 2020
Premier League return: the issues to resolve. AFP
Premier League football is set to return on June 17 after a three-month coronavirus-enforced absence.

Nothing realistically will stop Liverpool from being crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years.

But there are a whole host of other issues to sort out, including relegation and next year’s European places, with the drama set to take place in empty, echoing stadiums.

AFP Sport takes a look at what still needs to be resolved.

When will Liverpool be champions?

Liverpool were 25 points clear of Manchester City and just two wins away from becoming English champions for the first time since 1990 when the league was suspended in March.

But while COVID-19 may have delayed their title party, nobody seriously believes it is not going to happen.

Two more wins would make it mathematically impossible for City to catch Liverpool but the Reds could triumph by winning their first game if City lose at home to Arsenal on June 17.

Jurgen Klopp’s men can also break two of City’s most cherished records — they need 19 points from the remaining 27 to beat the Manchester club’s total of 100 points from the 2017/18 season and they could also better City’s record title-winning margin of 19 points from the same campaign.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson lifted the Champions League trophy in a packed stadium in Madrid last June but is preparing for a different experience this year.

Of course it would feel different because if you win any trophy and receive it without any fans there, it would be pretty strange,” he told the BBC.

Champions League battle

Intriguingly, the battle for the top four might instead be a battle for the top five.

Liverpool are assured of their place in the Champions League and the other top-four places are currently occupied by Manchester City, Leicester and Chelsea.