100 days after COVID-19 brought football to a sudden halt, the Premier League returns on Wednesday. But, not as we know it.
The last Premier League fixture to take place before coronavirus paralysed Europe saw Leicester City thrash Aston Villa 4-0 on March 9.
In the months that followed, life, as we know it, hit the pause button. After weeks of debate, the English top-flight resumes on Wednesday, June 17 with Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United and Manchester City facing Arsenal.
There was, of course, a time when football’s return looked highly unlikely. So ensued a nationwide discussion about whether to restart the season, how it could be done and how to settle matters if games couldn’t be played.
The title race – if you can call it that – is as close as you can get to a foregone conclusion, but the relegation battle is going down to the wire. With that in mind, we spoke to fans, podcasters and journalists of the clubs engulfed in a relegation battle to help document and contextualise football’s return.