Premier League clubs are gearing up for the restart of the 2019-2020 season which is scheduled for June 17 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Aside from the usual team training, the clubs have commenced other forms of preparations, including friendlies.
Most teams like Chelsea football club and Manchester United divided their teams into two parts and staged a full-fledged match between them and appointed among themselves, referees and other officials to coordinate the match.
For instance, at Chelsea football club, the manager of the club, Frank Lampard and his coaching staff acted as referees for the friendly between their team at Stamford Bridge. One half of the team wore their home kits while the other half wore their away kits.
The friendly is the first match-like experience the team has had for almost three months since the coronavirus pandemic forced football to a halt in the Premier League on March 23. The 4th placed Chelsea is looking forward to solidifying their top-four spot by restarting the season in a good note on June 21 when they face Aston Villa.
In the case of the relegation-threatened Aston Villa, the team played a friendly against Midlands rivals and Championship promotion-chasers West Bromwich Albion. The friendly match ended 2-2 at Villa Park, according to reports.
The 5th placed Manchester United also used Chelsea’s format to give themselves a match-like experience for the first time in almost three months. Though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is currently one of the happiest managers in the league as he has gotten all his injured players back to full fitness, his biggest worry is how they can get match fitness before June 19 when they face 8th placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal football club who is currently occupying the 9th position on the league table was also in action on Saturday as they invited Championship side Charlton Athletic to the Emirate stadium for a friendly match in preparation for their June 17 fixture against 2nd placed Manchester City.
Mikel Arteta‘s boys were absolutely ruthless to the visitors as they smacked them 6 goals to zero. Eddie Nketiah scored a hattrick while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette were on the scoresheet.
Premier League didn’t record new COVID-19 cases
Meanwhile, the restart of the season on June 17 received a boost when the Premier League announced that the 6th round of test conducted on Thursday and Friday returned zero positive.
This is making it the second time in 6 round of testing that all the clubs in the league returned no positive result. Recall that when the Premier League did the 4th round of testing, it also returned zero positive. However, the 5th round returned one positive result.
So far, the Premier League has carried out 6,274 tests for COVID-19, with 13 positives and 6,261 negatives. The testing will continue until the season is finally brought to a logical conclusion as fans hope to start watching their favourite teams on television from June 17.