Premier League announces revised fixtures: When and where to watch in India
For football fans in India and all over the world, the countdown to the resumption of the Premier League has officially begun.
The Premier League, on Friday, released the fixture list for 32 of the 92 remaining matches for England’s top tier football league, which was halted mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The matches are set to get underway from June 17, with Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United in the first match post the lockdown.
Scheduled for a 6pm kick-off in the UK, Indian fans will have to patiently wait for the clock to strike 10:30pm on the same day for their first taste of Premier League action in almost three months.
Manchester City and Arsenal - both teams with considerable fanbases in the country - face off in the next match which will kick off scheduled for 12:45am on July 18.
Ever since the announcement, anticipation has been steadily soaring among the Indian football fraternity and fandom.
Where to watch the Premier League in India
While Star Sports Network, the official broadcasters of the Premier League in India, are yet to release a final broadcast schedule for the announced fixtures, select matches are likely to be telecast on Star Sports channels and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar - Star’s own OTT platform.
Premier League fixtures and schedule till June 23
June 17 (Wednesday)
Aston Villa vs Sheffield United, 10:30 PM IST
June 18 (Thursday)
Manchester City vs Arsenal, 12:45 AM IST
June 19 (Friday)
Norwich vs Southampton, 10:30 PM IST
June 20 (Saturday)
Tottenham Hotspurs vs Manchester United, 12:45 AM IST
Watford vs Leicester City, 5:00 PM IST
Brighton vs Arsenal, 7:30 PM IST
West Ham vs Wolves, 10:00 PM IST
June 21 (Sunday)
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace, 12:15 AM, IST
Newcastle vs Sheffield United, 6:30 PM IST
Aston Villa vs Chelsea, 8:45 PM
Everton vs Liverpool, 11:30 PM
June 23 (Tuesday)
Manchester City vs Burnley, 12:30 AM IST
Liverpool close to Premier League title
As things stand, Liverpool are the runaway leaders with a comfortable 25-point lead at the top over second-placed Manchester City and need just two more wins to seal their first domestic title since 1990.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are set to play their first match after the restart away to rivals Everton in the Merseyside derby on June 21 (June 22 according to IST).
Their second match against Crystal Palace is scheduled at home on June 24 (June 25 as per IST), opening up the opportunity to seal the title on their home turf at Anfield.
However, if Manchester City lose to Arsenal in their game in hand, a win over Everton will be enough to confirm Liverpool as the 2019-20 season champions.
Tight race for top four
Meanwhile, the top four race is still wide open with only nine points separating fourth-placed Chelsea from 11th placed Crystal Palace. Giants like Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur are all in contention.
It’s almost equally condensed at the bottom with just eight points separating the bottom six, making for an intriguing relegation battle.
Updated Premier League rules
With matches coming thick and fast till July 2, teams will be allowed five substitutions instead of the regulation three and can have up to nine players on the bench instead of six for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
However, teams will only be allowed three stoppages including half-time to make the changes in order to prevent unnecessary breaks in play.
The five-substitution policy has also been adopted by the Bundesliga – Germany’s top division football league – which was the first of Europe’s elite football leagues to return to action back in May.
Like in the Bundesliga, all Premier League matches will be played behind closed doors to adhere to the safety protocols to combat the pandemic.
Spain’s La Liga is set to resume from June 12 and Italy’s Serie A is due for its restart on June 20.