Liverpool to return vs. Everton in June as Premier League plan ‘best-case scenario’

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The Premier League has tentatively pencilled in the week commencing June 8 as a re-start date, meaning a return to training could then take place in mid-May.

The obvious caveat to those plans is the Government’s social distancing rules and restrictions, which football will not be treated as a special exemption from.

In a meeting between the Premier League and club chiefs on Friday, the objective remained to “complete the current season” but dates remained fluid based on the ever-changing landscape of the coronavirus.

And a flurry of reports which followed signalled May 18 as the ‘best-case’ scenario for a return to training, which could still mean players are subject to strict quarantine regulations.

Matches would then start behind closed doors after at least three weeks, but it is conditional on testing being available for players, staff and match-day personnel for each of the 20 clubs, in addition to officials, media and security.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 1, 2020: Empty red seats pictured before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It means the NHS must first “give the go-ahead” and has the “power of veto” regarding when it is safe and within their means to see football re-start.

The view would be to squeeze all games into a period of six weeks with a finish at the end of July, but any further delays would push the season into August – a month UEFA has signalled their intentions to host the Champions League final.

And despite hopes to see all 92 fixtures completed in less than 40 days, it would see the season extend beyond June 30, a date a set of clubs have been hesitant to play beyond due to contracts for both players and commercial partners coming to an end.

If anything it appears one of the more manageable concerns and it was not one of the points of discussion during the meeting on Friday.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 9, 2019: Liverpool's (L-R) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel del Castillo, Dejan Lovren and Georginio Wijnaldum during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Salzburg and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pedro Chrivivella provided a welcome first-hand view of the situation as he revealed Liverpool have informed players to expect a return to team training in mid-May.

Moreover, Premier League games will remain in the same order as they were prior to postponement, which would mean Liverpool’s campaign would resume against Everton.

The season would then played out in around seven weeks, ending late July, with Liverpool having nine games remaining.

The Premier League and club chiefs will meet again in a fortnight, a week prior to the UK’s latest lockdown end date, where they will hope to see if their plans can be put into motion.

In Spain, La Liga have a similar plan with a tentative date of May 28 pencilled in for their return, with France having June 3 or 17 in their plans.

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