Folks, the long wait for the return of Premier League soccer (football for you cultured folks) is right around the corner. Wednesday kicks off Match Day 30, roughly 3 months since the last game was played. The remaining games will be played in empty stadiums all across the UK. With everyone rested, and no lift or distraction from a crowd, teams are as evening out as much as possible.
At the top, Liverpool holds a 25 point lead over rivals Manchester City and look to all but wrap up the trophy and crown themselves champions after a 30 year drought (owner John Henry knows a thing or two about droughts with his experiences owning the Boston Red Sox). And while people may have found it pointless to restart being that Liverpool are so far ahead, there are so many other things to play for in the rest of the table.
On the bottom of the table, the 15th to the 20th position are all fighting to get out of the relegation zone in order to stay playing for top flight soccer. Brighton, West Ham, Watford (who shockingly stunned 1st place Liverpool right before the quarantine), Bournemonth, Aston Villa, and Norwich City are all fighting to stay out of the bottom 3. To many casual fans, people may not care to see the proverbial “winner of losers” trophy but to these smaller clubs, staying in the Premier League means millions of dollars in revenue and the prestige of playing in the highest competition in England.
Fighting to place Top 5 for Champions League spots, Chelsea, Manchester United, Wolves, Sheffield United, Tottenham, and Arsenal are all jockeying to finish 4th and 5th in the standings (2nd Place Manchester City are forced to concede their Champions League spot due to their UEFA Ban for Financial Fair Play). These teams are certainly the teams to watch for the remainder of the season with millions of dollars, and a bid for the elite European competition to play for.
As I’ve written about the NBA and it’s return, this escape and return of sports will bring about a sense of normalcy back in people, especially in Europe, and may distract people from a terrifying yet crucial political and environmental climate. For 2020 brought about the worst in people, sports may be the small cure to bring us all together.