The Premier League finally returned on Wednesday after more than three months with the first of 92 games in just 40 days.
Watford: Foster, Masina, Dawson, Kabasele, Femenia, Hughes, Capoue, Pereyra, Doucoure, Sarr, Deeney.
Subs: Gomes, Mariappa Cleverley, Welbeck, Chalobah, Cathcart, Gray, Holebas, Pussetto.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Chilwell, Evans, Soyuncu, Justin, Ndidi, Barnes, Tielemans, Maddison, Albrighton, Vardy.
Subs: Ward, Morgan, Bennett, Fuchs, Mendy, Choudhury, Gray, Pérez, Iheanacho.
With no fans allowed in the ground it was up to fake crowd noise to provide the atmosphere, as typically the journalists sitting spaced-out in the stands weren’t up to the task. The fake crowd took a while to get used to. At times the oohing and ahhing seemed to be out of sync with what was happening on the pitch.
After waiting 100 days for the richest soccer league in the world to return, fans were treated to a 0-0 draw between Aston Villa and Sheffield United in the first game back. However, Sheffield United were denied a clear goal despite the ball crossing the line. Technology company Hawk-Eye later apologized after none of the seven cameras focused on the goal picked it up as players and the goalposts blocked the view.
The coverage cut to Zoom broadcasts of fans from either team reacting to key moments. It wasn’t that successful, however. Some fans were animated while others seemed stone-faced as if their TV was showing a Scandanavian crime drama instead, which may have actually been true based on the lack of chances in this game.
Manchester City then beat Arsenal 3-0 in the second game of the evening. Arsenal defender David Luiz had a night to forget as his error led to the first goal and then he was sent off in giving away a penalty for City’s second.
Remember when the highlight of your weekend was going for a walk? Those were the days. Ah, April…how we really don’t miss you. That’s right, it’s time for football fans all over the world to cancel their plans and re-inscribe their rear signature on the sofa – the Premier League is back! A packed weekend of fixtures awaits, with Chelsea, Arsenal and champions-elect Liverpool all in action this Saturday and Sunday. With loads of games left to go as the 2019/20 looks to finish, we can’t wait to see what happens next – and our guide explains how to watch a Premier League live stream online and catch every game from anywhere in the world.
U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that the return would represent a boost for “a football-loving nation” and that Wednesday’s games would be broadcast in all but five countries around the world. Dowden added that he hoped some fans may be able to return to stadiums for matches by the beginning of next season.
Brighton vs Arsenal
TV details: BT Sport are also showing this one, with coverage following Watford vs Leicester
Team news: Long-term absentee Jose Izquierdo will be the only player unavailable to Brighton boss Graham Potter for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal.
The new normal will see the matches played in front of empty stadiums with television viewers given the option of fake crowd noise. A minute’s silence will be held before the first matches in memory of those lost to the coronavirus pandemic, while NHS frontline health staff will be honored through a badge on the players’ shirts.
The names on the back of the shirts will also be replaced by “Black Lives Matter” for the first 12 matches, following the death of George Floyd and worldwide protests that have resulted.
Colombia winger Izquierdo, who has been sidelined with a knee problem, has not featured for Albion since April 2019.
Seagulls striker Aaron Connolly is fit to feature after undergoing a knee operation during the suspension of fixtures.