It has been a long month of no Premier League action, but the top-flight in England are determined for the season to reach its conclusion at some point.
The outbreak of the coronavirus means that there is no set date on when the league may resume, with the initial date of the 30th March already being pushed back indefinitely.
Fans immediately grew concerned that the league was going to be null-and-void after the outbreak, which raised questions whether Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a league title was going to continue.
It would certainly be unethical to give the title to the Reds before they have mathematically been crowned champions, which means resuming the league is the only way forward. But, when the Premier League does finally return, what could happen to the teams locked in battles for the vital positions?
For now, there is only one place where the league can happen: in the Playstation.
Liverpool To Win The League
It is almost unthinkable that Liverpool won’t be crowned champions when the season resumes. They need a maximum of six points from nine games, and that could easily be done from their next two fixtures.
The Reds come up against Everton in the first of those games, before they welcome Crystal Palace to Anfield following that match.
If they are unable to get over the line from those two fixtures, then they will have seven more opportunities to get the points that they need. Over the course of their final fixtures of the season, the Reds will come up against Manchester City, Chelsea, and Arsenal.
The undefeated record may be gone after their defeat against Watford, but Jurgen Klopp should be celebrating with the Premier League title at the end of the campaign.
Battle For The Top Four
One of the most interesting fights, when the Premier League resumes, will be for the Champions League places. The outbreak of COVID-19 could have a damaging effect on Manchester City’s appeal chances.
This means the top five sides in the Premier League are likely to get a place at Europe’s top table. Following the standings at present, that would mean that Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester United would be joining Liverpool in the Champions League.
That would appear the most likely way that the season could end, but the seven points separating Chelsea and eighth-placed Tottenham Hotspur means that it could still go down to the wire. Wolverhampton Wanderers have been consistent throughout the season, and they would fancy their chances of overtaking United in fifth.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils will be hopeful of overtaking Chelsea in fourth. Sheffield United also can’t be discounted from the race, as they have enjoyed an excellent first campaign back in the top-flight. Their strong defensive resilience is highlighted by the fact that they have the second-best defensive record in the league.
It’s almost impossible to predict how this battle will end, but the preference would be for the teams currently in the Champions league places to get what they need from the final nine league games.
Who Will Be Able To Stay Up?
The battle at the bottom of the Premier League is also fascinating, with teams from Brighton & Hove Albion in 15th and below all locked in the battle to stay up.
Norwich City gave themselves a lifeline by picking up a win and a draw in their last five games, but they still have effectively eight-points to make up to pull themselves away from danger. The writing looks to be on the wall for the Canaries.
Aston Villa’s form has diminished in the second half of the season, but they and Bournemouth are only two-points away from Watford on the 17th. Bournemouth have been disappointing all season, as they have conceded too many goals and haven’t scored enough.
They are normally the factors that contribute to relegation, but they still have the strongest squad out of the teams in the relegation scrap.
Watford’s resurgence under Nigel Pearson has come to an abrupt end, but they still have the ability to go on a long winning run, which means that they possess something that the others around them don’t.
West Ham would be the side may people would fear as they have lost four of their past five, and 12 of their last 18. The preference for relegation would be for Norwich to finish rock-bottom, with Aston Villa and West Ham United joining the Canaries in the Championship next season.
For now, we just need to wait for the football to come back, always on the safety of our homes.