By Preye Campbell
Happy new month football lovers! Welcome to a new dawn, the COVID-19 season.
Although, this is much against my wish and belief as safety is paramount to everyone in these trying times, I am pretty much excited of the return of football in the rest of Europe’s top flight leagues.
This June, the English Premier League, La Liga and Serie A will refuel footballing actions across the borders of England, Spain and Italy respectively. And we can go back to watching our teams resume hostilities.
Then again, things won’t return to normlacy as the monster virus is still much in the air. Various rules have been proposed; empty stadia, the possibility of having up to five substitutions in a game (in the EPL), playing on neutral grounds. Everything seems to be a possibility at the moment.
Just as Lionel Messi, opined, football won’t be the same. Amd news circulating in the airwaves at the moment is on the readiness of players who now stand a higher risk of picking up injuries, thanks but no thanks to a loss of match fitness. We just might start preparing our minds for an unusual, cautionary, slow-paced football. At least, it’s better than not watching anything for two months.
While Eurpoean competitions remain undecided, there are a lot of talking points for the return of footballing action across these three leagues.
In the Premier league, June could be the month of Liverpool as they will return to wrapping things up for a first premier league title in thirty years. At the moment, victory in their first two games should just be enough to keep the title firm in the red side of Merseyside.
Liverpool are not just the team with an all-important mission; the battle for the final berth of a champions league spot thickens for Chelsea and Manchester United.
Chelsea currently occupy that position but they should be wary of a rejuvenated United side that lost none of their last eleven games in all competitions.
Tottenham Hotspurs and Nuno Espirito Santos’ Wolves are also lurking in the shadows.
In Spain, the fight for the crown continues between the heavyweights. Before the break Barcelona opened up two-point lead over Real Madrid. El Classico is already done with, so we expect a battle for La Liga.
Lazio were in the form of their lives before Coronavirus happened. Their resilient displays coupled with an Antonio Conte inspired Inter Milan team are the reasons why Juventus are yet to lift a ninth consecutive Serie A title. The Italian league has been laced with drama this season and we expect the same once the Serie A restarts.
These are bits of the incomplete script on European football this season. It may take a while to go back to normalcy- a long while I predict – but at least, we can have that football feeling back in our living rooms again.
A new dawn awaits us this June.