The 2019-20 Premier League campaign has a provisional date of 17 June to restart the season, with Arsenal at Manchester City being one of the two matches to take place on the opening day.
This news comes just days after Premier League clubs and officials agreed to phase two of Project Restart which will see players train as a group and engage in tackling.
The first week of training had limited players to maximum groups of five with no contact and for a maximum of 75 minutes.
When our campaign was suspended in mid-March we still had 10 games to play and were sitting in ninth, but only three points behind Wolverhampton Wanderers in sixth. Our trip to Manchester City midweek will be a game in hand on the majority of sides above us.
With Manchester City having already claimed the Carabao Cup and four of the top-five teams still in the running for the FA Cup, we likely only need a top-seven finish to get back into the Europa League. Sportsbooks were very quick in rating the Gunners at 3/1 to finish in the top 6, though according to SportsBettingDime we’d likely be in the range of 7/4 to finish top-seven (if books were to ever offer such a thing).
A top seven finish certainly looks possible, if not probable. Given that any resumption to the season would likely be done over a short period, meaning lots of midweek games, our strength in depth would benefit us greatly.
Alexandre Lacazette had only started 15 of our 28 Premier League games, Nicolas Pepe 17, Dani Ceballos 10, Ainsley Maitland-Niles 14, Bukayo Saka 12, Lucas Torreira 15 and Gabriel Martinelli just 6.
These players are a lot stronger than the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Wolves and Sheffield United will have to rotate in.
Prior to the league’s suspension we’d started to look very good under Mikel Arteta too, unbeaten in 2020 and having won our last three Premier League games, which included a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle United. Call me optimistic, but I’m not ruling out overtaking Chelsea in fourth, currently eight points behind with a game in hand.
Our remaining fixtures do include trips to Manchester City, Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur, whilst hosting Leicester City and Liverpool though. However, the Reds will have the title wrapped up by then so will arguably have nothing to play for, whilst Spurs aren’t all that anyway. Leicester had started dropping points prior to the league’s suspension too. Playing Wolves and Spurs essentially puts our hope of finishing in the top seven in our own hands.
Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford are both among our remaining fixtures too – two teams who have been vocal about not wanting the season to resume. Maybe that will work in our favour too.
Aside from us, Wolves still have to face Sheffield United (away), Everton (home) and Chelsea (away).
Above us, Sheffield United still have to face Leicester (away), Manchester United (away), Chelsea (home), Wolves (home) and Spurs (home).
Tottenham themselves have Manchester United (home), Leicester (home) and Everton (home) as well as us.