Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp cannot wait for English football’s return after a three-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic and promised to celebrate the Premier League title in style when it is safe to do so.
Liverpool are just two wins away from securing their first league title in 30 years.
The Reds held a commanding 25-point lead over Manchester City when play was halted in March.
Klopp’s men could even clinch the title with victory in their first game back if City lose to Arsenal in one of two games scheduled to take place on June 17, before the first full round of matches the following weekend.
“I have missed it so much it’s unbelievable,” Klopp said.
“I know it’s not the most important thing in life but it is my passion. I hope the people are looking forward to it because we are.”
After such a long wait to win the Premier League, Liverpool face the anti-climax of doing so in front of empty stands with all remaining 92 league games to be played behind closed doors. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet
A year ago to the day, tens of thousands of fans poured onto the streets around Liverpool to celebrate a sixth European Cup win.
And Klopp insisted there will be a parade to celebrate the title, even if it is many months after the league is won.
The season kick backs into action with a local derby between Sevilla and Real Betis on June 11 and there will be fixtures for the following seven days, with Barca hosting Leganes on June 16 and Real playing at home to Valencia on June 18.
As in the Bundesliga, which earlier in May became the first major European league to start up again after being disrupted by the pandemic, all La Liga matches until the end of the season will take place without spectators.
Real Madrid will play their remaining six home games at the 6,000-capacity Estadio Alfredo di Stefano based at their training ground, a league source confirmed, as they are currently renovating their Santiago Bernabeu home.
Levante will also be making adjustments to their Ciutat de Valencia stadium when the season starts up again and confirmed last week they will play their final home games in the town of La Nucia, more than 150 kilometres away from their usual ground.
Barca were leading Real by two points after 27 matches when the campaign was postponed back in March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Organisers have only released scheduling details for the first two rounds of fixtures although La Liga chief Javier Tebas confirmed that there will be matches every day of the week until the season is completed on July 19.
If you are looking for updates on all European Football Leagues and when they are scheduled to return we have all the latest information available below.
Albania: Superliga – After a meeting between the football federation and Superliga clubs representative it was decided that the league will officially resume on June 6 and will end on July 29th, 2020. The Albanian Cup final is set to take place on August 2.
Albania 1st League is set to return on June 7, with the competition going on until August 2 – playoff matches are scheduled for August 5 and 6.
Albania 2nd League the championship will resume on June 7, as well as 1 League. The 2 League is expected to end on July 15, and then playoffs will be played.
After a meeting between the AFF (Albanian Football League) and youth Academies that took place on 25.05.2020 it was decided that U-15, U-17, and U-19 competitions will start on June 14, 2020.
Andorra: Representatives of the Andorra Football Federation (FAF) will meet on June 1 with Government officials to clarify the possible return of football and the approval of a protocol on how to proceed.
According to the protocol in early June small group training up to 5 people should begin. The next phase would be to allow group training on June 11. The last phase is to resume the competition on June 22. Start forecasting your weekend games now
Armenia: Playing – Premier League was resumed on May 23, First League will follow on May 30 – According to the FFA official website. Moreover, each team will be allowed to make up to 5 substitutions to prevent possible injures of the players because of the break due to the coronavirus.
The matches of the first round on both leagues will be held without spectators, in the future taking into account the situation with the Covid-19 in the country the restriction will be discussed.
The Premier League season is set to restart on June 17, three months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, British media reported on Thursday.
No matches have been played since Leicester’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9, with Liverpool just two wins away from securing the title.
Top-flight clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to return to contact training and were meeting again on Thursday to discuss issues such as the restart date and the rebate to broadcasters.
The BBC reported that the first two matches would be Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal. Those matches are the two games in hand. Start forecasting your Bundesliga weekend games Now
A full fixture list would then be played on the weekend of June 19-21.
So far, 12 people have tested positive for coronavirus after 2,752 tests across the Premier League.
Serie A’s hopes of following Germany and Spain back onto the pitch will be decided on Thursday in a meeting with the Italian government which will determine the fate of the season in Italy.
Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora will tell representatives from the Italian football federation and Lega Serie A if the health conditions are right to return to action after nearly three months.
The season has been on hold since March 9 when it was halted as coronavirus infections spread rapidly in Italy. The pandemic has killed almost 33 000 people in the country.
Clubs returned to group training on May 19 but competitive action remains suspended until mid-June.
The indications are that Spadafora and the government’s Scientific Technical Committee will agree to both implementing a health protocol and to resume the season. Place bet on today’s virtual games on NaijaBet
If there is a green light on Thursday, Lega Serie A will meet on Friday to examine “the different calendar hypotheses” for the remaining Serie A and Italian Cup matches.
Premier League clubs on Wednesday voted unanimously to return to contact training, including tackling, as the English top flight moved a step closer to a resumption after the stoppage due to the novel coronavirus.
A statement, following a meeting of all 20 clubs, said: “Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.
“The Premier League’s priority is the health and wellbeing of all participants.”
Clubs last week returned to training in small groups without contact and under strict health protocols.
There have been no Premier League matches since early March because of the coronavirus pandemic and 92 fixtures remain.
Lyon will challenge the decision to end the Ligue 1 season early because of the coronavirus pandemic before the Council of State, France’s highest administrative court.
The club criticised the April 30 ruling made by the French league (LFP) to declare the season over following an announcement by the government that football could not restart because of the health crisis.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas also wrote a letter on Monday to France’s prime minister and sports minister urging them to reconsider the decision, with the government expected to announce next week a further loosening of the lockdown.
“Could we imagine that 2 June is also a great opportunity to rectify the mistake concerning French football and to allow, with a health protocol used everywhere, a gradual resumption of training and, why not, a resumption of the 2019-20 season over the months of July or August?” Aulas said. Don’t miss today’s bundesliga games on NaijaBet
Lyon, who have reached this season’s Champions League last 16, were left seventh in the standings and outside the European qualification places when the season was halted.
An administrative court in Paris has already rejected an appeal from the club.
Bayern Munich aim to continue the Bundesliga’s current trend of teams winning on the road behind closed doors when they face Borussia Dortmund in a potential title decider on Tuesday.
Leaders Bayern arrive at second-placed Dortmund four points clear and on course for an eighth straight title.
“For us this is a very decisive week,” insisted Bayern forward Thomas Mueller.
“We’ve clearly set ourselves the goal of three victories this week and taking a giant step forward” towards the league title.
Bayern warmed-up by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 at the weekend and also host relegation-threatened Fortuna Duesseldorf this Saturday.
Since the Bundesliga resumed ten days ago, behind locked doors due to the coronavirus, home advantage has counted for little with 10 of the 18 games played won by the away team.
Bayern and Dortmund are among only three clubs – the other being Hertha Berlin who thrashed neighbours FC Union 4-0 on Friday – to have won at home since the restart. Start forecasting your games now on NaijaBet.com
Hansi Flick’s Bayern are eager to continue the trend and again assert their dominance over Dortmund, who they routed 4-0 in Munich last November.
N’Golo Kante has been allowed to stay away from Chelsea’s return to training due to his coronavirus fears.
The French World Cup winner joined up with Frank Lampard’s squad on Tuesday as Chelsea resumed training following the Premier League’s decision to allow socially distanced sessions.
But the 29-year-old missed Wednesday’s small group practice with the blessing of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who is reported to have allowed him to train at home on compassionate leave.
Kante, who tested negative for the virus during this week’s first batch of checks, is said to be unconvinced it is safe to train with his teammates while the pandemic is yet to be subdued in Britain.
Black and ethnic minorities are at greater risk of serious illness if they contract the virus, according to the Office for National Statistics. Get free bonus on NaijaBet
Midfielder Kante is understood to have mostly remained indoors with one of his brothers since the suspension of the Premier League season on March 13.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he will not put his players at risk or force them back into action against their will as the Premier League leaders returned to training in small groups on Wednesday.
Klopp’s side were just two victories away from ending a 30-year wait to win the title when the English top-flight was shutdown more than two months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Six positive cases of Covid-19 were detected in the Premier League’s first round of 748 tests of players and staff ahead of a return to socially distanced training this week.
Klopp reiterated his priority is the health of those involved, but believes it is now safe for players to return to phase one of training.
“We would never put anybody in danger to do what we want to do. Yes, we love football, yes, it’s our job, but it’s not more important than our lives or the lives of other people,” Klopp said. Start forecasting your Bundesliga games Now
“In this case if you don’t feel safe, you don’t have to be here.”
Italy’s Serie A teams have been given the green light to resume group training but will have to wait until May 28 to know whether the season can resume, Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Tuesday.
Spadafora told Italian television that government scientists had accepted the Italian football federation’s (FIGC) revised health protocol.
“The Scientific Technical Committee have approved the FIGC protocol for the resumption of team training,” Spadafora told Rai.
“It is excellent news, collective training can now resume.”
Spadafora said he has scheduled a meeting on May 28 with FIGC president Gabriele Gravina and Lega Serie A chief Paolo Dal Pino to decide on the return to competition.
“We will then decide if and when Serie A will restart,” he said. Make cool cash on today’s SRL on NaijaBet
“The important thing will be to restart with the firm intention of completing the championship, then the federations will decide the modalities and formats to be adopted.”
The minister said that a controversial measure of isolating team members for two weeks at club facilities to limit the risk of contagion has been withdrawn.
Manchester United have warned fans to stay away from matches played behind closed doors at Old Trafford if the Premier League restarts amid the corona virus crisis.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are set to resume small group training on Wednesday as Premier League clubs step up the “Project Restart” plan to finish the season.
But all 92 remaining matches will have to be played in front of empty stands due to the pandemic, leading United to activate a refund or rebate to ticket holders for their remaining home fixtures.
If the Premier League get their wish to play at clubs’ normal stadiums rather than at neutral venues, then United will have four home league matches to play.
Aware of the danger of supporters gathering in large groups during the health crisis, United have pleaded with their fans to stay away from matches and watch on television. Place bet 24/7 on Live Matches on NaijaBet
“We share your disappointment that you will not be able to watch United in person from within the stadium, but we would encourage you to give your continued loyal support from the comfort and safety of your home,” United said in an email to supporters on Tuesday.
The Greek Super League is waiting on government approval to return from its coronavirus-enforced suspension on 6 June after the league’s board voted unanimously on Monday to complete the 2019-20 campaign.
A positive decision to Monday’s request is expected from the state health authorities this week.
An important step towards resumption was made with clubs being allowed to begin training in larger groups in line with health protocols.
The play-offs to determine the title and European spots is expected to be completed by July 19 with the Greek Cup semifinals between PAOK and Olympiakos and AEK and Aris to follow.
Government health authorities said last week that should league action resume and a player is found to be affected by Covid-19, he would be placed in quarantine at home and the rest of the team will be isolated for five days. Play Bet on today’s games 24/7 on NaijaBet
Up to now, no player has been found with the virus during regular checks at training sessions.
Premier League clubs will return to training on Tuesday after agreeing to allow “small group” sessions to begin, the first step on the road to a return to competitive action.
The league held a conference call for all 20 clubs on Monday where the move was given unanimous backing.
It is the first move in the league’s ‘Project Restart’ plans to restart play in the league, which has not held a game since March 9 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Failure to resume the season could cost the league around 750 million pounds ($913.80 million) in lost revenue from broadcasters according to British media estimates.
Some reports said clubs could lose out even if the league restarts should broadcasters demand a 330 million pounds rebate. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet.com
“Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to return to small group training from tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon – the first step towards restarting the Premier League, when safe to do so,” the league said in a statement.
Thomas Mueller joked that the Bundesliga without fans feels like “old man’s football, 7pm, under floodlights” after Bayern Munich brushed aside Union Berlin 2-0 behind closed doors on Sunday.
A first-half Robert Lewandowski penalty and a late Benjamin Pavard header sealed Bayern’s win in front of empty terraces in Berlin.
The result leaves defending champions Bayern four points clear as the German league restarted this weekend after a two-month hiatus due to the Covid-19 virus.
However, Mueller admitted it was strange to play Union behind closed doors at their compact Alten Foersterei stadium, which is usually packed with 22 000 passionate home fans.
“It felt a bit like the atmosphere you get for old man’s football, 7pm, under floodlights, but as soon as the ball started to roll, the game took our focus,” said Mueller.
The Bundesliga became the first top European league to resume this weekend, using draconian hygiene guidelines, regular testing of players and insisting on games in near-empty stadiums.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski says he is fitter than ever ahead of Sunday’s Bundesliga clash at FC Union Berlin and taking advice from World Cup record-holder Miroslav Klose.
The 41-year-old Klose, who holds the record of 16 goals scored at World Cup finals, has joined Bayern’s staff and will be next to head coach Hansi Flick on the bench on Sunday.
Lewandowski, 31, is enjoying the best season of his career, netting 25 goals in 23 league games and on course to better his 30-goal haul in both 2015/16 and 2016/17.
The league’s top-scorer has used the time since the Bundesliga halted in mid-March, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, to improve his fitness.
“I feel better than ever before because I was able to work hard on my physical fitness for the last two months,” said Lewandowski, who underwent groin surgery in December. #NaijaBetBundesliga is back on NaijaBet.com with boosted odds
The Bundesliga will become the first top European league to return this weekend during the pandemic with games behind closed doors.
Bayern head to Berlin with a four-point lead at the top of the table.
The German league takes the spotlight on Saturday as the first top European league to resume during the coronavirus pandemic, with one coach admitting it feels like “flying blind”.
After a two-month break, the German Football League (DFL) had to submit an extraordinarily detailed plan of measures to gain approval for the restart from Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state leaders.
With league football still at least a month away in England, Italy and Spain, and France having already decided to end its season, the Bundesliga games this weekend will be beamed around the world.
Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert has warned the matches, played in empty stadiums because of the risk of infection, will “look and feel different”.
ELBOW TAPS, FACE MASKS
The shouts of players will echo around the empty stands and goals will have to be celebrated with elbow or foot taps because players have been ordered to avoid hugs or handshakes. Start forecasting your games Now
Substitutes and coaches on the bench must wear protective masks.
Match fitness is a concern as teams only started training sessions for the whole squad last week having previously worked in small groups.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic has said the adductor injury that has kept him out of action since January was more serious than initially suspected but he has been able to get back to full fitness during the Covid-19 shutdown.
The 21-year-old, who became the most expensive American soccer player when he joined Chelsea in January 2019 for 64 million euros ($69.13 million), has not played since the 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion on New Year’s Day.
“I didn’t take it as seriously as I think I should have. It was one of those you felt you could do a lot of things but you try to push it that one extra step and realise it’s not ready yet,” Pulisic told Chelsea’s website
“It was very tough and frustrating going through times like that. I underestimated it and tried to get back as soon as I could because I just wanted to play so bad.
“If anything, I’ve given myself a little more time to rest now and make sure that I’m 100 per cent fit. I’d say I’m fully recovered and ready to go as soon as we get back.” Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet
Pulisic, named the US soccer federation’s men’s Player of the Year in December, has scored five goals in 16 league appearances this season.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he is “desperate” for the return of Premier League action despite mounting concerns about the English top-flight’s restart plans.
Several stars including Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have gone public with fears about resuming the season during the coronavirus crisis.
Some top-flight bosses are also understood to have expressed concerns about the plan to play from mid-June when they spoke during a League Managers Association meeting on Wednesday.
But Mourinho said he would relish the chance to get back to work despite the challenges and risks posed by the pandemic.
“I have not asked for any delay,” Mourinho said in a statement on Thursday. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
“I want to train, and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it is safe to do so, particularly now we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.”
Teams competing in South America’s Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana have been told players must avoid spitting and kissing the ball as part of new rules published by the region’s football governing body (CONMEBOL) to combat Covid-19.
The two flagship tournaments were suspended in March due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and new start dates have still to be decided.
CONMEBOL also said in a statement that players must not blow mucus from their nose or swap shirts after the game, and they must use their own personal water bottles. In addition, face masks must be worn when giving post-match interviews and by substitutes on the bench.
Belgian football is anticipating a stormy end to the season on Friday when key decisions about the campaign are finally decided in the boardroom.
While play for the rest of the season has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, decisions must still be made over whether to declare a champion, promotion and relegation as well as places in next season’s European club competitions.
Belgium was the first country in Europe to end the campaign but that decision made by the Pro League board – which at the time saw runaway leaders Club Brugge hailed as champions – has yet to be ratified by the clubs, some six weeks on.
They finally meet for a general assembly, via video conference, on Friday after several postponements, which had offered hopes of a change of heart.
But any possible decision to go back on the decision to cancel the season was ended last week when Belgium’s government extended a ban on sports events until July 31. Place bet and make cool cash online 24/7 on NaijaBet
A working group was established to thrash out the details of the season but has had its work muddied by lobbying from clubs, Belgian media have reported.
Portugal’s top-flight soccer division will restart on June 4 after being halted since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the league’s organising body said in a statement on Tuesday.
The government had initially given May 30 as the date for action to resume but the league said the first match would take place on June 4 in order to allow enough time for stadiums to be inspected and for all players to undergo tests for the virus.
Porto led the standings by one point over champions Benfica when the season was indefinitely postponed, with 10 games remaining.
Joan Laporta has said he will seek to bring former manager Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona if his bid to return as president of the La Liga club in 2021 is successful, as reported on media .
Laporta was Barcelona president from 2003 to 2010 and was at the helm when Guardiola was promoted from the youth team to manager of the senior team in 2008.
Guardiola is under contract at Manchester City until June 2021 but his future is in doubt after Uefa handed the club a two-year ban from European competition for breaching Financial Fair Play rules, a ruling City have appealed.
“I’m working to introduce myself as a presidential candidate. I’ve been president before and I’m excited to be back,” Laporta was quoted as saying on Catalan station TV3. Play Now on Naija and Bet
“I would very much like Guardiola to come back, but now he is at City and it is a decision that Pep should take. He is a benchmark for Barcelona and many Catalans would like him to coach Barca again.
Italy’s Serie A clubs will be allowed to start team training from May 18 “with prudence”, the government said on Monday in a boost for plans to resume the season.
So far clubs have only been allowed to train on an individual basis and respecting social distancing rules, often with players having half a pitch to themselves.
Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and the government has yet to decide if it will allow the season to be completed but Monday’s announcement was a step forward.
The government said its technical-scientific committee had conducted a close examination of the protocol which the Italian football federation (FIGC) plans to implement to ensure training can be conducted safely.
In a joint statement from Health Minister Roberto Speranza and Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora, it said the committee had ordered some changes, which were not specified, but had given the green light for group training to restart. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet
“The committee’s indications, which are to be considered stringent and binding, will be sent to the FIGC for the necessary adjustments to the protocol so as to allow the safe resumption of team training from 18 May,” it said.
Premier League clubs are meeting on today May 11 to discuss their plans to restart the current season, after the stoppage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as they await detailed policy instructions from the UK government.
A series of meetings are scheduled for this week, including with the government, who are expected on Tuesday to publish a paper on plans and guidelines for elite sport.
No vote on the proposal for games to be held at neutral grounds is expected but consultations will go on throughout the coming days with players and managers as well as government officials and medical experts.
The Premier League is hoping to get the green light for a restart to the 2019-20 season in June but has to give European governing body Uefa details of their plans by May 25.