Posted on: May 28, 2020, 06:12h.
Last updated on: May 28, 2020, 06:26h.
The English Premier League (EPL) announced Thursday that it will return to play on June 17, 100 days after the league paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effort to finish the 2019-2020 season will begin with two games on Wednesday, June 17, and bookmakers have already set odds on the announced matchups.
Sportsbooks Waste No Time Posting Odds
William Hill lists Manchester City as a -250 favorite over Arsenal (+600) in one of the opening day matches, while Aston Villa (+195) hosts Sheffield United (+140) in the other. The rest of the Premier League schedule is still to be determined.
However, those first two games will put all 20 teams in the league on equal footing, having played 29 matches each. After that, matches will be played during weekends and mid-week, with all games televised and no two contests happening at the same time. This will allow fans to enjoy as much of the action as possible in a world where they will remain unable to attend matches in person.
Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said after Thursday’s meeting of league shareholders. “The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home.”
The return of the EPL could provide a significant boost for bookmakers. That’s primarily true in the UK. But American sportsbooks will also benefit, as the Premier League is the most popular foreign soccer league in the United States.
Liverpool Running Away With League Title
Bettors will mainly be interested in individual match betting, as there’s not much of a title race to speak of. Liverpool currently holds a 25-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the EPL table, with American sportsbooks largely not even offering odds on who will finish first. Even at foreign bookmakers, you won’t make much by betting on Liverpool at this point: Paddy Power is offering just 1/1000 (or -100000 in American odds) on the Reds winning the league.
Premier League clubs have been ramping-up activities to prepare for the likelihood of starting the season this summer. Earlier this week, clubs voted to allow players to train in close contact with each other.
The EPL won’t be the only league to resume play in June. Italy’s Serie A announced Thursday that it would return to action on June 20, following an agreement between the league and the Italian government.
“Italy is starting up again, and it’s only right that football can also get going,” Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora told reporters on Thursday. “In the light of this, we can say that the championship can start again on June 20.”
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