Premier League confirms June 17 as provisional restart date
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Finally.

The Premier League confirmed Thursday that Wednesday, June 17 is the provisional restart date of the 2019-20 season.

"This date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority," Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said.

"Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums."

Manchester City are set to host Arsenal while Sheffield United travel to Aston Villa to kick-start the campaign's return. After those two fixtures conclude the 29th round of matches, a full weekend slate can be played June 19-21.

No date was provided for when the Premier League aims to complete its remaining 92 matches. The Football Association revealed on Friday that the FA Cup final is provisionally slated for Aug. 1.

Premier League kickoff times (ET):

  • Monday - 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday - 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday - 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Thursday - 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Friday - 3 p.m.
  • Saturday - 7:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m.
  • Sunday - 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m.

Liverpool require only six points to win their first English league title in 30 years. The Reds could capture the Premier League crown during their first weekend back in action if they beat Merseyside rivals Everton after Manchester City lose to Arsenal.

The decision to resume follows two major developments on Wednesday. Firstly, Premier League clubs unanimously voted to move into the next phase of training which allows squads to work "as a group and engage in tackling while minimizing any unnecessary close contact." Then, the top flight uncovered just four new coronavirus cases after conducting 1,008 tests in its third round of checks.

Despite a few positive days for the Premier League's Project Restart, some players are still skeptical about the safety of returning to action.

Relegation-threatened Watford may resume their season without captain Troy Deeney after he chose to not participate in training over concerns he could infect his 5-month-old son, who has breathing difficulties. Chelsea were also reportedly prepared to allow N'Golo Kante to miss the rest of the season, but the midfielder apparently started individual drills Thursday. Kante missed a match in March 2018 after fainting in front of his teammates during a training session. Cardiology tests didn't reveal a heart issue for Kante, but his brother Niamh died of a heart attack later in 2018.

Overall, 12 people have tested positive after 2,752 checks of Premier League players and staff. Defender Adrian Mariappa returned to Watford training on Thursday following his positive result on May 19. Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale is the last known player to reveal he contracted COVID-19 after he described his diagnosis as "scary and worrying."

To date, the United Kingdom's confirmed COVID-19 cases exceed 270,500 with almost 38,000 related deaths.

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Premier League confirms June 17 as provisional restart date
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