After three months without it, the Premier League finally returns on 17th June with a clash of its biggest titans for everyone across Europe to watch with bated breath.
In actual fact, Aston Villa welcomes Sheffield United to Villa Park as Jack Grealish will look to provide the most herculean of efforts in his young career to prevent his beloved boyhood club from returning to the Championship.
Villa and Sheffield contribute 2/3 of last season's promoted sides, with Norwich making up the missing part of the equation following their record-breaking title in the Championship last year.
Since then it's been all struggle and not much joy for the Norfolk based club, who find themselves four points off of Villa in 19th and another two away from safety.
Also down in the dangerous part of the table are West Ham, Watford, Newcastle, Bournemouth, and even Brighton who despite being in 15th place in the table, sit just four points clear of Villa.
The Pick ‘n Mix style battle for the drop means that Villa’s game in hand will be even more important in deciding the future of a host of clubs, with a win taking them up as high as 16th.
Above the relegation fight, there has been far easier sleeping for the managers of Southampton and Newcastle who both seem safe in their respective spots and only need a couple wins from the final games to reach the magical 40 point barrier.
Having to name Everton, Crystal Palace, and Burnley as the safe mid-table sides in the Premier League equivalent to saying “if it had gone in, it would have been a goal” - not at all surprising and only really interesting if you’re involved.
Then the rivalry of Tottenham and Arsenal lies 8th and 9th respectively.
“The Gunners” prepared for the leagues restart in stylish fashion by losing at home to Championship side Brentford and the two sides from North London are hoping that their grudge match on the 11th July is enough to stop their fans from falling asleep with nine games remaining.
Manchester United, Wolves and Sheffield all look in position for a run at the Europa League places with just a couple points between them, but with fourth place looking more and more like Chelsea’s to lose, Champions League might be a bridge too far.
Brendan Rodgers Leicester City masterclass in 3rd has a good chance of continuing until the end of the season with a nice healthy gap to Chelsea behind and some Tuesday/Wednesday night games to look forward to.
At the head of the table, the battle for the title exists not between Liverpool and Manchester City, but instead only between Jurgen Klopp and the person who designs the Premier League schedule.
With the trophy all but in their hands, the decision to win the title either away at local rivals Everton or even at home to Pep Guardiola’s City on the 2nd July seems rather tempting after three months with no games and no celebration.
In total, 92 fixtures still remain of the 2019/20 season to be watched and broken down across the various TV channels, but which ones should you be looking out for?
EVERTON VS LIVERPOOL, 21ST JUNE
An easy one to add to this list, Liverpool claiming the title in front of the local Everton faithful would be a remarkable path for the already wild 2019/20 season to take. Having waited so long for their first-ever Premier League trophy, the Goodison Park medical staff will need to be on the lookout for Liverpool fans fainting in pure excitement or Jurgen Klopp hyperventilating. Sealing it on the first weekend would still rely on Manchester City losing to Arsenal on the 17th, which is more likely given the amount of unknown that comes with the season restarting over a quarter of a year late.
NORWICH VS BRIGHTON, 4TH JULY
Norwich’s spirited fight to stay in the league could all be decided when they host 15th place, Brighton, in the 4th round of games after the recommencement. With the Canaries currently two full wins away from safety, any shot at survival seems a slim one and might rely on another Delia Smith intervention. Victory over another one of the struggling teams would not only give Norwich the boost they need but would also place Brighton on the outskirts of the relegation picture with only a few games to go.
SHEFFIELD UNITED VS WOLVES, 8TH JULY
Depending on how the first few games pan out for both Wolves and Sheffield, this game could quite easily end up being the defining moment in the battle for a Europa League spot. The fairy-tale first Premier League season is possible according to United manager Chris Wilder, but the big question will be whether his team of underdogs can keep up their impressive form after the break with a tough run-in of fixtures to play.
BOURNEMOUTH VS SOUTHAMPTON, 18TH JULY
When local rivalries and relegation battles mix, it often leaves someone with tears in their eyes and some sad music in the car ride home. Luckily for Southampton only a pretty severe collapse would leave themselves in danger come the last few weeks of the season, but a chance to put their 18th placed local rivals Bournemouth back into the Championship would be a moment to remember for many of the fans.
WEST HAM VS VILLA, 26TH JULY
If Aston Villa remains in the dropzone by the final weekend of games, they could be set for a tough challenge to stay up. West Ham has once again found themselves in a relegation scrap they didn’t need to be a part of and will need to give it their all. This makes the task even tougher for Dean Smith’s men who could quite conceivably end up playing 17th place vs 18th place on the final day in a last, desperate surge for survival.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk