Liverpool could end their 30-year title drought at home after all when the English Premier League resumes after the COVID-19 pandemic-enforced suspension.
Police originally indicated that they wanted the club’s second game after the restart against Crystal Palace to be at a neutral venue because of concerns that supporters could congregate outside Anfield, while they are prohibited from being inside.
However, the game on June 24 has been scheduled at Liverpool’s home stadium.
Liverpool lead second-placed Manchester City by 25 points and are two wins from winning the title.
Juergen Klopp’s side could clinch the trophy in their first game back against Everton if City lose to Arsenal on June 17. A few hours before that game in Manchester, a match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United is to mark the return of the league from its 100-day coronavirus shutdown.
A reconfigured Premier League schedule released on Friday initially sees 32 games in 16 days — only two days will be without any action. Every game is to be shown live in Britain — many for free in an unprecedented move — because fans will not be allowed at games for the remainder of the season, which is due to end on the final weekend of next month. Pubs are also due to remain closed in England until at least next month.
Sky Sports and BT Sport, who are the main domestic rights holders, will offer fans the option of watching games with pre-recorded crowd noise to cover the silence from stadiums. Sky Sports will have team-specific audio from FIFA video game producer EA Sports.
There will also be new online services to link up housebound fans in video chats alongside game feeds: Watch Together on BT and Fanzone on Sky.
“With live sport on hold for over two months, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we broadcast in new ways to bring fans together, even if they can’t meet up to watch the match,” Sky Sports managing director Rob Webster said.
DJOKOVIC’S SHADOW: Djokovic landed in Dubai after his deportation, while Serbia’s president said that Australia had ‘harassed’ and ‘humiliated’ the world No. 1 player Rafael Nadal yesterday opened his Australian Open campaign in storming style, as the first Grand Slam of the year finally began after a chaotic buildup dominated by the visa saga engulfing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Defending women’s champion Naomi Osaka breezed into the second round, as did world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, but teenager Coco Gauff was an early big name casualty. The American 17-year-old was dumped out in straight sets by China’s Wang Qiang, who is ranked outside the top 100. The only Australian Open champion in the men’s draw after nine-time winner Djokovic’s sensational deportation, Nadal started his quest
The NBA has once again found itself in a China-linked controversy after serial dealmaker Chamath Palihapitiya, a part owner of the Golden State Warriors, dismissed concerns over human rights abuses facing the Uighur minority in China. “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uighurs, OK?” the Sri Lankan-born investor said during an episode of the All-In podcast on Saturday, reacting to a comment from cohost Jason Calacanis about the administration of US President Joe Biden’s “very strong” stance on the issue. “I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth, OK? Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below
China’s freestyle skier Eileen Gu late on Tuesday announced her arrival in Beijing to her 1.3 million followers on Sina Weibo, as the 18-year-old prepares to take part in the Winter Olympic Games. The San Francisco native, who is also known in China by her Mandarin name Ailing and whose mother is from Beijing, is one of Team China’s best-known athletes. After starting her career competing for the US, she switched to represent China in 2019, winning a number of titles for the country over the past two years. As part of the Olympic bubble, Gu can skip the standard three-week quarantine and
The MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates are “expected to sign” right-handed Taiwanese pitcher Chang Hung-leng for a US$500,000 signing bonus, MLB.com reported on Saturday. Twenty-year-old Chang, who graduated from Kaohsiung Municipal Sanmin Senior High School in 2020, has been a focus of local and international talent scouts because his fastballs can reach up to 151kph. After graduating high school, the 1.9m tall Chang joined a baseball training program at Asia University in Taichung, and turned out for the semi-professional Taiwan Power baseball team. If the deal closes, he would become the third active Taiwanese player in the Pirates system, joining pitcher Chen Po-yu and infielder