What are the big changes as Premier League football returns today?

17 June 2020, 10:24

Mark Schwarzer told LBC that the lack of crowd noise could give football fans a unique insight into a Premier League match as football returns tonight.

The Premier League is back following the break during the coronavirus lockdown, exactly 100 days since Leicester's 4-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Aston Villa host Sheffield United at 6pm before Manchester City face Arsenal at 8.15pm.

Mark Schwarzer, the goalkeeper with the second most Premier League appearances, told Nick Ferrari how football will be different.

"The obvious is that no one is going to be in the stands. We've seen in the Bundesliga in Germany the lack of atmosphere. They've tried to liven it up with music and fake fan noise.

"On TV, you can choose whether you listen to superimposed fan noise or listen as normal.

Mark Schwarzer explained how football will be different tonight
Mark Schwarzer explained how football will be different tonight. Picture: PA

"I've enjoyed listening to everything. You actually get to hear what managers are saying to players on the sideline and it brings you into a different dimension, giving you an opportunity to listen to something different on what goes on on the sidelines.

"To be able to get an insight in to what they're saying, how they're communicating to players and how emotional they get.

"Take Jurgen Klopp for example - is it direct messages coming out or is it all a lot of enthusiasm and emotion?"

Mikel Arteta will meet his mentor in the opposite dugout for the first time tonight
Mikel Arteta will meet his mentor in the opposite dugout for the first time tonight. Picture: PA

Five other ways that football will be different

Five substitutes
Teams will be able to use five substitutes per game, instead of the usual three. There will be nine playesr on the bench, so we will see more changes and more fringe players.

No crowd
Obviously the stadiums will be empty, so the big question is how that will affect the teams. Evidence in the Bundesliga has shown more away wins without the pull of the home crowd, so will we see the same in the Premier League?

Stay away from the referee
All the players may have been tested for Covid-19, but there are still some social distancing guidelines in place. Players have been told to remain two metres away from the official at all times. Will this be the end of the aggressive haranguing of the referee?

No handshakes
There will be no player handshakes before the game and no managerial ones afterwards.

And what about goal celebrations?
Players have been asked not to hug and kiss to celebrate a goal. But will that still be the case with a last-minute winner in a local derby?