We head to the blue side of Liverpool for this post.
(Almost) All The Way Up: The Toffees are one of six teams to have not been relegated in the Premier League era, and the club feels like its brimming with potential at the beginning of so many seasons. The fits and starts of late have only served to fuel hope for a return to glory; Remember: Everton won the league twice in the 1980s and claimed a Cup Winners’ Cup, too, when they outlasted Dublin, Internacional Bratislava, Fortuna Sittard, Bayern Munich, and finally Rapid Vienna to lift the silverware in 1985 at Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam. With a young local brood — Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate — coming into its own alongside Richarlison and Lucas Digne, can the Toffees ride back into Europe?
Commitment to Community: This club puts a special stamp on being a part of its community through Everton in the Community. We especially love “The Goodison Sleepout,” where the Toffees’ U-23s join members of the communities in spending the night at stadium to raise money for young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. It’s an incredible organization and an inspiration for community-based clubs around the world.
The Merseyside Derby: No club feels right without its top villain, and Liverpool and Everton wage at least two intense battles a year between Anfield and Goodison Park. This part of the post feels a little goofy at the moment given the Reds dominance over the derby — The Reds have 11 wins and 10 draws since Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta keyed a 2010 win at Goodison — but make no mistake about the atmosphere between these two. The potential is there for it to stand alone as the most important derby on a league calendar.
Tim Howard: Yeah, this fellas hasn’t been with the Toffees for some time, but he left Goodison with the third-most appearances in club history. Leighton Baines has since past Howard’s 413 appearances but the American goalkeeper is safely in the Toffees’ top four unless Phil Jagielka transfers back (Seamus Coleman is 103 behind). Howard was so, so good.
In a statement released by the League One club they confirmed James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Sean Raggett and Haji Mnoga have coronavirus.
“They are all self-isolating in accordance with government guidelines and will continue to follow medical advice. The club have also notified Public Health England. All players and first team staff were tested earlier in the week and we are still awaiting approximately half of the results of these tests.
“Chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘I received the news last night and immediately spoke to Kenny [Jackett] and head physio Bobby Bacic. Kenny and I then spoke to all three players. Football is not immune from this virus and I can assure you that it only really hits home when those that you know contract it. All three players were in good spirits and perfectly calm – showing mild or no symptoms – and are looking forward to overcoming it as quickly as possible.’
Bolton, Cannon and Raggett were in the squad to play against Arsenal in the FA Cup but there is no suggestion that that is when they caught the virus. The same trip have all played in Portsmouth’s two league games since their defeat against Arsenal, as they lost at Peterborough and drew with Fleetwood Town at home.
Portsmouth are the latest team to be hit by the spread of coronavirus as Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive, plus multiple players from Alaves in Spain, plus Sampdoria and Juventus in Italy have also tested positive for COVID-19.
In an interview with the Telegraph Charlie Austin, currently of Championship side West Bromwich Albion and formerly of Southampton and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, said he’s experienced symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19. In a separate tweet, he clarified that he hasn’t been tested for the disease, but once he started feeling symptoms and spoke with West Bromwich Albion’s doctor Kevin Conrad, he immediately self-isolated in his home. His family were advised to do the same for the standard 14-day period.
To clarify, doctor said my symptoms were consistent with coronavirus. I was not tested (as has been inaccurately reported elsewhere). As per majority with Covid-19 symptoms, I immediately self-isolated. This from @SamWallaceTel reports my story in detailhttps://t.co/AcmcByv5Hy
The 30-year-old striker stated he thought that he may have been infected while attending the Cheltenham Festival, an annual horse racing event that draws crowds of 250,000 and more. Austin said that he is going public with his diagnosis as a warning that despite rumors and reports that young people can easily battle the virus, his situation was proof that it’s a very serious health concern.
“Before I started feeling the symptoms on Saturday I was on the phone to my wife Bianca’s mother and I said to her that I hoped if anyone in our family got it that it would be me,” Austin said. “I felt like I was fit and healthy and I could handle it. A week later and I would say to anyone, even those in their 20s and 30s – ‘Don’t take it lightly – it’s serious’. I get that people who haven’t got it are going about their lives. Last week, I was living my life. Not that I didn’t take coronavirus seriously. But this is extremely serious and we should take it that way.”
Austin detailed how his temperature spiked over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, he developed a cough, and later had common symptoms associated with a fever. Austin’s point is to show that despite being in shape and a professional athlete, even he could suffer from the disease.
In his first season at West Bromwich after four years with Southampton, Austin has scored eight league goals in 26 matches. Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi is the only soccer player in England’s top two leagues who has publicly revealed that he’s tested positive for the virus, along with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
With Liverpool so close to its first Premier League title, uneven giants battling for European places, and three clubs tied for 18th place on the table, well, we needed somewhere to turn.
We went with FIFA20 to see how the table will play out, who will claim the FA Cup, and which Premier League sides might thrive in the Champions League and Europa League.
Let’s follow the path, starting with two postponed matches.
Postponed matches: City pulls back within 22 points of Liverpool, as Mikel Arteta doesn’t come close to outfoxing his old boss Pep Guardiola. Meanwhile, Mbwana Samatta strikes late to steal a point for Villa and pull them within a point of West Ham, Watford, and Bournemouth.
Man City 4-1 Arsenal Villa 1-1 Sheffield United
Matchday 30: A historic kind of day, as Man City is the only host to win a match. Spurs’ Jose Mourinho gets a draw versus Man Utd, while Liverpool crushes Everton behind a Sadio Mane hat trick.
Norwich City 0-0 Saints West Ham 0-1 Wolves Bournemouth 2-2 Palace Brighton 1-2 Arsenal Everton 1-3 Liverpool Spurs 1-1 Man Utd Villa 0-2 Chelsea Watford 1-2 Leicester City Newcastle 1-1 Sheffield United Man City 2-0 Burnley
Matchday 31: Arsenal moves four points clear of Spurs, who fall to an inspired West Ham. The Irons pull out of the drop zone… for good.
Newcastle 2-0 Villa Burnley 0-0 Watford Wolves 2-1 Bournemouth Liverpool 2-0 Palace Leicester City 3-0 Brighton Norwich City 1-1 Everton Spurs 0-2 West Ham Southampton 1-3 Arsenal Man Utd 3-0 Sheff Utd Chelsea 2-4 Man City
Matchday 32: Liverpool wins the league in stunning style. A draw is all the Reds need to take the trophy. Raheem Sterling gives City a 1-0 lead in the first half, only to see a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick supply the league-winning point.
Nigel Pearson‘s Hornets move out of the drop zone with 31 points.
West Ham 1-2 Chelsea Arsenal 4-1 Norwich Everton 1-0 Leicester City Palace 2-0 Burnley Brighton 1-5 Man Utd Bournemouth 0-3 Newcastle Watford 2-1 Saints Man City 1-1 Liverpool Sheffield United 1-2 Spurs Villa 0-4 Wolves
Matchday 33: Norwich City gets within a win of Brighton by beating them at home behind an Emi Buendia penalty. Arsenal draws Wolves to pull within three points of the top five.
Burnley 2-1 Sheff Utd Leicester City 2-2 Palace Saints 1-5 Man City Spurs 0-3 Everton Wolves 1-1 Arsenal Liverpool 4-0 Villa Norwich 2-1 Brighton Newcastle 2-2 West Ham Man Utd 0-0 Bournemouth Chelsea 4-0 Watford
Matchday 34: It’s getting congested in the top four, with third-place Leicester winless in four following a loss at Arsenal. Palace draws Chelsea, allowing victorious Wolves and Manchester United to pull within two points of fourth.
Norwich City wins again, passing Aston Villa and joining 18th-place Brighton on 29 points.
Sheffield United 0-2 Wolves Watford 1-2 Norwich City West Ham 4-1 Burnley Bournemouth 2-0 Spurs Everton 2-2 Saints Man City 3-1 Newcastle Palace 0-0 Chelsea Arsenal 1-0 Leicester City Brighton 0-2 Liverpool Villa 0-2 Man Utd
Matchday 35: Sheffield United snaps a four-match losing streak with a draw against Chelsea, but the top seven hopes are dead.
Burnley takes a point at Anfield as City moves back within 20 of the Reds.
Brighton 1-4 Man City Norwich City 1-2 West Ham Villa 1-1 Palace Watford 2-3 Newcastle Wolves 2-1 Everton Spurs 0-2 Arsenal Sheffield United 1-1 Chelsea Bournemouth 1-2 Leicester City Man Utd 2-1 Southampton Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
Matchday 36: Villa surprises Everton to move within a result of safety in a five-horse race to avoid the drop. Chelsea, Manchester United, and Wolves all win to hit the 62-point mark, two back of third-place Leicester City.
Leicester City 0-0 Sheffield United Arsenal 0-1 Liverpool Everton 1-2 Villa Man City 3-0 Bournemouth Newcastle 0-4 Spurs Burnley 0-2 Wolves Chelsea 3-0 Norwich City West Ham 2-0 Watford Palace 0-2 Man Utd Saints 1-1 Brighton
Matchday 37: All of the top five combatants stumble except Wolves, who jump into third with a win over Crystal Palace at the Molineux.
Spurs 2-0 Leicester City Wolves 2-0 Palace Brighton 0-4 Newcastle Bournemouth 0-3 Southampton Villa 0-3 Arsenal Sheffield United 0-3 Everton Norwich City 0-2 Burnley Man Utd 1-1 West Ham Watford 1-3 Man City Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea
Matchday 38: Talk about a dramatic final day, all things considered!
Manchester United gets a leaping Bruno Fernandes penalty to send Leicester City tumbling into sixth despite most of the season in the top three! The Red Devils climb into third because of what happens at Stamford Bridge.
Hosts Chelsea need a win over Wolves to take back fourth, as the visitors enter the day three points ahead with a one-goal advantage in differential. Christian Pulisic sets up a Willian winner to give Chelsea fourth by virtue of total wins (19).
Liverpool takes the league with a 2-0 defeat of Newcastle at St. James’ Park, completing the season with a 20-point advantage on Man City. Arsenal completes the European picture, havng been settled in seventh for some time.
The relegation scene is pretty nuts, with five teams finishing the day within three points of the bottom. All five lose, with Bournemouth and Watford staying up despite season-ending losing streaks. Nigel Pearson’s Hornets finish the season with 31 points, the same total they had after Matchday 32.
Arsenal 3-0 Watford Burnley 2-1 Brighton Chelsea 1-0 Wolves Palace 2-1 Spurs Everton 3-0 Bournemouth Leicester City 0-1 Man Utd Man City 1-0 Norwich City Newcastle 0-2 Liverpool Saints 3-1 Sheffield United West Ham 3-1 Villa
Europa League: Manchester United gave Roma permission to use loanee Chris Smalling, and the defender powers a 13th-minute header home that stands until Anthony Martial delivers a goal three minutes from time. David De Gea is the star in penalty kicks, as United wins 4-3.
UEFA Champions League: Pep Guardiola leads Man City into its final UCL game for two seasons, and it’s against his old pals Barcelona. Quique Setien’s side flusters City’s attack, and Lionel Messi wins it at the hour mark for the Blaugranas.
Following a meeting of Premier League clubs who were assessing the best path forward due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was agreed that the main aim is to finish the current campaigns across English football.
Key figures have been responding to the statement released by the Premier League, Football Association, the English Football League and the women’s professional game in the UK.
Arsenal have said they are “fully supportive of this decision which was endorsed at Thursday morning’s Premier League shareholder meeting. Of course, we all want to be back playing football as soon as we possibly can, but only when it is safe to be doing so.”
Here’s what people are saying about the Premier League suspension and the new dates which could well change in the coming weeks:
BREAKING: The @FA, @premierleague and @EFL agree English football will not return until April 30 "at the earliest".
I don’t see the necessity to finish the football season. This will lead to a lot of lower teams going out of existence. Scrap relegation for 1 year + filter money down to those that need it. End the season + where you are now is where you stay. If possible only play games in hand
NEW: FA board agrees to “extend indefinitely” time limit to end of season. European football hopes to complete leagues by 30 June but that is still flexible. Nothing set in stone when season will end. #SSN#COVID19
CONCACAF has suspended play for a month, while UEFA postponed all fixtures next week ahead of a meeting to discuss plans for both club and international European competitions including the Champions League and Europa League.