What will the Championship look like IF it returns?
The return of the Bundesliga this past weekend gave us an insight into what the Championship could look like during a major health epidemic.
Sure the lack of atmosphere took a lot of the excitement out of the games and the players looked like they were only giving about 70%.
But on the whole, it was fine.
And given everything that’s going on at the moment, fine is good enough.
So with the taste of football back in our mouths, let’s analyse how the second tier may look were it to make a comeback.
When will it be back?
Probably a lot sooner than you realise.
Clubs have been told by the EFL not to let their players train until the 25th of May, which is only next week.
With regard to the actual games, the general consensus seems to indicate the first matches will be around the weekend of the 13th/14th of June, which is only 4 weeks away (at the time of writing).
What will the standard of play be like?
If the Bundesliga is anything to go by, the first few matches could look like pre-season friendlies.
Is it particularly surprising? Not at all.
In a usual pre-season, clubs have at least four weeks of training and a series of friendlies, but even then players take a few games to get up to full speed.
In the state that we’re in now, players will have less than three weeks and no friendlies.
There will be an extra two substitutions but that will only go so far in helping unfit players.
So expect to see sides looking a bit lacklustre and maybe even a few injuries here and there.
It’s not ideal when some of these clubs are fighting for promotion/against relegation (unless it gets scrapped).
Where will the games be played?
We know it will probably be at neutral venues.
Bolton’s Macron Stadium and Stadium MK in Milton Keynes have been mentioned as two likely hosts which make sense considering their central locations in the North and South regions.
There’ll be other ones but how many is hard to say.
One of the likely scenarios is that multiple games are played on the same day at the same stadiums.
That way it’s easier for matches to be broadcast because TV crews can stay put.
It also makes sense with any safety precautions that have to be taken.
Not sure many groundsmen will be too chuffed at the thought of three games a day on the same pitch…
How often will there be games?
Well as mentioned, we could be seeing multiple games at the same stadiums a day.
But in addition to that, it’s likely that each team will have a few midweek games as well as a weekend game.
The EFL estimates it will need just 56 days to finish the season, which means the season would be rounded off around the weekend of the 8th of August.
But that’s including the Playoffs so the remaining 9 games are going to come thick and fast.
Is there still a chance the season could be scrapped?
How big that chance is, it’s hard to say.
It’s reported there are five clubs (Cardiff, Huddersfield, Hull and Sheffield Wednesday) who are against the season continuing.
If that number were to grow then it will only cast more doubt.
As it stands though it seems the odds are in favour of the season playing out.