The pandemic has been the reason why many major sports events have been canceled or postponed since March of this year. Even the English Premier League wasn’t excused from this. Initially, the EPL only suspended its matches at least until April 4. However, the suspension happened for 100 days and it was in June when it came back to finish the rest of the season.
The EPL has always been a big tournament in the football industry and this is followed by over 4.7 billion people worldwide. It is broadcasted in over 200 territories and to over 640 million homes.
It is not surprising that this is also a high time for sports betting. Many football fans and punters would take the time wager in this league. In the industry there are many bookies websites helping punters to bet on; to sharp the ideas read more about it on Betenemy for popular bookmakers reviews.
Surely, the announcement of the postponement of the EPL has been hard for so many fans and bettors, but this was the best thing to do to ensure everyone’s safety. Since then, many football players and staff have tested positive from the virus and if the EPL didn’t cancel its matches, it could have been worse.
It was quite a process or journey before the EPL was given the green signal to come back in June. Many were alright with it but there were still some who were scared and hesitant about it. The League had to figure out how to continue the rest of the season while ensuring everyone’s safety.
The League has decided that the matches will have to take place behind closed doors. This, for sure, required the athletes to adjust because it is the first time for the majority of the people involved in the league to witness and be part of matches without an audience or a crowd.
Now, with all the guidelines Implemented for the return of this year’s EPL, how has the quality been? Were there any noticeable changes when it comes to the performances of the athletes? Let’s take a look at how things have been since the return of the League.
Based on the BBC’s report, there were noticeable changes when it comes to the performance of the teams. Apparently, in the 288 matches that took place since August up until the League has even suspended, the average goal per game was at 2.7. However, since the return of the League, this has dropped to 2.2 goals.
Aside from the average number of goals, other factors like the number of shots per game also dropped from 25.2 to 21.5. There was also a decrease in the conversion rate in the matches. This went down from 10.8 percent to 10.1 percent.
Some athletes were honest about how they have started a bit slow when they went back on the field. Eric Dier from Tottenham spoke about this and said, “We started slowly but grew into the game and the second half was a lot better.”
Jermain Jenas, former Spurs athlete also thought the same and said, “The first half of most games have been pretty poor and that has been a running theme post lockdown. You know when you get to 80 or so minutes in games after not having a full “pre-season”, you are hanging on. That is why we are seeing a lot of late goals and maybe injuries in that time too.”
Nuno Espirito from the Wolves also observed the same thing when it comes to their first match against Bournemouth since the EPL returned. He said that the first half for both teams was tough and both teams just were not able to play that great.
This coincides with the fact that 71 percent of the goals scored in the first few weeks of the return of the EPL took place in the second half of the matches. A few factors may have caused this. It could be the lack of crowd in the stadiums where they play or it could be the mentality of the players when it comes to thinking about their safety as they go out there.
Aside from these factors, what really stood out when it comes to what changed when the League returned in June is the number of big chances per match. This has also dropped from 4.1 per game to 2.7. The average goals per match then also fell from 2.8 to 2.2.
All these happening is quite understandable as everything is new for basically everybody in the League and even for the fans themselves. However, the EPL is eager to finish the rest of the season in August. What’s for sure is that the fans are still happy that their favorite sports have returned and this is already helping uplift the spirits of many during this crisis.