The Premier League is back but this year, it’s a little bit different.
Not only are there a few rule changes but we also have the introduction of VAR.
Fans are familiar with VAR by now having seen it in operation in the World Cup as well as the latter stages of the Champions League and FA Cup.
But how will it affect the greatest league in the world?
Will it slow it down? Will there be more penalties? Will there be even more controversy?
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We’ll find out over the next nine months.
But it should make things fairer.
It gets you thinking, though. What if VAR had been in operation in the Premier League in recent years?
Well, GentingBet had that thought and decided to take a look at the entire 2018/19 Premier League season and ask: ‘What would have happened if we had VAR?’
GentingBet analysed all 380 Premier League matches last season and, using the new rules in place for the 2019/20 season in regards to handballs, declared that Liverpool would have won the title with the use of VAR.
Take a look at how the Premier League table would have looked with VAR:
The crucial moment came in City’s 1-0 win against Tottenham at the Etihad in April. Kyle Walker handled the ball in the penalty area and VAR would have awarded a penalty to Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
With Spurs having a 100% penalty record last season, another successful spot-kick would have seen City drop two points and hand Liverpool the trophy.
WHAT ELSE WOULD HAVE CHANGED?
- Chelsea would have two fewer points after Cesar Azpilcueta’s equaliser against Cardiff - a match they went on to win - was clearly offside.
- Spurs would leapfrog Chelsea into third as they remain on the same amount of points. Their point they earned against City would have been cancelled out by the point they picked up against Arsenal due to Harry Kane being offside before winning a penalty.
- Arsenal stay fifth but with one less point. Review of their penalty win against Brighton showed that Alireza Jahanbakhsh got the ball from Nacho Monreal and it shouldn’t have been given.
- Manchester United stay sixth, three points worse off. Goals against Burnley and Watford were deemed to be offside.
Billy Sharp, Head of Sportsbook at GentingBet said: “It’ll be interesting to see how the introduction of the Premier League’s new rules affects this season’s competition.
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"We saw in 2018/19 that titles can be won and lost by the finest of margins, so any change to the rules can have a significant impact.”