Premier League: 10 ways matches will be different as season resumes behind closed doors

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It’s been a gruelling three months but the Premier League is back.

Aston Villa take on Sheffield United at 6pm in the return match and excitement levels are at an all time high.

Football in Germany, Spain and Italy has already resumed and now it’s England’s turn to start again.

But it’s going to be a very different experience for both players and fans.

Social distancing guidelines and regulations are in place to protect against the spread of coronavirus.

Courtesy of the Mirror, here are 10 ways the Premier League will be completely different.

1. No fans in stadiums

Matches will be played behind closed doors, meaning the television will not pick up crowd noise.

2. Teams emerging separately from the tunnel

Where possible, teams will emerge from separate tunnels.

At grounds with only one tunnel, the away team will come out before the home team joins them.

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3. No hand shakes

Instead of standing in a line for the pre-match anthem, players will adopt a staggered formation and there will be no handshakes.

4. Socially-distanced substitutes benches

Benches have been expanded to ensure played sit at least two metres apart.

Managers and assistances in allocated technical areas have also been advised to keep their distance.

5. No ball assistants pitchside

Matches may see delays when the ball goes out of play as pitchside ball assistants won’t be present.

If the ball goes into the stands, the referee will decide if it can be retrieved or whether a ball placed at the edge of the pitch can be used.

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6. Physios wearing PPE

Physios will wear PPE to treat injuries on the pitch.

7. One drinks break per half

Players will have a drinks break lasting up to a minute in each half. They will each drink from a personal bottle and the time will be added on to the end of each half.

8. Up to five substitutions per team

Managers can name nine substitutions for every match and make five changes.

Only three players from each team can warm up at any one moment.

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9. No group celebrations or confrontations

Players must not celebrate together or confront the opposition or referee.

10. No spitting or nose clearing

Players and managers will use hand sanitiser before and after games, and spitting and nose-clearing is prohibited.

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