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All your questions answered on how football will look after lockdown

There are more questions than answers right now when it comes to determining if and when Premier League football will return.

The sport is sure to look and feel very different should it resume in the coming weeks and months. Games will certainly be held behind closed doors but as the coronavirus continues to take its toll on football, preparations for getting action back underway look to be increasingly troublesome. 

Players will have to be tested regularly to ensure they don’t run the risk of infecting each other, while some clubs are concerned about the prospect of playing in neutral grounds and the impact that might have on the crucial league spot – including Champions League and relegation.

But just how different will the sport look if it is given the go-ahead from the Government and what changes can you expect to see?

Here, Sportsmail looks at some of the key talking points ahead of the Premier League’s possible comeback. 

There are 92 games left to play with plenty to decide if and when the Premier League resumes

When will the Premier League return?

Quite simply, we do not know. June 12 is thought to be the favoured restart date should Premier League clubs reach an agreement and gain government approval.

The League needs 14 clubs to vote in favour of Project Restart but that will not be easy with several clubs in the bottom half of the table opposed to a resumption amid the fear of relegation.

Those at the top, however, are determined to see out the campaign, in large part motivated by not having to repay the £762million that could be owed to television rights holders were the season to be scrapped.

Liverpool are desperate to get back to action and secure their Premier League title victory

Liverpool are desperate to get back to action and secure their Premier League title victory

What happens if relegation for this season is removed?

That is one of the arguments being put forward by those at the bottom. They say the integrity of the competition will be lost if games are played at neutral venues and, as such, it would be unfair to relegate three teams.

That could then see a bloated Premier League of 23 teams next season if three are promoted from the Championship.

But the prospect of no relegation would make for largely meaningless matches and, given there will be no fans present, you risk a pre-season feel that would raise the question – is it really worth it?

Some teams battling for survival have suggested it would be unfair to relegate any team

Some teams battling for survival have suggested it would be unfair to relegate any team 

Assuming football does return, what then happens if a player tests positive?

We have seen in Germany over the weekend that two Cologne players have tested positive for Covid-19 and they are now in quarantine, although plans remain for the Bundesliga to resume before the end of May.

Given what feels like the inevitability of a Premier League player also testing positive should football resume, it has been reported that the plan would also be to carry on and not immediately suspend the competition.

However, one Cologne player has now spoken out and labelled the intention to return as ‘irresponsible’. Once that opposition among players spreads then you suspect football will be fighting a losing battle in its efforts to continue.

Man City star Sergio Aguero has admitted he is scared by the prospect of infecting his family

Cologne's players are continuing to train despite the three positive tests for coronavirus

Cologne’s players are continuing to train despite the three positive tests for coronavirus

Will supporters be allowed back into stadiums at any point in the near future?

That we do know – and the answer is no. If the Premier League does return then the remaining fixtures will be played behind closed doors and at around 10 neutral venues.

Some executives have told Sportsmail that, until there is a widely available and successful vaccine for Covid-19, then they cannot see fans being allowed back into stadiums, raising the prospect of the entirety of next season also being played behind closed doors.

Where will the neutral venues be?

Police are said to be keen to avoid using stadiums in urban areas for the fear of supporters congregating, and so the likes of Brighton and Southampton have been put forward as south coast options.

West Ham’s London Stadium, the homes of Leicester and Aston Villa and the two Manchester grounds are also thought to be preferred venues.

Villa Park has been mooted as a possible neutral ground as officials bid to avoid urban areas

Villa Park has been mooted as a possible neutral ground as officials bid to avoid urban areas 

It will be a while before fans are allowed back, and artificial crowd noise is being considered

It will be a while before fans are allowed back, and artificial crowd noise is being considered

How will clubs compensate for the lack of atmosphere?

Several were considering pumping crowd noise into the stadium during matches in an effort to motivate players but, with neutral venues now the most likely avenue for a return, such a move remains open for discussion.

There have also been pitches from technology companies involving using the noise of fans watching on TV being transmitted into stadiums.

In an effort to mask the empty seats, meanwhile, cardboard cutouts could be used to give the impression of a capacity crowd.

Where can we watch the remaining 92 matches?

Amazon could agree a deal with the Premier League to show games after the football restart

Amazon could agree a deal with the Premier League to show games after the football restart 

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has called for more matches to be free-to-air for fans at home

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has called for more matches to be free-to-air for fans at home

Sky Sports and BT Sport already have rights to 47 of those games and could be awarded more. Other broadcasters, such as Amazon, could also show games if they agree a deal with the Premier League.

However, the prospect of free-to-air matches has been put to the League by culture secretary Oliver Dowden. He said: ‘I have said to the Premier League it wouldn’t send the best signal if they were one of the first major sports to resume behind closed doors and the public at large couldn’t have access to it.’

One thing we could see is players being interviewed at half-time and cameras in dressing-rooms in a bid to improve the TV experience for viewers at home.

How about things like VAR and the number of substitutions?

VAR, we are told, will be used come what may given that it has been present in each of the previous rounds of the campaign.

As for substitutions, FIFA has put forward the idea of five per match being allowed to help ease the physical demands on players during a congested schedule.

VAR will continue to be used should the Premier League return to action in the coming weeks

VAR will continue to be used should the Premier League return to action in the coming weeks

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk