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Sports Then and Now




Soccer is Back on a Global Scale

Posted on June 25, 2020 by John Harris

While most team sports in the United States are just getting started on the path back to competition, soccer (known as football to the rest of the world) is back in full swing. As can be expected, football betting is also back on track as the competition heats up.

Though there are still more games left to be played, Liverpool has already staked their claim as the English Premier League Champions with a record of 28-2-1. Given the impressive record, some are wondering if this Liverpool squad ranks among the greatest teams in Premier League History. However, the season disruption due to COVID-19 certainly makes it a bit hard to compare this season to other past campaigns.

Bill Connelly from ESPN did a great job ranking the 27 previous Premier League seasons to identify the greatest champions in league history.

While the Premier League season is nearing conclusion, there is still a lot to be decided including Champions League and Europa League spots, the fight for relegation and the FA Cup.

The FA Cup returns this weekend with eight teams remaining from the 736 teams that registered for a shot at the oldest club competition in the world.

Quarterfinal action, which was originally scheduled for March before the COVID-19 pandemic, will include eight Premier League teams for the first time since the 2005-2006 season.

Manchester United will face Norwich City in one of the quarterfinals. Other teams competing in the quarterfinals include Sheffield United, Arsenal, Leicester City, Chelsea, Newcastle and Manchester City. The semifinals will be played July 18-19 and the final will take place August 1st at Wembley Stadium.   

With Manchester City potentially facing a two-year suspension from European Club competitions for breaching financial fair play regulations, the team is expected to be very focused on trying to secure the FA Cup.

In the United States, the MLS is currently scheduled to be the first professional team sport to return to action when the MLS is Back Tournament kicks off on July 8th. All games are being played at the Wide World of Sports in Orlando with the tournament planned to be completed on August 11th.

All 26 MLS teams will take part in the tournament with the top 16 moving on to the knockout phase of the tournament. Given that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Florida, the real question is whether the league will be able to begin the tournament as planned.


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