With the Premier League looking set to return in June, we take a look at some of the key takeaways from pioneers of post-coronavirus European football: the Bundesliga.
Project Restart is well and truly underway, with Premier League clubs approving the return of contact training, as teams aim to regroup and rebuild their fitness levels before the targeted return timeline of mid-June.
Of course, the Premier League is not the first European football league to make its return. The Bundesliga has played out three matchdays over the last two-and-a-half weeks, and if Project Restart is to be a success, there are a few things that the Premier League can learn from its German cousins.
Home Advantage is Negated
Of the first twenty-two games played since the Bundesliga restart, only three were won by home teams. This is a drastic change from the pre-lockdown games, in which the home team won 43.3% of games, as opposed to the measly 13.6% of the closed-door games.
The Premier League had seen a similar winning percentage of home wins pre-lockdown (45%), so it is not unfeasible to imagine that there may be a similar drop-off.
One thing this would do is make a mockery of the teams that opposed the proposal to move the games to neutral grounds, as the adjustment to playing at home in front of no fans may prove to be too much for some Premier League sides to overcome, particularly with only nine-game weeks left in the season.
Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 27, 2020
The negation of home advantage could have a huge effect in the relegation battle, as well as the race for European spots.