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Man City given fixtures warning from Premier League restart plans

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Manchester City could be at an early disadvantage when football resumes as the Premier League makes plans for rearranged games in the schedule.

Pep Guardiola’s side are one of four teams to have played one game fewer than the rest of the division, with their fixture against Arsenal postponed along with Aston Villa’s match against Sheffield United owing to the Carabao Cup final.

City were back at the training ground for the first time in two months on Monday for testing as plans are made for competitive action to return. However, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne are some of the most high-profile players to stress the need publicly for a lengthy period of training before sides are expected to be up to speed; Sterling recently called for four or five weeks to prepare.

When it is deemed appropriate to play again, City and three other teams could face a heavier workload than the rest up front.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said that matches that would bring all teams in the division onto the same number of games played would be prioritised when the fixtures are made up, suggesting that they will be played earlier rather than later.

“It is a relatively normal occurrence for, at this stage of the season, there to be displaced matches that have to be played,” he said. “But I think it is a good idea to prioritise games that have to be played first relatively early in the schedule.”

There is said to be renewed confidence that the league can finish having watched the restart of the Bundesliga at the weekend, although there is still an acceptance that the situation cannot be fully controlled.

One of the suggestions for deciding the league if each team could not play 38 games was to simply ensure every team had played the same number and then work off a points-per-game measure.

Source: Manchester Evening News

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