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Champions League Matches To Resume In August?

UEFA are expected to present their plans for the Champions League, played from August 7-31 with a game every three days until the Final on August 29.

A series of meetings have been set up for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week, to discuss how to proceed in concluding the 2019-20 season amid a coronavirus pandemic.

According to Sky Sport Italia, the idea is to play the Cup competitions from August 7, after all the domestic leagues across Europe have reached their conclusion.

The most likely option will see the second leg fixtures left over from the Champions League Round of 16, which include Juventus-Lyon and BarcelonaNapoli, on August 7-8.

After that, they can begin playing every three days for home and away quarter-finals, semi-finals and the one-off Final. That would mean that the quarterfinals would not start until August 11-12, with the second leg on August 14-15. The semi-finals would be on August 18-19, 21-22, then the Final in Istanbul on August 29.

This would shelve the proposal of a Final Eight tournament with one-off knockout matches, although it remains to be seen how home and away ties will genuinely work behind closed doors, which takes away home field advantage, which is huge in the Champions League.

I expect that players unions will have something to say about this also, as they will not be trilled to be flying into other cities that could still be a quarantine.

Also, what happens if leagues don’t restart or start and finish in late June? Would players leave for their summer break and then come back for preseason training ahead of the Champions League games restarting?

What happens for example if Serie A gets its season finished on June 30 but La Liga does not finish until July 30? Under that scenario, on August 7, Barcelona will play a Napoli side that has not had a competitive game in six weeks, while Barca will have been involved in a title running the previous week. How is that fair.

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