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THE Premier League is a step closer after the return of players to training, and there's been a boost after only two more positive tests.

But clubs are reportedly eyeing a June 26 return as they err on the side of caution.

Meanwhile Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are getting set to give football fans its biggest spectacle since lockdown in a Bundesliga title decider.

Follow all the latest coronavirus in sport updates below...

 

  • Jack Figg 's avatarJack Figg

    FAB FIVE

    Armchair viewers are set for a bonanza when the Premier League returns with five matches set to be played back-to-back on each Saturday and Sunday.

    That would involve kick-offs starting at midday, then 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm with top-flight chiefs aiming to get the majority of the 92 remaining fixtures shown over the weekends.

    SunSport reported on the push from broadcasters to show double-header midweek matches in the style of the Champions League at 6pm and 8pm.

    The first game back is expected to be a Friday night match, but after that games will be at weekends or in the traditional midweek slots.

    The Premier League host their next meeting on Thursday when fixtures lists and TV schedules will be high on the agenda as they look to strike a balance between spreading games out for live broadcast and helping players avoid injury due to an overcrowded schedule.

    Clubs face a whopping £330million bill to pay back to TV companies even if the campaign is completed and are therefore very keen to accommodate broadcasting demands, and they will owe £762m if they fail to play their remaining matches.

    But a “strategy for rebate minimisation” is also on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting that means they will try to keep live rights holders Sky, BT Sport and Amazon happy.

  • Jack Figg 's avatarJack Figg

    BAYERN MUTE-NICH

    Fake crowd noise were being played over Bayern Munich's visit to Borussia Dortmund and some fans have been forced to mute the “unnatural sounds”.

    There was generally mixed reaction online but the sound effects being pumped over the action by broadcasters has been described as “weird” by some.

    Bayern led their hosts 1-0 at half-time of the behind closed doors clash but much of the focus was on the mocked up crowd noise being used to give the impression of a match with fans.

    Andrew wrote: “They put fake crowd noises in the Dortmund game and it sounds so unnatural.”

    Chad Benson added: “Munich vs Dortmund not a bad way to start the short week. They are piping in crowd noise which helps some but still weird with no fans.”

    And Disney Gary Clark said: “I hate the fake crowd noise they have in this Dortmund-Bayern game. It just feels odd.”

  • Jack Figg 's avatarJack Figg

    NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE

    Joe Gomez has warned rivals that Liverpool's squad will be stronger than ever when they return.

    When asked if the relationships between players have tightened during the coronavirus crisis, he said: “Yeah, I think so.

    “Because we've had to have communication in a different way, it's not been the standard come in and see each other by force every day.

    “We've had to reach out as individuals and really stay connected by choice.

    “That's when you grow fonder of each other and closed because it's been a tough time that we've come through together.”

  • Jack Figg 's avatarJack Figg

    'BIOSECURE BUBBLE'

    West Indies players including captain Jason Holder have resumed batting and bowling with their tour to England about to receive the green light.

    The three-Test series behind closed doors is expected to be signed-off by Caribbean cricket chiefs on Thursday.

    The plan is for the squad to fly from their home islands to Antigua and then board a charter to the UK on or around June 10.

    The team will be quarantined under government law for two weeks in the hotel on site at Old Trafford – although they hope to be permitted to train in some capacity – before travelling to the Ageas Bowl in Southampton leading into the First Test on July 8.

    The next two Tests are due at Old Trafford on July 16 and July 24.

  • Dave Fraser 's avatarDave Fraser

    GOOD MORNING, SPORTS FANS

    Football was plunged into mourning last night with the tragic news that Morecambe defender Christian Mbulu had passed away at the age of 23.

    The London-born star started his career at Millwall and had made three appearances for the Shrimps this season.

    A Morecambe statement read: “He was only 23 and the news of his sudden and untimely passing has been a shock to us all,” the Morecambe statement said.

    “Christian came to the club in January and proved to be an extremely popular member of the squad.

    “His loss will be painfully felt by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.”

    Meanwhile, the Premier League could be back with a bang on TV.

    Top flight bosses bosses could adopt Champions League-style kick-off times meaning fans could watch two games in one evening.

    The teams will discuss a plan to have 6pm and 8pm kick-offs for games during the midweek rounds in the same way Uefa have introduced for both the Champions League and Europa League matches.

    Also, the league are likely to have an equal split at weekends for five matches on a Saturday and the same number on a Sunday.

    And finally, Tyrone Mings has revealed he pays for weekly therapy sessions because football “does not care” about mental health.

  • Sam Morgan 's avatarSam Morgan

    GOOD TO TALK

    Tyrone Mings has revealed he pays for weekly therapy sessions because football “does not care” about mental health.

    The Aston Villa defender, who made his England debut in October, has impressed with his charity work since signing his first professional deal for Ipswich in 2012.

    But Mings, 27, admits that despite his active work in the community, his main priority will be working on his own mental health ahead of football’s return.

    Speaking on a new documentary ‘Football, Prince William and our Mental Health’ which airs on BBC1 tomorrow, Mings said: “It’s a difficult one.

    “Nobody really cares about if you have a bad day, nobody really cares if you might be having a problem mentally or a problem physically, or problems at home.

    “You can’t carry that into a game because you only really get judged on your performance.”

  • Sam Morgan 's avatarSam Morgan

    TV GUIDE

    Fed up of hearing how Premier League games could be shown on TV once the season resumes?

    Us neither!

    Good news then, that the Daily Mirror claim a new plan could see five matches shown live back-to-back every Saturday and Sunday.

    They claim the kick-off times would be midday, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm.

    There is also a push from broadcasters to show games midweek in a Champions League style double-header format which could see them kick off at 6pm and 8pm.

    The fixture list will be discussed in detail at Thursday’s Premier League meeting along with the plans for TV schedules

  • Sam Morgan 's avatarSam Morgan

    'HOTSPOTS OF DEATH'

    Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool's match with Atletico Madrid “caused coronavirus hotspots of death”, according to a top UK medic.

    Professor Tim Spector, the man leading the largest coronavirus tracking project in the country, claimed the two major sporting events from March “caused increased suffering and death”.

    Data gathered from millions of volunteers appeared to prove the events caused “hotspots” around the country.

    Cheltenham Festival was held between March 10-13, while Atletico Madrid travelled to Merseyside on 12.

    Spector said: “I think sporting events should have been shut down at least a week earlier.

    “They'll have caused increased suffering and death that wouldn't otherwise have occurred.”

  • Sam Morgan 's avatarSam Morgan

    NO CHANCES

    The UFC is to bring in stricter coronavirus testing for Las Vegas Fight Night on Saturday.

    That is in light of Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza testing positive for the killer bug before UFC 249 earlier this month.

    The Brazilian's middleweight bout with Uriah Hall was pulled from the card at the last minute – but only after he had fist-bumped supremo Dana White.

    Now, to avoid a repeat, UFC chiefs will require fighters to pass two tests before they step inside the Octagon.

    The first test will be upon check-in at the athletes' hotel in Las Vegas, and fighters must remain in their rooms until they get their results.

    The second test will take place at Friday's weigh-in.

    Afterwards, they will again have to self-isolate until they receive their results.

  • Sam Morgan 's avatarSam Morgan

    SOUND OFF

    Fake crowd noise was pumped into Dortmund's defeat to Bayern Munich.

    But those watching on home were less than impressed – and indeed got so annoyed they had to mute the TV!

    The sound effects being pumped over the action by broadcasters were described as “weird” by some.

    One user said: “I hate the fake crowd noise they have in this Dortmund-Bayern game. It just feels odd.”

    Bayern went onto win 1-0 away from home due to Joshua Kimmich's beautiful first-half lob.

  • Sam Morgan 's avatarSam Morgan

    RAM ROD

    Aaron Ramsdale has spoken of his shock at contracting coronavirus.

    The Bournemouth and England Under-21 keeper tested positive on Friday after training, despite being asymptomatic.

    It came after a negative test last Monday and he believes he got the virus at the supermarket.

    Ramsdale told SunSport: “It’s definitely a shock — I’ve not been in contact with anybody and I’ve now got it.

    “I’m showing no symptoms so the fact that a healthy young person could potentially have it is definitely scary and worrying.

    “It’s obviously not great that I’ve got it but it’s good that I’m showing no symptoms.

    “It’s one of those things that has unfortunately happened and happened to me.”

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    PEDAL TO METAL

    Lockdown has made it difficult for most people to keep up with their exercise regimes… but not Taylor Rapp.

    Closed gyms and extra snacks mean many are struggling to feel the burn.

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    DOR IS OPEN

    Fear not sport-deprived footy fans, SunSport have got you covered.

    Tune into our dedicated live blog to keep up to date with all of the action from Borrusia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich.

    Click here for all of the build-up ahead of kick-off at 5:30pm.

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    'IN MY WORLD NOW'

    Billy Joe Saunders says he would fight Canelo Alvarez “in an empty arena” as that is “his world”.

    But it is a dream he is refusing to give up on as he spoke with his promoter Eddie Hearn and former cruiserweight world champ Tony Bellew on Talk The Talk.

    And he joked that he would have the advantage if it was behind-closed doors.

    “If we fight in an empty arena, he's in my world now.

    “He's in my world. He packs stadiums out, I fill half of Stevenage football ground.”

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    WHEELY STUPID?

    Daniel Abt has been suspended by the Audi Formula E team after cheating in an online Esports race.

    Incredibly, the German was disqualified from the virtual Berlin E-Prix and fined £9,000 after he let professional Esports sim racer, Lorenz Hoerzing, take his place.

    Furious Audi chiefs have responded by axing the 27-year-old with immediate effect.

    A statement from the German car giant read: “Daniel Abt did not drive his car in qualifying and the race at the fifth event of the Race at Home Challenge on 23rd May himself, but let a professional sim-racer do so.”

    It continued: “For this reason, Audi Sport has decided to suspend Daniel Abt with immediate effect.”

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    LEE-AVE IT TO US

    Charlton boss Lee Bowyer is confident his team can avoid relegation if the Championship gets underway next month.

    He told Sky Sports News: “The EFL have said that they want to finish the season. It is important that we do that and hopefully we will manage to finish.

    “We have proven when we have got a full squad that we can compete with all the teams in this division.

    “We were in a bad place at one stage but was just purely down to the numbers of injuries. Once we started to get a few back then we started to pick up results again.

    “So we will be ready and, like I said, I believe in the squad that we have got to get us out of this.”

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    MASTER VS APPRENTICE

    There won't be a crowd tonight when Borussia Dortmund face Bayern Munich.

    But the match will still be brimming with intrigue and subplots.

    And one of these such subplots will come in the form of the two team's strikers facing off for the first time.

    Here's how the two stars compare ahead of kick-off…

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    THREE & EASY

    The Premier League have finally given the go head for 3pm games to shown live on TV – with some matches even set to be aired for FREE.

    Top-flight bosses have dropped its opposition to the game being shown to compensate for them being behind closed doors.

    The long-standing blackout was lifted last month, but Prem bosses initially claimed they still wouldn't allow 3pm matches to be broadcast.

    But now they have had a “change of heart”, according to The Times – with the previously blocked games now allowed to be shown.

    There are 92 Premier League matches left to be played this season, with the restart pencilled in for June 12, although some fear it may be more like June 26.

    Every match will be broadcast via some medium to make up for the fact fans are not allowed to watch live from inside the stadium.

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    LIONEL NEAT

    Lionel Messi has opted for a fresh start ahead of the return of the LaLiga season by going completely clean-shaven.

    The Argentine star has brought back his 2015 vibe after shaving off his beard.

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    DOR IS OPEN

    Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich tonight in Der Klassiker with everything on the line.

    Both teams have picked up maximum points in the two rounds of fixtures since the league's resumption, so it's as you were in the title race.

    Here's how SunSport think a combined XI from the German giants would look…

  • Joe Miles 's avatarJoe Miles

    'LADS WERE BUZZING'

    Leeds skipper Liam Cooper admitted his team-mates were “buzzing” to get back to training.

    He told BBC: “We've been able to train in a group of five, so there was the back four and a midfielder in our group this morning.

    “All of the lads were buzzing to be able to kick a ball about with their mates again.

    “We're making small steps and hopefully we can get back to normality in the near future.”

  • <a href='https://whiplrpedia.com/?man=sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a> 's avatar<a href='https://whiplrpedia.com/?man=sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    RYDERS ON THE STORM

    World No1 Rory McIlroy thinks the Ryder Cup will be AXED this year.

    It is currently scheduled to be played September 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, where Europe will be looking to retain the trophy they won in 2018.

    But a host of major 2020 sporting events have already been cancelled due to coronavirus and McIlroy thinks the Ryder Cup will suffer the same fate.

    McIlroy told BBC Sport NI: “My personal hunch is that I don't see how it is going to happen, so I do not think that it will happen.

    “I think the majority of players would like to see it pushed back until 2021 so that they can play in front of crowds and have the atmosphere that makes the Ryder Cup so special.

    “The players are the ones that make the Ryder Cup. If they are not on board with it and don't want to play then there is no Ryder Cup.

    “I see it being pushed back until 2021 and, honestly, I think that will be the right call.”

  • <a href='https://whiplrpedia.com/?man=sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a> 's avatar<a href='https://whiplrpedia.com/?man=sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    BREAKING

    Manchester City legend Glyn Pardoe has died at the age of 73.

    Pardoe helped Man City win the league title in 1968 and scored the winner in the 1970 League Cup final win.

    Now tributes have poured in for the legend – who is also Man City's youngest-ever player, having made his debut aged 15.

  • <a href='https://whiplrpedia.com/?man=sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a> 's avatar<a href='https://whiplrpedia.com/?man=sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    RING THE NOISE

    WWE brought back a crowd for their latest live event, for what was the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started.

    As Raw kicked off at the Performance Center in Florida, NXT talent surrounded the ring and walkway, all practising social distancing.

    They cheered their colleagues to the ring to create the first real atmosphere in these dark times.

    One of the future stars was WWE legend The Rock’s daughter Simone, who is following in the footsteps of dad, grandad and great-grandad.

    The show kicked off with all those present gathering, two metres apart, for a tribute to US soldiers for Memorial Day.

    Raw commentator Tom Phillips told BT Sport viewers that all those ringside had been tested for coronavirus and cleared to attend.

  • <a href='https://whiplrpedia.com/?man=sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a> 's avatar<a href='https://whiplrpedia.com/?man=sport' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Alex Terrell</a>

    'HOTSPOTS OF DEATH'

    Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool's match with Atletico Madrid “caused coronavirus hotspots of death”, according to a top UK medic.

    Professor Tim Spector, the man leading the largest coronavirus tracking project in the country, claimed the two major sporting events from March “caused increased suffering and death”.

    Data gathered from millions of volunteers appeared to prove the events caused “hotspots” around the country.

    Cheltenham Festival was held between March 10-13, while Atletico Madrid travelled to Merseyside on 12.

    Spector said: “I think sporting events should have been shut down at least a week earlier.

    “They'll have caused increased suffering and death that wouldn't otherwise have occurred.”

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