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English Premier League: Clubs given go-ahead for friendlies

Last updated 1 month ago | By BBC Online

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. [AP]

The Premier League has given clubs permission to play friendly matches, with strict restrictions, before the restart on June 17.

Top-flight sides made requests to face other teams in preparation for the league's return, which was accepted, according to the Telegraph.

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Premier League leaders Liverpool held an 11-a-side game in training at Anfield on Monday.

Friendlies can be played at either stadiums or training grounds.

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However, the Premier League has outlined a number of conditions such as negative Covid-19 tests being returned by players involved.

Measures have also been put in place to ensure hygiene and social distancing rules are adhered to which include: Clubs being forbidden from travelling for further than 90 minutes, though teams like Newcastle will be granted special dispensation if they have to travel further.

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All players must travel in their own cars, possibly in their kits. No official referees will be allowed, with members of coaching staff taking charge and there will be full risk-assessments of the stadium/training ground before games.

Championship clubs have reportedly already been approached about games and BBC Sport understands that the EFL will issue guidance to clubs on this later in the week.

Upon resumption, some games could take place at neutral venues and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told BBC Radio 5 Live he "would love" to play their home games at Anfield.

"We will not have the help from the crowd but no team will have that so where is the advantage? Whoever we play it is the same situation which is why I'm not too worried about it," said Klopp.

Meanwhile, Everton defender Yerry Mina is set to miss the restart of the Premier League season after picking up a muscle injury in training last week.

The Colombia international sustained "a partial tear in his left quad", a statement from the club said. 

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