The English Premier League (EPL) in a few weeks will be resuming, and one may ask are there any benefits, as well as disadvantages playing without fans?
Here are a few things that could have an impact on the Premier League.
Playing in an empty stadium will put an end to home advantage: no doubt, these is because fans have a psychological impact and with the games, now played behind closed doors, there will be no longer intimidation for opponents.
The past two weeks of the Bundesliga suggest that these could be the case. according to statistics, only three wins have been picked up at home in 22 matches. And more goals have been scored by the away teams too (44 compared to 25.)
Several Premier League clubs believe that, even without fans, there is an advantage when playing at home, rather than at neutral venues, as has been discussed.
Watford chairman Scott Duxbury said on 9 May that playing games away from Vicarage Road would cost them “the familiarity and advantage” that home matches provide.
But, so far, home teams are the ones suffering in the Bundesliga.
With no fans at venues, there was no outpouring of emotion from the stands, no roar when the ball crossed the line and no pile-on of players due to social distancing measures.
Less pressure on referees: You might think the absence of vociferous, partisan fans would mean a calmer atmosphere and that referees would need to show fewer yellow and red cards.
But it seems little has changed on that front in the Bundesliga. There were 24 bookings given on the first weekend after the restart, while 25 were shown this weekend.
That follows the pattern from the previous five weeks, in which an average of 24 yellow cards had been given.
There were no red cards shown on the first weekend but two players were given their marching orders this weekend. Felix Klaus in Wolfsburg’s defeat by Borussia Dortmund and Philipp Bargfrede in Werder Bremen’s victory over Freiburg.
That was just the fourth time in the past 12 gameweeks that more than one red card had been shown.
While it appears refereeing decisions have not been impacted, Match of the Day pundit Gary Lineker says there is “considerably more playing time” as the players have not been encouraged to waste time and play-act by supporters.
A chance for young players to thrive: The EPL and Bundesliga is renowned for showcasing some of Europe’s top young talent and the past two weekends have been no different.
Dortmund’s 19-year-old striker Haaland and Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, 20, have stolen headlines with their goalscoring form of late.
But are there benefits to not having any fans in the stadium for other youngsters hoping to break through?
No verbal abuse from opposition fans and not having to worry about the “occasion” presents an opportunity for young debutants to flourish with reduced pressure.
Florian Wirtz made history in a 4-1 win over Werder Bremen last Monday when he became Bayer Leverkusen’s youngest Bundesliga player (17 years, 15 days) – the third youngest overall in the competition.
So will we see more of the Premier League’s youngsters given a chance?