• Neville believes more Premier League players will drop out

    Gary Neville is optimistic the Premier League will vote to restart the season soon, but expects more players to drop out.

    The United Kingdom government has given Premier League teams the green light for ‘close-contact’ and ‘competitive’ training amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Following that advice, top-flight teams, who are already training in small groups while following social distancing measures, will vote on Wednesday over whether they will proceed to contact training, representing phase two of Project Restart.

    Former Manchester United captain Neville is glad a return to action is on the horizon, but he feels more stars will follow the lead of Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and Watford forward Troy Deeney, who have opted not to train for personal reasons.

    ‘I think the clubs will unanimously vote to restart the season in the next few weeks,’ Neville told Sky Sports. ‘I think there will be a few more players who drop out. I don’t think it helps that the Premier League are relying on government advice and we are all watching what’s going on with the government at this moment in time.

    ‘The Watford situation seems to have the most focus at this moment but Kante missing for Chelsea is an absolutely huge blow for them from a football point of view, but you completely understand it from a personal point of view.

    ‘That situation seems to have been accepted more than the Watford situation because there is this doubt, this lingering doubt, that the clubs at the bottom are trying to exploit the situation.’

    Neville added: ‘Everyone’s saying it, the bottom six will be thinking, what’s the upside for us? They really will. They’d much prefer null and void but that doesn’t seem the scenario right now.

    ‘Every single scenario has to get played out. They have to manage everything because you don’t know [what might happen]. If a load of players go down with coronavirus from a couple of teams, you have to then play out that situation – what if they can’t fulfil the fixtures?

    ‘At least they’re doing it and, fingers crossed, we can get football back on the menu very soon.

    ‘I think relegation will happen and points per game will come into play if clubs for any reason can’t complete the season.’

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