A COUPLE of this weekend’s Premier League matches have been postponed, including all of those last week, in a show of respect for Queen Elizabeth II who passed away last week.
And even for the games that will go ahead, like all other sports disciplines that will get underway in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world where the monarch had an influence, tribute will be paid before, during and after fixtures.
At all matches this weekend and the others on the schedule, a minute’s silence will be observed before kick-off, after which the national anthem will be played.
A minute’s applause after 70 minutes will also be observed to mark the length of her reign.
It has also been suggested that managers wear suits to the games and lead their teams out onto the pitch.
It is understood that big screens and advertising boards at the stadium will carry images of the Queen, who was once patron of the Football Association.
Two key clashes have been called off this weekend – Liverpool away to Chelsea and Leeds United’s trip to Manchester United.
Security issues were said to be at the heart of the postponements.
In the action lined up, champions Manchester City will get things underway today when they visit Wolves for the early kick-off.
Elsewhere, Newcastle United will host Bournemouth while Tottenham Hotspur will entertain Leicester City.
Tomorrow, Brentford are at home to Arsenal, and West Ham United travel to Everton.
Man City, who are down to play Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group matches on Thursday, look like a more polished and complete unit now that Erling Haaland has arrived in Manchester and started his career at the Etihad in fine style.
The young Norwegian has 10 goals in his first six Premier League games and had two for City in their Champions League opener against Sevilla last week, when they won 4-0.
But Wolves will be foolhardy enough to think that Haaland alone poses an immense threat.
Indeed, much of City’s ruthlessness is borne of their ability to attack and score from multiple sources, including Kevin De Bruyne, Bernando Silva, Jack Grealish, Ryhad Mahrez, Ilkay Gundogan and new signing, Julian Alvarez.
Arsenal are expected to collect maximum points when they leave Gtech Community Stadium tomorrow.
Having lost only once so far this season, the Gunners are nicely perched atop the standings.
Spaniard Mikel Arteta has got his squad playing cohesively as a close-knit unit, and is equal to the challenge of almost anyone in English football at the moment.
The Gunners are a mix of young, exciting footballers and some experienced ones.
Bournemouth’s trip to St James’ Park to clash with Newcastle could also prove a tricky fixture between two sides who look on equal footing, or perhaps the Magpies themselves have a marginal advantage from playing at home.
Either way, regardless of how it turns out, this weekend’s developments will long be remembered for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, who was head of the monarchy for seven decades.