With no real football to watch, we at talkSPORT.com have done the exact same as you – turned to Football Manager!
The coronavirus pandemic has forced us inside, and seeing everyone fire up FM20 made us jealous as we continue to work from home to create brilliant content for your entertainment.
So, we too got the hit game up and running – but not in the name of fun, no.
We did it for, hmmm, research.
Yes, that’s correct; while working from home we played some FM20 in the name of science, as we simulated the remainder of the 2019/20 season to discover what would have happened in the Premier League had COVID-19 not forced all football to be suspended.
This involved setting a custom start date so the FM20 season began at the time of the Premier League being suspended in real life, and then simulating the rest of the campaign.
We found out who would be crowned champions (no surprises there), who made it into Europe, and which teams suffered the unenviable fate of relegation.
Read below to discover what happened…
Who would have guessed it, Liverpool won the Premier League!
However, it took them until April 20 to finally secure the title as a 1-0 win at Brighton – courtesy of a Roberto Firmino goal – claimed Liverpool their first league championship in 30 years.
They ended the season with three defeats to their name, including the real life 3-0 loss at Watford, while they were also beaten by Everton in the Merseyside derby and closest title rivals Man City.
These two defeats were the reason it took Liverpool until the middle of April to get their hands on silverware.
The first team relegated from the top flight were Norwich, who are favourites to go down in real life too.
They only won promotion from the Championship last season, but have endured a tough campaign with only two more wins picked in FM20 on top of the five victories they’ve claimed in 2019/20 so far.
Norwich’s return to the second tier was confirmed in early May – but the two other teams joining them in being relegated were not decided until the final day!
It was a close-fought fight for survival in the final weeks of the simulated season, with Watford and West Ham picking up vital wins to secure a place in the 2020/21 Premier League on the penultimate matchday.
Southampton’s final day win moved them onto 40 points, though a defeat would have been fine for Saints given both Brighton and Bournemouth lost to remain on 35 points each, ensuring they stayed in the bottom three.
Aston Villa, who began the simulation two points from safety,though with a game in hand, suffered an extremely close call – guaranteeing their survival by just ONE point.
Bournemouth’s return to the Championship saw Eddie Howe sacked as Cherries manager – but he was not alone in being axed the day after the end of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Man United boss, was also dismissed from his post after failing to guide the Red Devils to Champions League qualification.
They ended the season in fifth – the same position in which they began the simulation – falling one point short of the top four.
And look who that is being linked with the Old Trafford hotseat – none other than ex-Red Devil Steve Bruce, who is wanted by Man United after guiding Newcastle to a 13th place finish
One of the other big winners of the season were Arsenal.
Under the tutelage of Mikel Arteta, the Gunners climbed from ninth to seventh to finish ahead of local rivals Tottenham and qualify for the Europa League, thanks to Man City lifting the Carabao Cup and FA Cup (again).
Jose Mourinho was under pressure at White Hart Lane all throughout the final weeks of the season, but despite running the simulation to the end of June, he was still, somehow, Spurs manager.
We’ll never know how he kept his post despite finishing all the way down in EIGHTH!
So, there you have it.
A completely reliable and 100 per cent accurate* representation of how the final weeks of the Premier League season were going to play out had coronavirus not come and wreaked havoc on the world of sport.
*Not completely reliable or 100 per cent accurate