The Premier League has given permission to clubs to stage friendlies ahead of the resumption of the 2019/20 season, but teams must follow a number of strict instructions.
Due to the coronavirus, there has been no action in England's top division since March, but it was recently confirmed that the campaign will resume on 17 June, provided it is safe to do so.
Teams have already returned to full contact training, and have been stepping up the intensity in training sessions as they look to fully prepare for the resumption of the campaign.
Despite this, match fitness has proven to be an area of concern for some, but the Telegraph report that Premier League clubs requested permission to face other teams in order to step up their preparations - and this request has been approved.
The Premier League granted permission for friendly matches to take place on Wednesday, but clubs must abide by a number of strict instructions to ensure hygiene and social distancing rules are followed.
Matches will be played at either stadiums or training grounds, but a team is forbidden from travelling for further than 90 minutes. Moreover, players will be made to travel to the games in their own cars - potentially wearing their kits. There will be no official referees, instead members of a team's coaching staff will officiate the game.
Finally, there will be full risk-assessments of the stadiums/training grounds before games, while players who will take part must also, of course, have recorded negative tests for the coronavirus in recent checks. While these conditions must be followed, the Premier League are said to be willing to grant special dispensation to teams such as Newcastle if they face a longer trip for a friendly game.
Teams in the Championship have returned to full contact training following a vote on Monday, and the Telegraph note that a number of clubs in the second division have already been contacted about playing games against Premier League teams.
With the return of the Premier League fast approaching, this will be a good way for teams to regain match sharpness - but the health and safety of everyone involved remains the main priority.
Source : 90min