We’re back with Betfred Super League – not quite as you know it, but back all the same.
Fans won’t be allowed through the turnstiles of course, but really, that is a small price to pay when you consider where we were four months ago pre-lockdown.
The rule changes will make a difference with play speeded up no doubt, but that can only enhance our great game.
Fans will be able to watch the drama unfold on Sky, who like everyone involved in RL, have shown great flexibility in ensuring we restart the season when safe to do so, which is Sunday at Headingley.
It was a great relief that Betfred Super League reported no cases of coronavirus from the first round of testing of players and staff.
They are quite rightly subject to at least two tests under the protocols, with 924 tests carried out in total.
So first up we have Leeds v Huddersfield followed by Saints v Catalans.
I thought it was great, by the way, to hear that Warrington coach Steve Price, ahead of the opener with HKR on August 8, has reported a clean bill of health but is still vowing to give opportunities to younger members of his 34-strong squad.
Ahead of the resumption it is the small matter of the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday – and I still can’t get my head around the fact that City and United both flopped in their semi-finals to set up an all London showdown between Chelsea and Arsenal.
Arsenal’s top gun Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is 10/3 to open the scoring in the final while we have Olivier Giroud at 4/1 to do likewise for Chelsea.
Aubameyang’s double against now-relegated Watford in the dramatic last day of the Premier League season on Sunday, almost ruined it for two Betfred customers who picked my pockets big time, by correctly predicting the top scorers in all four divisions.
A customer from south Yorkshire, and another from Newcastle, both smashed odds of 80/1 to wager that Jamie Vardy would score the most in the Premier League and that Aleksandar Mitrovic would do so for Fulham in the Championship. Regarding League One and Two, we paid out on Ivan Toney of Peterborough and Eoin Doyle – formerly of Swindon now at Bolton Wanderers – as the EFL curtailed their seasons when they were well ahead in the scoring charts.
The customer in Newcastle enjoyed a £27,819 return from his once in lifetime bet of £650. The Betfred regular in Yorkshire, who also had Raith Rovers to win the Scottish League One and Dundee United to top the Scottish Championship, won a whopping £100,000 from a £240 stake.
Finally two football stalwarts in David Silva at City and Leighton Baines at Everton, won’t be donning their blue jerseys for the clubs they have served so brilliantly any more. Good luck to the loyal pair whatever they chose to do next.