ESports: Manchester United face Liverpool in ePremier League Invitational

Premier League stars such as Raheem Sterling, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Wilfried Zaha will compete in a FIFA 20 tournament that starts on Tuesday with proceeds going to the NHS.

Matthew Crist

The draw for the inaugural ePremier League Invitational tournament has thrown up some pretty interesting encounters, not least the tie of the round which sees Manchester United face Liverpool.

Players and celebrity fans from all 20 Premier League clubs prepare to battle for supremacy and will go head-to-head on EA SPORTS FIFA 20 throughout this week – all competing on PlayStation 4, with each representative playing as their club and all ratings on the game levelled out to ensure an even playing field.

There will be a south-coast derby in the opening round, with AFC Bournemouth’s Philip Billing facing Southampton’s Angus Gunn who are among eight contestants who will fight for a place in the last 16, at which point the remaining 12 club representatives will enter the competition.

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Sissoko has been pitted against his former club Newcastle United in the last 16, taking on Christian Atsu while the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United will be renewed, as Trent Alexander-Arnold faces musician Tom Grennan, who will be representing the Red Devils.

Meanwhile, two of the league’s trickiest wingers, Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha, have also been paired against each other as they attempt to reach the quarter-finals.

The ePremier League was first launched by the Premier League for the 2018/19 seasons as some of the best FIFA players around the UK competed to represent their favourite club, before battling it out in a live ePremier League final at the Gfinity Arena.

But, with the ePremier League suspended in the 2019/20 season due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League have decided to launch the ePremier League invitational, with professional footballers representing their teams on FIFA 20 instead.

Footballing favourites and stars of TV and music will battle it out in a knockout tournament from the comfort of their own homes to decide who competes in the final, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports on Saturday 25 April.

The opening rounds feature four matches per day between midday and 4pm from Tuesday 21 April to Friday 24 April. The semi-finals and final will be televised live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League at 3pm on Saturday 25 April.

The prize fund will be donated to the #PlayersTogether initiative, which was created by Premier League players as a collective way of generating funds for the National Health Service and distributing them where they are needed most.

“We are aware of the importance of finding new ways to entertain fans at this time and we’re excited to bring together a strong line-up of players for the ePremier League tournament,” said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters.

How to Watch

ePL Invitational

Image: Premier League

Fans will be able to watch all the action throughout the week on the Premier League website and app as well as its YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels.

The Sky Sports YouTube and Twitch channels, as well as the Football Daily YouTube channel, will also cover the tournament.

The opening rounds will feature four matches a day from 12:00 (BST) from Tuesday 21 April through to Friday 24 April.

The semi-finals and final will be televised live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League in the UK at 15:00 BST on Saturday 25 April.

The Draw

Round 1

21 April (from 12:00 BST)
1A John McGinn (AVL) v Neal Maupay (BHA)
1B Josh Franceschi (ARS) v Nathaniel Chalobah (WAT)
1C Dwight McNeil (BUR) v Ryan Fredericks (WHU)
1D Philip Billing (BOU) v Angus Gunn (SOU)

Last 16

22 April (from 12:00 BST)
2A Raheem Sterling (MCI) v Wilfried Zaha (CRY)
2B Tom Grennan (MUN) v Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV)
2C Reece James (CHE) v Andre Gomes (EVE)
2D Moussa Sissoko (TOT) v Christian Atsu (NEW)

23 April (from 12:00 BST)

2E Diogo Jota (WOL) v Wilfred Ndidi (LEI)
2F Todd Cantwell (NOR) v Lys Mousset (SHU)
2G Winner 1A v Winner 1D
2H Winner 1B v Winner 1C


24 April (from 12:00 BST)
QF1 Winner 2B v Winner 2D
QF2 Winner 2C v Winner 2A
QF3 Winner 2E v Winner 2F
QF4 Winner 2G v Winner 2H


25 April (from 15:00 BST)
SF1 Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
SF2 Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Final Winner SF1 v Winner SF2


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