English Premiership

OPINION | What about a Premier League All-Star Game?

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane (Getty Images)
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane (Getty Images)

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have at least two things in common despite their obvious differences.

Both organisations host an All-Star Game which comprises players from different teams competing against each other in a usually entertaining showpiece.

The MLB has held an All-Star Game since 1933 while the NBA adopted the same idea with hopes of growing basketball in the world, shortly thereafter in 1951.

Today, basketball is the third most-watched sport in the USA with baseball ranked second. The NFL holds tops spot.

However, on the 'most-watched sports worldwide list', American football comes in ninth with baseball ranked eighth.

Meanwhile, the rise of basketball in the last decade has seen the sport surge to being the third most-watched sport behind cricket in second place with soccer being the most-viewed sport across the globe. The TV broadcasting numbers for soccer have reached spectacular figures with approximately 4 billion viewers in total.

Meanwhile, the Premier League in England tops the list for the most-watched league in the world with broadcasts to over 200 countries.

The top-flight in England has attracted several great players over the decades from all over the world and continues to do so, but what if the Premier League has its very own All-Star Game?

I know you're drooling just thinking about that match!

HOW WILL IT WORK? (AN IDEA)

A fair-minded system has to be in place for it to work as we would not want the field to be filled with only players from the top six sides - Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City - in the league.

So, here's my brief idea for a Premier League All-Star Game:

Much like the MLB and the NBA fixture, the Premier League All-Star Game would see the fans voting for the players they wish to see play.

Fans will be able to vote on the official Premier League app which has been ever-growing due to the huge popularity of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL). The fans will also cast their vote for a captain and manager as well.

A soccer match-day squad usually consists of 18 players with 11 on-field players and seven substitutes. To make it more fascinating, why not give each squad 20 players with nine players on the bench.

Managers will also be able to use all their substitutions available.  

To break it up - 50 players will make the final cut from the voting campaign with only 40 players making the two different match-day squads of 20 players on each team.

The 50 players will comprise of eight goalkeepers, 14 defenders, 14 midfielders, 14 forwards - with each side selecting two goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and six forwards.  

The captains will select the squad via a rotation selection process and each side can't have more than three players from the same club in the squad. 

Players from the relegated teams will be eligible for selection while individuals from the promoted teams will not make the cut - it keeps things fair.

More rules and regulations can be included, but you get where I am going with this, right?

WHEN TO BE PLAYED?

These types of exhibition matches are difficult to slot in during the campaign with fears of players getting injured as managers are already fussing over the Premier League not having a December festive season break.

I suggest that the All-Star Game takes place before the start of the new season as a 'curtain-raiser' if you like.

Usually, a week before the Premier League kicks off, the Community Shield takes place between the FA Cup winners and the Premier League title holders - a tradition that dates back to 1908. As much as I enjoy watching football, this fixture has become a bothersome encounter to be honest.

To captivate an audience, I strongly hope that an All-Star Game can be created in the future. It will attract a huge audience and will financially benefit the Premier League tremendously.

So, to the powers that be at the Premier League headquarters, you fancy giving it a try?

But what do YOU think? Should the Premier League create an All-Star Game of its own? Let us know your thoughts by mailing us on mysport@sport24.co.za or by tweeting us @Sport24news.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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Fixtures
Fri 27 Nov 20 22:00 PM (SAST)
Crystal Palace
Newcastle United
Selhurst Park
Sat 28 Nov 20 14:30 PM (SAST)
Brighton & Hove Albion
Liverpool
The American Express Community Stadium
Sat 28 Nov 20 17:00 PM (SAST)
Manchester City
Burnley
Etihad Stadium
Results
Mon 23 Nov 20
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Southampton 1
Mon 23 Nov 20
Burnley 1
Crystal Palace 0
Sun 22 Nov 20
Liverpool 3
Leicester City 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Tottenham Hotspur
9
6
20
2. Liverpool
9
6
20
3. Chelsea
9
5
18
4. Leicester City
9
6
18