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Top-flight players are minding the gap

Devil's in the distance: Man United players Brandon Williams and Aaron Wan-Bissaka during a first team training session at Old Trafford PICTURE: GETTY

THE average time Premier League players spend within two metres of one another has almost halved during the first week of contact sessions.

‘Project Restart’ is stepping up ahead of the top-flight’s resumption on June 17, with clubs given the green light to move from socially distanced small-group training to contact sessions on May 27.

The Premier League worked with STATSports to help shape those sessions and the company found the average duration of a player’s incursion within two metres of another was 3.3 seconds before Covid-19 but has now dropped to 1.8sec as clubs alter their operations.

‘The early indications from what we’re seeing this week from working with the teams is that we’re seeing a substantial drop in the average incursion time,’ said STATSports co-founder Sean O’Connor.

‘We expect that to maintain or even improve as we’re going on.’