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Sterling to face Zaha after first ePremier League Invitational draw

6:35 AM EDT 4/20/20
Raheem Sterling Manchester City 2019-20
The opening matches in the inaugural FIFA 20 competition have been drawn, and two flying Premier League wingers will face off

Raheem Sterling against Wilfried Zaha is the pick of the ties following the draw for the opening fixtures of the ePremier League Invitational tournament.

Representatives of all 20 Premier League clubs will face off in a knock-out FIFA 20 video game tournament this week, organised to fill the gap caused by the suspension of English football amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Several notable Premier League stars are taking part, including Manchester City winger Sterling and Crystal Palace forward Zaha, along with Liverpool and England right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and Wolves star Diogo Jota.

While it remains to be seen how good the players are with virtual football compared to the real thing, there is no doubt that, on sporting reputation, the clash between Sterling and Zaha is the biggest tie.

Elsewhere it will be Liverpool versus Manchester United, as Alexander-Arnold takes on the Red Devils' representative, singer Tom Grennan.

Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko will represent his club, and the France international faces a grudge match against his old side Newcastle United, controlled by Magpies winger Christian Atsu.

The action commences on Tuesday, with John McGinn of Aston Villa against Brighton's Neil Maupay, singer Josh Franceschi representing Arsenal against Watford and midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah. Dwight McNeil of Burnley plays West Ham's Ryan Fredericks, and there is an all-south coast clash as Bournemouth's Phillip Billing takes on Angus Gunn from Southampton.

Sterling vs Zaha, Alexander-Arnold against Grennan and Sissoko versus Atsu are on Wednesday, as is another enticing clash between Chelsea and Everton, represented by first-team players Reece James and Andre Gomes respectively.

The final opening-stage matches are on Thursday, with Jota against Leicester - represented by defender James Justin - and Norwich versus Sheffield United, the Canaries played by midfielder Todd Cantwell and the Blades under the control of striker Lys Mousset.

The Premier League has been suspended indefinitely since last month as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect Great Britain, leaving the players stuck inside like everyone else as they await the return of football at some stage in the future.

In the meantime, a number of Premier League players will go head to head from their own homes as they represent their clubs in a knockout tournament in the first ever ePremier League Invitational - with the final on April 25.

The competition is also for a good cause, with all prize money going to #PlayersTogether, the brainchild of Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson which aims to generate funds for the National Health Service and other organisations committed to fighting coronavirus.