Finally! The wait is over and another European football season is upon us once again. As English fans celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Premier League, we will be looking forward to another ten months of jam-packed action starting this weekend with some mouth-watering fixtures to keep fans entertained.
[caption id="attachment_1064" align="alignnone" width="640"] Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal[/caption]
As the 26th Premier League season beckons, the belief that each of the 20 top-flight clubs have that “this will be their year” is stronger than ever - it was only a couple of seasons ago that Leicester City hoisted aloft the most coveted crown. From the Emirates to the Eithad, from Merseyside to Manchester, everyone starts as equals on opening day but only one can be left celebrating at the end of it all.
Premier League 2017/18 Opening Fixtures:
Friday August 11th
Arsenal vs Leicester City
Saturday August 12th
Watford vs Liverpool
Everton vs Stoke City
Crystal Palace vs Huddersfield
Southampton vs Swansea City
West Brom vs Bournemouth
Chelsea vs Burnley
Brighton vs Man City
Sunday August 13th
Newcastle vs Tottenham
Man Utd vs West Ham
[caption id="attachment_1065" align="alignnone" width="640"] Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku[/caption]
Arsenal, fresh off the back of a fifth-placed finish in 2016/17 will kick-off Premier League 2017/18 with a Friday night fixture against the ‘Fearless Foxes’ and will be hoping to start well as they prepare for a season in the Europa League for the first time under Arsene Wenger, although Manchester United showed last season how valuable that competition could prove to be in securing Champions League football. Jose Mourinho’s men start their campaign on the first Super Sunday of the season, against West Ham United at Old Trafford following Tottenham’s visit to Newcastle United, who are back in the top tier again after just one season in the Championship.
[caption id="attachment_1066" align="alignnone" width="640"] David Wagner, Manager of Huddersfield Town[/caption]
Liverpool make their way to London for the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday to play Watford who, in Marco Silva, have a new manager for the third time in as many seasons. Merseyside rivals Everton, who welcome Wayne Rooney back to Goodison Park after 13 years, face a tough test against Stoke City, coincidentally the same side who ‘Wazza’ scored his 250th and record-breaking Manchester United goal against. Newly promoted Huddersfield Town under the guidance of German David Wagner will play Frank de Boer’s Crystal Palace as both managers make their Premier League bows.
Defending Champions Chelsea welcome Burnley to Stamford Bridge as Antonio Conte prepares for a second season in charge. Record-signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid has linked up with his former boss and is expected to make his Premier League debut on Saturday. The two South-Coast teams Southampton and Bournemouth face opening-day encounters at home to Swansea and away to West Brom respectively. They are joined in the top-flight by a third seaside club. Brighton and Hove Albion known as ‘The Seagulls’ will round off Saturday’s games when they play host to Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City chargers, who are raring to improve on last season’s trophyless campaign.