Well we didn’t have to wait too long for the start of the new Premier League season, did we?
With last season’s action concluding on July 26, just seven weeks have passed as we gear up towards the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
It will be the first Premier League season that has seen Liverpool enter as defending champions. Jurgen Klopp’s side swept all before them to win their first league title in 30 years last time out, but expect a response from their closest challengers, Manchester City, while the likes of Manchester United, and in particular Chelsea, look to close the gap on the top two.
Elsewhere, the Premier League welcomes back Fulham and West Bromwich Albion following their absences of a year and two years respectively. The final promoted team however have had to wait a little longer, with Leeds United back in the big time for the first time since 2004, as Marcelo Bielsa plots to keep them there for the long-term.
Here’s to what is hopefully the start of another exciting Premier League season.
Premier League Game of the Round – Liverpool vs Leeds United
It’s the reigning Premier League champions against last season’s Championship winners in what could be a potential banana skin for Liverpool as they begin their quest to retain their crown.
Under Bielsa, Leeds have looked a Premier League team in waiting, as their performance in last season’s FA Cup against Arsenal testifies.
The addition of Rodrigo Moreno gives them a top-level cutting edge that they needed, while the talented duo of Kalvin Phillips and Jack Harrison will be hoping to make a good first impression in the top-flight.
For Liverpool, all the talk will be around their mentality as they now go from the chasers, to the ones being chased. Jurgen Klopp’s men romped home to the title last time out with an 18-point gap between themselves and Manchester City in second, although the sentiment is that this season’s title race will be significantly closer.
Despite the lack of new faces – with just one of note for the Reds so far – Klopp is confident his side can go again. “We always want to improve the squad but there are different ways – one way is to sign new players and the other way is to work together, improve the things you were good in and try to nullify the things you are not good in,” he said speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live.
One Liverpool player to keep an eye on for their opening game is Mohamed Salah.
The two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner has scored on Match Day 1 for the Reds in each of the last three seasons, with a goal against Leeds meaning he would be the first player in the club’s history to do it in four consecutive Match Day 1 games.
Rest of the Round
The 2020/21 Premier League season gets underway on Saturday at 12:30pm from Craven Cottage, as recently-promoted Fulham host an Arsenal side that look rejuvenated under Mikel Arteta.
Crystal Palace welcome Southampton to Selhurst Park at 3pm.
Following the aforementioned game at Anfield, there’s action from the London Stadium as West Ham United face Newcastle United.
Sunday begins in a similar vein to Saturday, with the action commencing from another promoted side. This time it’s West Brom when they take on Leicester City.
Then it’s off to the capital once again as Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur face Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton.
Monday also has two matches taking place, as Sheffield United take on Wolverhampton Wanderers, before a free-spending Chelsea travel to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton & Hove Albion.
As for Burnley and Aston Villa, they will have to wait a little longer to get their campaigns underway due to Manchester United and Manchester City receiving extra time off following their European commitments in August.
Premier League Player to Watch: Danny Ings – Southampton – £1.42
It’s always difficult deciding who you think will do well for an upcoming season, but many will be hoping Danny Ings brings last season’s form over into the 2020/21 campaign.
Only Jamie Vardy (23) netted more Premier League goals than Ings last season (22), while of the players to score 17 goals or more in the league last season, once again it’s only Vardy that has a lower Share Price than the Southampton forward.
Starting the season away from St. Mary’s should be no problem for Ings, with 12 of his league goals last season coming on the road, while the prospect of facing a Crystal Palace side that failed to win any of their last eight league games in 2019/20 (D1 L7) could appeal to Traders.