The 2017/18 Premier League season is finally upon us, with last season’s FA Cup winners Arsenal and 2016 champions Leicester City getting things underway on Friday evening.
The North London side will be keen to start with a victory as they look to bounce back from last season’s relatively disappointing fifth place finish, and will look to take momentum from a positive pre-season which has seen them win two trophies and the Community Shield.
Leicester ended last season in a respectable twelfth place, quashing fears that they could be relegated following their heroics twelve months earlier.
Saturday’s action kicks off at Vicarage Road where Marco Silva takes charge of Watford for the first time, against a Liverpool side currently embroiled in a transfer saga surrounding midfielder Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazil international has now handed in a transfer request as he continues to be linked with a big money move to Barcelona, though the Merseyside club are holding firm as they prepare for a season back in the Champions League.
Champions Chelsea host Burnley and will be hoping for a better defence to their crown than they mustered last time they won the division, though there has been much change at Stamford Bridge over the summer.
Striker Diego Costa remains a Blue but is expected to move on before the transfer window closes, and all eyes will be on £70m man Alvaro Morata who is the second most expensive player to move to the Premier League so far this summer.
Ronald De Boer begins his Crystal Palace reign with the visit of last season’s Championship play-off winners Huddersfield Town while fellow Premier League newcomers Brighton and Hove Albion host title favourites Manchester City in Saturday’s late kick-off.
A much changed Everton begin the campaign at home against Stoke City while elsewhere Southampton face Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion take on Bournemouth.
Sunday’s early kick-off sees Newcastle United begin life back in the big time against a Tottenham Hotspur side yet make any additions to their squad.
No new arrivals
Mauricio Pochettino’s side finished as runners-up to Chelsea last season and are likely to find it tough go one better or even do the same with the majority of their rivals looking stronger.
One of those sides, Manchester United host West Ham United in the final game of the weekend with both sides having been busy in the transfer market.
While the Jose Mourinho’s side’s signing of Romelu Lukaku has stolen a lot of the headlines a nod must go to the Hammers who have arguably done the shrewdest bit of business by bringing in former Old Trafford favourite Javier Hernandez from Bayer Levurkusen.
The Mexico international, who netted thirty-seven league goals for the Red Devils is priced at 7/2 to score at anytime against his old club on Sunday.
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