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The Premier League is back. What to know about opening day of new season | Football News


And so it begins again.

The new Premier League season kicks off on Friday with defending champions and treble-winning Manchester City facing Burnley as they start the chase of an unprecedented fourth straight English top-flight title.

Still riding the wave of euphoria from adding the club’s first-ever Champions League to go with Premier League and FA Cup glory, Pep Guardiola’s side travel to promoted Burnley, now managed by former City captain Vincent Kompany. 

The champions will be without former captain Ilkay Gundogan, who left for Barcelona, and Riyad Mahrez, who has signed for Saudi side Al Ahli. Croatian duo Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol are the new only two new arrivals in the transfer market so far.

Inspired by Guardiola, Kompany has transformed Burnley into a side that dominate the ball.

“I would play every week of every month of every year against a team the level of Man City,” the former Belgian captain said. “That is the best way to improve.

“You won’t get them all right, it’s impossible with the quality of that team – possibly the best team at the moment in world football — but that’s the best challenge so I wouldn’t want it any different.”

Burnley, though, did see the downside of opening up against City when they lost 6-0 in the FA Cup quarter-finals last season.

Community Shield - Manchester City v Arsenal
From left to right, Arsenal’s summer signings Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber celebrate with the Community Shield trophy after the win over Manchester City on August 6 [Dylan Martinez/Reuters]

Arsenal, runners-up last year after leading for much of the campaign, host Nottingham Forest in Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff. Mikel Arteta’s side, who have added England midfielder Declan Rice from West Ham, German forward Kai Havertz from Chelsea and Dutch defender Jurrien Timber from Ajax Amsterdam to their ranks, beat Manchester City on penalties on Sunday to win the Community Shield. 

“It’s a marker to know we can go and beat Manchester City in a big game when it matters,” said goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. “I’m not sure what it’ll be like this season. But that mental block is gone.”

Elsewhere, last season’s fourth-placed Newcastle United are at home to Aston Villa on Saturday evening.

Liverpool, fifth last season, are at Chelsea on Sunday where former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will be making his league debut for the home side, who finished a disappointing 12th last season.

“We are in a good way; we are building something special I think,” Pochettino said at the weekend. “We know we are Chelsea and even if young players are involved against Liverpool, the mentality is to win.”

Manchester United, third at the final whistle last May, must wait until Monday for their opening game at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers. The visitors have a new manager, with former Bournemouth coach Gary O’Neil appointed only on Wednesday after Julen Lopetegui abruptly left.

Over at Tottenham, former Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou takes up the baton with a trip across London to Brentford on Sunday, with speculation rising about the future of England captain and record goalscorer Harry Kane after repeated approaches from Bayern Munich.

Promoted Sheffield United are at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday while Luton Town are at Brighton & Hove Albion for the Hatters’ first game in the top flight since 1992, pre-Premier League.

Everton host Fulham also on Saturday, with West Ham United travelling to Bournemouth.

Here’s the full match schedule of the Premier League’s opening day:

Friday

Burnley vs Manchester City 19:00 GMT

Saturday

Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest 11:30 GMT

Bournemouth vs West Ham 14:00 GMT

Brighton vs Luton 14:00 GMT

Everton vs Fulham 14:00 GMT

Sheffield United vs Crystal Palace 14:00 GMT

Newcastle vs Aston Villa 16:30 GMT

Sunday

Brentford vs Tottenham 13:00 GMT

Chelsea vs Liverpool 15:30 GMT

Monday

Manchester United vs Wolves 19:00 GMT

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