THE Premier League is BACK.
After 75 long days since the end of the 2021/22 season, England’s top flight resumes tonight as Arsenal hosts Crystal Palace.
Football fans are giddy with excitement, especially those who have watched their team attract new star signings.
Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez, Raheem Sterling, Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus, Kalvin Phillips, Christian Eriksen, Jesse Lingard, Julian Alvarez – the list is endless.
The only managerial change made by any of the 20 Prem clubs over the summer was Erik ten Hag, who replaced interim boss Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United – but that should offer as much entertainment as any number of appointments combined.
Defending champions Manchester City begin their title defense at West Ham on Sunday, a day after last season’s runners-up Liverpool travel to newly promoted Fulham.
Goalscoring sensations Haaland and Nunez are both expected to make their Premier League debuts this weekend.
And it was Liverpool’s new man who hit and scored the back of the net first as he faced his Norwegian counterpart in last weekend’s Community Shield.
Will there be Haaland against Nunez for the Golden Shoe? Regulars Mo Salah and Harry Kane – not to mention many others – will no doubt have a say in the matter.
Then there’s the intriguing battle in last year’s top two with Arsenal and Tottenham showing promise after their summer deals.
Spurs have made smart acquisitions under Antonio Conte, including Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma and Richarlison.
Most read in the Premier League
Opening weekend fixtures
Here are the Premier League games to kick off the 2022/23 season.
Crystal Palace v Arsenal (8pm)
Bournemouth v Aston Villa (3pm)
Leeds v Wolves (3pm)
Newcastle v Nottingham Forest (3pm)
Leicester v Brentford (2pm)
Manchester United v Brighton (2pm)
West Ham-Manchester City (4:30pm)
Likewise, Mikel Arteta has brought in impressive names such as Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira.
The two north London clubs will be confident they have a psychological edge over rivals Chelsea, who have lost Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Romelu Lukaku.
Thomas Tuchel has signed Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and most recently Marc Cucurella but the coach also admitted at the end of the pre-season that his side are not ready for the new season.
Then there’s Manchester United.
New boss Ten Hag had to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo’s rebellion in the first few months of his tenure at Old Trafford.
But on the whole he appears to have come through just fine – although it remains to be seen whether the Portuguese superstar will last.
Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia have been brought in by the Dutchman – but can they help turn the sinking ship around?
Elsewhere, there are three new clubs in the division after Norwich, Watford and Burnley were relegated at the end of last season.
Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest join the league with a desire to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
Those at Craven Cottage will be hoping their yo-yo can stop for just a year as Scott Parker’s Bournemouth make their first leap into the top flight since being relegated in 2020.
And then there’s Steve Cooper’s Forest – returning to the Prem after a 23-year absence.
They wasted little time in the transfer market, signing 11 new players in preparation for an almighty challenge.
Those fresh faces include ex-Manchester United man Jesse Lingard and United loanee Dean Henderson.
They also broke the bank for Union Berlin striker Taiwo Awoniyi while Neco Williams arrives from Liverpool.
Forest’s investment will worry established Prem clubs that have been weakened over the summer.
Leeds lost Phillips and Raphinha, Everton lost Richarlison, Brentford were unable to hold Eriksen and Brighton have now seen Cucurella walk through the exit door where Yves Bissouma had already left.
Add to that Leicester – who are still unsure whether James Maddison and Wesley Fofana will leave – and these sides could well be looking over each other’s shoulders in the matter of slipping further down.
On a more positive note, West Ham are hoping they can enjoy a third successful season under David Moyes.
Keeping Declan Rice is a huge boost for everyone at the club.
But the additions of Gianluca Scamacca, Nayef Aguerd and possibly Maxwel Cornet will give Hammers supporters the belief they can compete both domestically and in Europe.
Newcastle’s sensational form in the second half of last season will give their fans great faith that they can carry on.
And who hasn’t been mentioned yet? Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Wolves.
These are clubs that are difficult to predict as many neutrals don’t know if they will challenge for Europe or fight to stay up.
Whatever happens, with a World Cup in the middle, it promises to be a season we’ll never forget.
Bring. It. On.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5936161/premier-league-back-preview-title-golden-boot/ The Premier League is BACK after 75 days with the most anticipated title and Golden Boot race in years