Can you actually believe we’re already staring into a whole nine months of another Premier League season?
There’s barely been time to update the wallcharts with Leeds, West Brom and whoever else is getting relegated next May – Fulham, that’s it, Fulham – and already we’re looking at the first glorious weekend of the most bestest football league that was was ever conceived of ever.
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Amid all the Super Sundays and Soccer Saturdays it’s easy to lose track of what’s important – the actual games – so we’re marking your calendar for some of the stand out fixtures to watch for in the coming season.
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September 12th – Liverpool v Leeds
The champions versus the slightly lesser champions.
The Whites of Elland road return to the big-time with as high-profile a tie as you can get. Liverpool are still surfing the champagne-like wave of title glory and we’d expect them to let loose at Anfield against the Bielsa-inspired side who will be looking to out-press the gegenpressers.
We just hope Jurgen Klopp can resist the urge to kick the Argentine manager’s coolbox perch should the newly-promoted side pose a threat to the Reds in their opener.
October 3rd – Man United v Spurs
We’ve no doubt Jose will receive a rapturous reception from whoever is allowed to assemble at Old Trafford for this one – the weekend is earmarked for a potential return of fans to games – when he sidles up to his old stomping ground in early October.
And the ex-United boss will show his respect for his old club by recreating his knees-slide celebration from Porto’s win back in 2004 when Tanguy Ndombele taps in a 90th-minute winner to send the Special One delirious and United’s army of online fans wondering what Poch is up to now.
November 7th – Man City v Liverpool
We’re looking forward to getting the league title wrapped up nice and early with Liverpool’s trips to Etihad in November.
With both sides likely to already be 18 points ahead of the rest having won all their games from opening day, this game will represent Pep’s one chance to take points off their Merseyside rivals. Should Liverpool win, you can wrap up title number two for Klopp and the boys for Christmas.Who’s on the move in the transfer window? Get the latest odds at PaddyPower.com
December 26th – Arsenal v Chelsea
There’s a Christmas cracker set for Boxing Day as Arsenal will be turned inside out by paroxysms of yuletide regret when they welcome Chelsea to their empty stadium – fans should be allowed back by now, but no one will be bothered turning up at the Emirates as Mikel Arteta follows the Unai Emery trajectory of initial promise tinged with relief that at least it’s not Wenger anymore, which eventually gives way to a realisation that you’re finishing behind Burnley if things don’t change soon.
January 16th – Liverpool v Man United
Despite Ole being at the wheel, the United bandwagon will be once again careening out of control when it’s time to splutter along the M62 to Anfield for a spanking by Kloppo’s league-toppers. As it’ll probably be too early for the Red Devils to be mathematically out of the race for the top 4, Ed Woodward and the Glazers will disregard the 5-1 result as they plot how best to balls up the January transfer window, – ‘Fergie says David Hirst can still do a job up-front? And William Prunier’s just the partner Harry Maguire needs? I’m on it!’
Newcastle are also due to meet Arsenal on the same day to decide once and for all who is the biggest a**ehole owner, Mike Ashley or Stan Kroenke.
February 13th – West Ham v Sheffield Utd
Having replaced David Moyes with Manuel Pellegrini once already, the Chilean manager will have returned for a second spell to the Generic Stadium With Added West Ham Stickers the London side now calls home after transfer discussions before Christmas resulted in Moyes arguing that Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jagielka’s were the answer to the Hammers’ disastrous campaign so far.
Using his South American connections, Pellegrini engineers a loan return for Carlos Tevez to claret and blue that technically breaks the Premier League’s transfer regulations, but which is all brushed under the carpet in time for this clash where Tevez smashes in a hat-trick and a deluge of boiling p*ss causes an estimated £100m worth of damage across South Yorkshire.
March 20th – Liverpool v Chelsea
Their second consecutive title wrapped up already, Liverpool invite Rafa Benitez to return for one game only against the club he enjoyed so many big European nights against, but his request to insert Djimi Traore into the first team is blocked on the ground that it would be “disrespectful” to the Blues.
The game is also seen as a trial run for Benitez to return to Stamford Bridge in a caretaker capacity, with Chelsea’s stunning surge to fourth position in the league forcing the FA to dispatch Gareth Southgate as England manager and bring in Frank Lampard, who has also just been awarded a knighthood by the Queen based on getting Chelsea to quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Manchester United's third kit has officially arrived ? pic.twitter.com/qaIHd0bZgU
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 8, 2020
April 24th – Aston Villa v West Brom, Leeds v Man United
At Elland Road, Man United visit with Giggseh having been given it ’til end of season as the club slipped out of the Champions League spots and Adidas threatened them with an even more embarrassing kit that their zebra crossing disaster in 2021/22 if they didn’t turn things around.
Inspired by the Welshman’s rousing pre-match team-talk, the Red Devils limit Leeds to a 3-0 win as the VAR technology malfunctions and starts giving all decisions to the wrong United.
Meanwhile, with both sides already relegated, the midlands derby is chiefly of interest to Wolves fans, who take time out from sacrificing their young to appease Jorge Mendes to commission a fleet of light aircraft to circle Villa Park with a range of insulting banners.
May 23rd – Sheffield Utd v Burnley
With everything decided weeks before the final day of the season, the only place at stake is the battle for 10th between these two. Naturally, Sky have to inject some drama into the proceedings so stage a pre-match gurn-off between managers Chris Wilder and Sean Dyche the winner of which will be decided by which face-puller can make Roy Keane sigh the loudest in their allotted two minutes of mugging.
The loser will then be forced to listen Graeme Souness’ new investigative podcast series, ‘From Adam and Eve to Global Warming: Why Paul Pogba is to Blame’, which might still be marginally more entertaining than the game itself, before everyone jets off for nice, quiet summer in Mykonos…
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