After a three-month hiatus, the Premier League returns on Friday evening (11th) with Arsenal taking on 2015-16 Premier League Champions Leicester City.
In anticipation of another fantastic campaign, Bookmakers.co.uk have created an extensive guide to the new season.
The pick of the opening weekend games is arguably Manchester City’s trip to Premier League newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion on the late Saturday kick-off.
Top flight new boys Huddersfield Town begin their first ever spell time in the Premier League. Their peak was reaching ‘Division One’, as it was back in 1972, but now they start their season with an away clash against Crystal Palace.
Newcastle United entertain Tottenham Hotspur at St James’ Park on Sunday (13th). Premier League sides have been very active in the transfer market, with seven clubs already breaking their transfer records to secure top targets to make them even more competitive this season.
Champions Chelsea have completed the signing of Spanish international Álvaro Morata for a whopping £60M on a five-year deal whilst The Terriers snapped up Steve Mounié for £11M from Montpellier in the hope that their fairy-tale can last longer than a single season. The Benin international scored 15 goals in all competitions last season for the French side.
Besides the most expensive transfers, there have been many other high-profile additions to the Premier League this summer. One of the most notable is Manchester City’s capture of Monaco’s Bernardo Silva for £43.6M. The midfielder registered 11 goals and 12 assists last season as he helped his former side win their first league title in 17 years.
Surprisingly there’s been a number of costly domestic switches this summer. Kyle Walker swapped Tottenham for Manchester City for £50M, Romelu Lukaku sealed a £75M move to Manchester United and England defender Michael Keane joined Everton from Burnley in a £25M deal.
As well as new players, there are three new managers to grace the Premier League for the first time. David Wagner will be managing at the top-level after taking Huddersfield to the Premier League via the play-offs last season, whilst Southampton handed former Alavés manager Mauricio Pellegrino the reins at St. Mary’s after leading his former side to the Copa dl Rey final last season.
New Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer will be coming to the Premier League with a point to prove after being sacked by Inter Milan last season, where his problematic spell saw him leave the San Siro with a win percentage of just 35.7%.
Manchester City, who, according to Transfermarkt.com, have the most valuable squad in the league, have been installed as the early bookies’ favourites to win the Premier League title this season at 7/4. They are followed by rivals Manchester United at 7/2, Chelsea at 7/2, Tottenham at 8/1 and Arsenal at 10/1.
Huddersfield Town, who have the lowest squad value in the league, are favourites for the drop at 4/6. Other relegation favourites include Burnley at 5/4, Brighton at 5/4, Marco Silva’s Watford at 15/8 and Swansea at 9/4.
After winning the Golden Boot at the end of the last two seasons, it’s no surprise that Harry Kane is the 3/1 favourite to make it a hat-trick. He is followed by last season’s runner-up Romelu Lukaku who is available at 7/2, Sergio Aguero at 7/1, Chelsea new boy Álvaro Morata at 9/1, and Manchester City wonder kid Gabriel Jesus who is available at the same price.
Another popular market amongst betters is the first manger to leave. Newcastle’s Rafael Benitez and Stoke’s Mark Hughes are installed as the 7/2 favourites to be shown the door first. They are followed by Slaven Bilic of West Ham at 11/2 who seemed fortunate to stay in his job after an unsatisfying campaign last season.
Craig Shakespeare (Leicester City) at 8/1 and Swansea’s Paul Clement and West Brom’s Tony Pulis at 10/1 make up the remainder of favourites for the sack.
With a number of quality additions to the Premier League this summer, this campaign promises to be more than competitive at both ends of the league.
View this fantastic preview infographic to the new season: