The 2020/21 Premier League begins this weekend with most teams returning to action after a two-month break.
18 of the 20 teams will feature in fixtures taking place this weekend. Manchester United and Manchester City won’t be in action as they have been given an extra week to recover following their extended Europa League and Champions League campaigns.
The Premier League begins a month later than the usual August start date this season due to the impact of the Coronavirus on last year’s competition.
Newly promoted Fulham will host Arsenal at Craven Cottage in the Premier League curtain-raiser on Saturday. Scott Parker’s Fulham will be eager to make an impression after their relegation from the league in the 2018/19 season while Arsenal will be full of confidence following their FA Cup and Community Shield wins.
Despite the likelihood of starting the season with five defenders unavailable due to injury, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will be boosted by positive contract negotiations with star player, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who looks set to sign a new three-year deal with the club.
The flagship fixture of the weekend will take place at Anfield. Premier League champions Liverpool will begin their title defence against Championship winners Leeds United on Saturday evening.
Liverpool lifted their first top-flight title in 30 years last season and will want to make a positive start against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, who ran away with the Championship title last season, winning by 10 points.
Tottenham play Everton on Sunday afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Both sides will be desperate to start their campaign with a win after disappointing 2019/20 seasons.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho improved his side towards the end of last season. They lost just one of their last 10 matches, leading Spurs to sixth place. Everton have made three big signings in the transfer window so far to improve their attacking options after they scored just seven goals in their last 11 towards the end of last season. James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré all joined Carlo Ancelotti’s side this summer.
There is a Midlands derby on Sunday with West Bromwich Albion returning to the Premier League to face Leicester City at the Hawthornes. West Brom narrowly gained automatic promotion to the Premier League despite a poor end to their 2019/20 Championship campaign, while Leicester also struggled to finish well, falling from third position in the Premier League to finish in fifth.
Chelsea begin their campaign with a host of new signings. Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell all arrived at Stamford Bridge this summer for a combined total of £200 million. The Blues travel to Brighton, who finished in 15th last season, on Monday evening.
The over-achievers of last season, Sheffield United and Wolves meet on Monday at Brammall lane and last year’s mid-table sides Crystal Palace and Southampton face each other at Selhurst Park to complete the opening round of fixtures.
All September Fixtures Live
Premier League games will continue behind closed doors for the foreseeable future. However, broadcasters Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC and Amazon Prime announced this week that all September fixtures would be broadcast on TV to allow fans to view the Premier League until fans can safely return.
A similar arrangement is also being discussed between the Premier League and radio broadcasters talkSPORT and BBC Radio 5 Live to provide live coverage of every league game in September.
In a statement last week, the Premier League revealed that “appropriate arrangements” would be made for October fixtures depending on the COVID-19 situation in the country at that time.
The statement read: “In consultation with all relevant stakeholders, the Premier League is considering appropriate arrangements for matches which will take place after 1 October.
The Premier League is working on a step-by-step approach, while monitoring the developments regarding the League’s number one priority of getting fans back into full stadiums as soon as possible, with safety always being our priority.”
Saturday 12 September
12:30 Fulham v Arsenal (BT Sport)
15:00 Crystal Palace v Southampton (BT Sport)
17:30 Liverpool v Leeds (Sky Sports)
20:00 West Ham v Newcastle (Sky Sports)
Sunday 13 September
14:00 West Brom v Leicester (Sky Sports)
16:30 Spurs v Everton (Sky Sports)
Monday 14 September
18:00 Sheffield Utd v Wolves (Sky Sports)
20:15 Brighton v Chelsea (Sky Sports)