The Return of the Premier League (2021/2022)
It’s August, which means the football season is back! In the first return of English football since the Euros last month, this Premier League season will kick-off on Friday 13th (of all days!), with a game between Brentford and Arsenal. Last season saw Brentford getting promoted after thrashing Swansea City 2-0 in the Championship Play-off final last season, and will therefore be starting at the bottom of the league. Conversely, Arsenal finished eighth in the last Premier league season, so whilst it might be a presumably easy prediction that Arsenal will beat Brentford, Brentford have been playing well in friendlies up until this point – even drawing with Man Utd last week.
Speaking of Man Utd, they will be playing the following day against Leeds Utd, which should be an easy win for them – especially since one of the best defenders of the last decade, Raphael Varane, has agreed to join the club from Real Madrid. The 28-year-old Frenchman is to have a medical this week and finalise the deal to the Red Devil’s.
Almost straight after, FA Cup 2020 winner’s Leicester City will be playing Wolves, whilst Chelsea plays Crystal Palace live from Stamford Bridge. This comes after Chelsea failed to strike a deal with young Norwegian superstar striker Erling Haaland, so they now turn their attention to their former player Romelu Lukaku, who left the club in 2014 following a poor 3-year stint. Rumours are that Chelsea had a bid of £85m rejected by Inter Milan but are confident about completing a deal, preparing to launch another in the region of £94m-£102m.
Saturday 14th will also see Watford play Aston Villa, who will potentially be playing without their star boy midfielder/winger for the first time in seven years, as it is heavily rumoured that Jack Grealish could be leaving his boyhood club and is close to finalising a move to Man City for a cool £100 million, a deal that could make him the most expensive player in the English football league. Watford are still standing strong with their star winger however, with Ismaïla Sarr staying on at the club until 2024, despite rumours that Liverpool were close to signing the Senegal international earlier this summer.
The same time Southampton (who have just lost star striker Danny Ings, in a surprise £25 million move to Aston Villa) will play Everton. Everton have faced some negative publicity as it emerged last month that their attacking midfield, Gylfi Sigurðsson had been arrested and suspended over child sex offenses, and has since been suspended from the club. We won’t let this overshadow the news of Rafa Benitez’ return to English football as Everton’s new manager (although much to the dismay of a few Everton fans as Benitez used to be Liverpool’s manager, even winning the champions league with them…). Pickford warrants a mention too – his stellar performance in the Euro’s meant only two goals were conceded throughout the whole tournament, very much earning the title of England’s best goal keeper.
Burnley will play Brighton, Norwich City will play Liverpool, and then on Sunday 15th, Newcastle will play West Ham in a return to St. James’ Park. Finally, Tottenham will play Man City, in what could be a very interesting game since main striker, and England’s football team captain Harry Kane, is pushing for a move to Man City. This move has been heavily rumoured for a while and these rumours came to a head after Kane did not turn up to Tottenham training twice this week. A £100m bid is reported to have been offered to Spurs, though they have since declined as they want Kane to remain at the club. Man City finished top of the league in the last season and are favourites to win this season also. If Kane does end up joining Man City, he will be part of a squad of all-star players, including Euro’s Player of the Tournament Raheem Sterling, as well as Phil Foden, Kyle Walker, John Stones, and international superstars such as Riyad Mahrez, Kevin de Bruyne, Ruben Dias and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Catch all the latest Premier League fixtures and action, including commentary, on Sky Sports One this football season.