Fri 10 Aug 2018, 10:10
The 2018/19 Premier League season kicks off this weekend with a full round of 10 matches spread from Friday night to Sunday evening.
The action gets underway at Old Trafford on Friday, 10 August as Manchester United open the campaign with a home clash against Leicester City.
Jose Mourinho’s team have been unimpressive in pre-season and their only notable acquisition in the transfer market has been Brazilian midfielder Fred, but they will still be looking for a strong start as they aim to challenge cross-town rivals Manchester City for the title.
Leicester, meanwhile, enters the season hoping that Algerian signing Rachid Ghezzal proves an adequate replacement for Riyad Mahrez, but they have retained a strong spine to their team, featuring Kasper Schmeichel, Harry Maguire, Nigerian midfield dynamo Wilfred Nidid and striker Jamie Vardy.
Saturday opens with an early afternoon match at St James Park between Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United and title hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur, before the 16:00 kick-offs get underway, featuring promoted teams Cardiff City and Fulham, who will be away to Bournemouth and at home to Wilfried Zaha’s Crystal Palace respectively.
Also at 16:00, Chelsea will open their season with a potential banana skin away to Huddersfield Town. New Blues coach Maurizio Sarri has already had a baptism of fire in the English game after seeing his side lose to Manchester City in the Community Shield last weekend, and cannot afford an upset against the Terriers.
Saturday’s games wrap up with last season’s Championship winners Wolverhampton Wanderers playing host to Everton at Molineux Stadium.
Sunday opens at 14:30 with Liverpool hosting West Ham United at Anfield and Burnley travelling to tackle Southampton. The game on Merseyside will be particularly interesting for African fans, with the Reds’ Egyptian superstar Mohamed Salah hoping to emulate his brilliance from last season, while new signing Naby Keita will also want to make a big impact on his Premier League debut.
The weekend wraps up with a marquee match between Arsenal and champions Manchester City. While the latter has been relatively quiet in the transfer market, only adding Riyad Mahrez to their already powerful squad, the Gunners have entered a new era.
New coach Unai Emery has done some sterling work in addressing their shortcomings with the signings of Stephan Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Matteo Guendouzi, Bern Leno and Lucas Torreira.
The Arsenal - City clash promises to be a showcase of attacking football, with the hosts boasting the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, while the latter will again look to Kevin De Bruyne’s playmaking brilliance.
Key matches – Stats
Manchester United vs Leicester – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 24
Manchester United wins 15
Leicester wins 2
Arsenal vs Man City – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 42
Arsenal wins 23
Manchester City wins 9
Liverpool vs West Ham – Head-to-head, Premier League
Matches played 44
Liverpool wins 26
West Ham wins 9
Premier League fixtures, August 10-12
Friday, 10 August
Manchester United vs Leicester City at 21:00
Saturday, 11 August
Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur at 13:30
Bournemouth vs Cardiff City at 16:00
Fulham vs Crystal Palace at 16:00
Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea at16:00
Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion at 16:00
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Everton at 18:30
Sunday, 12 August
Liverpool vs West Ham United at 14:30
Southampton vs Burnley at 14:30
Arsenal vs Manchester City at 17:00