The announcement of the new 2015/2016 Premier League fixtures couldn’t have come at a better time, with football fans across the country already eagerly anticipating what promises to be the most dramatic season yet.
Chelsea’s dominance last season will prove to be a positive for all as it looks increasingly likely that clubs will go all out in the summer transfer window in response to Mourinho’s men.
The announcement of the new fixtures will have been a reality check for the new boys in Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich City as both the club and fans are introduced to the challenge ahead.
Eddie Howe’s impressive Bournemouth side will begin their campaign at home to Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa. Fans of the Championship winners will surely see this as a game they are more than capable of winning. The bonus of an electric home atmosphere will play a huge part against an already uncertain Villa side.
Watford face a tougher test as they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton on the opening day. The Championship runners up will be relishing such a contest against one of the league’s top sides. Roberto Martinez’s side will also be in the spotlight as fans look for huge improvements on their disappointing 2014/2015 campaign.
As for Norwich City, they too face a difficult start to life in the Premier League as they host Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace at Carrow Road. Alex Neil will hope the home advantage gives his players an added boost against an impressive Palace side. Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie will well and truly reintroduce The Canaries to the speed and competitiveness of the Premier League.
Liverpool’s opening day fixture away to Stoke City will have undoubtedly sent shivers down the spines of the Anfield faithful with visions of the 6-1 defeat on the final day of last season still fresh in their minds. Brendan Rodgers will be determined to prove that the horrors at the Britannia Stadium were just a one off. Likewise, he will need a good start to go some way towards convincing uncertain Liverpool fans that he is the right man for the job. A good start to the season is vital for him.
Mark Hughes will be hoping he can also get off to a good a start as his side carry great expectations on their shoulders into the new season. Can they push for a European spot?
Manchester United’s opening day game at home to Tottenham poses as a stand out fixture, with both sides being contenders for a Champions League place. Following an indefinite season, Louis Van Gaal will want to stamp a mark on authority and prove to the rest of the teams that his side are title challengers. Mauricio Pochettino will also be hoping Harry Kane can continue his electric form by helping his Spurs team mates taking a greater step towards competing at the very top.
The Champions, Chelsea, will begin their defence of the title at home to an ever improving Swansea City. The fixture presents himself as a good opportunity to assess the early signs of how Mourinho will hope to set his side up throughout the season given his tendency to use the same eleven on a regular basis. The league will also be able to see if Gary Monk is able to take his side to the next level.
Manchester City and Arsenal will most likely be Chelsea’s biggest rivals for the title and both begin their seasons away to West Bromwich Albion and at home to West Ham, respectively.
It is hard to predict how City will shape up with it appearing to be increasingly likely that they will be extremely active in the transfer window. Will Raheem Sterling and Paul Pogba be City players? Will Yaya Toure still be at the club come the start of the season? We will have to wait and see.
Like City, Arsenal will hope to start well in their London Derby against West Ham. The upcoming season will be a huge one for Arsenal as they must live up to the expectations and pose a strong title challenge. They are clearly ready to do so and they must not disappoint.
West Ham fans will also be given their first taste of Premier League life under Slaven Bilic and will be hopeful that he can introduce the glamorous style of football that they desire.
With all teams looking to improve in the current transfer market, the new season looks as though it will be the most competitive yet.