5 opening fixtures to look out for in the Premier League 2024/25
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5 opening fixtures to look out for in the Premier League 2024/25

18/06/24 10:20

The Top 5 24-25 Premier league opening fixtures

The Premier League have announced the fixture lists for the 2024/25 season and I’ve picked out five games that I think you should look out for on the opening weekend.

Chelsea vs Manchester City, Sunday 18 August

Reigning champions Manchester City will start their title defence at Stamford Bridge, looking to add to their already historic run of trophies. After beating out Arsenal to the trophy, winning their fourth consecutive league title, on top of everything else they have already achieved you have to wonder what else Pep’s City side have in store.

After finishing in sixth and missing out on Europa League qualification due to Manchester United winning the FA Cup, Chelsea replaced Mauricio Pochettino with former Leicester coach Enzo Maresca, who leaves after getting the side promoted back to the Premier League. With the pressure often put on Chelsea to succeed, Maresca will want to hit the ground running in what will be a very tough challenge for your first game; going up against one of the greatest teams in history as well as former colleague Pep Guardiola for, who he served as an assistant manager in 2022-23.

Ipswich v Liverpool, Saturday 17 August

Ipswich gained promotion to the Premier League after a fantastic season under Kieran McKenna, finishing one point behind champions Leicester. After much debate on whether McKenna would stay with the club or depart amidst speculation of Chelsea, Brighton and Manchester United circling, he signed a new four-year contract to remain at the club and lead the side into Premier League life.

Their first test will be against a new look Liverpool team who begin to navigate life after Jurgen Klopp. After almost 10 years at the club, the German manager announced he would depart and potentially step away from management altogether after a Liverpool tenure that included a Premier League and Champions League title. The club announced former Feyenoord manager Arne Slot as his replacement, with the Dutch head coach hoping to begin a successful new era of football for Liverpool.

Manchester United v Fulham, Friday 16 August

Manchester United’s opening fixture of the 2024/25 season will also be the first match in the league, where they welcome Fulham to Old Trafford.

After a rather tedious debate into whether United would keep Erik ten Hag or move on, with Thomas Tuchel, Pochettino and Roberto De Zerbi heavily linked to replace him, INEOS decided to stick by ten Hag deeming him the best fit for the club. Having led the side to two trophies in two years, a Carabao Cup win over Newcastle and an FA Cup win over rivals Manchester City which in turn secured Europa League football, Sir Jim Radcliffe decided that keeping ten Hag under the new structure he is implementing at the club was the best option.

His side will need to start out strong however to quiet all the noise that will surely still remain surrounding ten Hag’s style of play and the performances of United, but the summer transfer window should help to boost those chances.

Their opening game is no easy test though, with Fulham on the rise under Marco Silva and with them beating United 2-1 at Old Trafford last season, they would feel confident that they can do the same again on matchweek one.

West Ham v Aston Villa, Saturday 17 August

Villa finished a brilliant season under Unai Emery in fourth place, earning a spot in Europe’s top competition for the first time since it was rebranded to the Champions League in 1992. Emery’s men will be full of confidence following last season, with Ollie Watkins looking to improve upon his 19 goal tally and have a successful season in both the league and Europe. They begin their season against a new look West Ham team.

After a ninth place finish last season, The Hammers replaced David Moyes with the former Sevilla, Wolves and Spain manager Julien Lopetegui, who infamously was dismissed by the latter the day before the 2018 World Cup following leaked news of a Real Madrid move. Looking to get the best out of a side with the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Mohammed Kudus and James Ward-Prowse.

Everton v Brighton, Saturday 17 August

Now you might be thinking this likely will not be the most exciting match of the weekend, especially as I have not even mentioned Arsenal, Tottenham or newly promoted sides Leicester and Southampton. However my personal bias shines through and I have a bit of a soft spot for The Seagulls so I myself am keeping an eye on this game and here’s why I think you should too.

Firstly, as far as Everton goes, it was a very lacklustre season in 2023/24. Though they were not helped by point deductions, they also just were not very good and often played very uninspiring football, so it can only get better from there right?

Now for Brighton, their season ended with the somewhat surprising announcement of the club and De Zerbi mutually parting ways. The latter is expected to finalise a contract with Olympique Marseille any day now, while the former appointed Fabian Hurzeler as his replacement, making the German the youngest ever Premier League manager at 31-years-old.

Hurzeler led St Pauli to the Bundesliga 2 title last season, winning 20 of 34 matches, and Brighton chairman Tony Bloom praised the manager during his announcement stating “he has a style of play that aligns with how we want to play”. A style that the Brighton faithful will get to see when the club face Everton at Goodison Park.

Benji Kosartiyer
Journalist
Cameron Beards

Football Writer

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