In Summary :
- The 2023-24 Premier League season kicks off on Friday as reigning champions Manchester City travel to Burnley.
- Manchester City will head into a Premier League campaign as champions, having claimed their third title in a row in 2022-23.
The 2023-24 Premier League season kicks off on Friday as reigning champions Manchester City travel to Burnley side led by a modern Blues legend.
Vincent Kompany won 10 major trophies as a City player but will be in the opposition dugout after leading the Clarets back to the top-flight in his first season as their manager.
After holding off the challenge of Arsenal to win their ninth top-flight title, City will be hoping to steal an early match on their rivals, many of whom have spent big this summer to try to close the gap.
On Saturday, the Gunners host Nottingham Forest, while Newcastle face Aston Villa in a contest between two sides making their return to European competition this campaign.
Sunday brings the debut of two new bosses as Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou takes his side to Brentford before Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea host Liverpool.
Once again, Manchester City will head into a Premier League campaign as champions, having claimed their third title in a row in 2022-23.
Pep Guardiola’s side were pushed close by Arsenal, but their superiority eventually shone through. The league crown would comprise part of a Treble for the club, who also claimed the FA Cup and a first Champions League crown.
City put up some stunning numbers over the campaign, with the league title their fifth in the past six seasons, becoming the third team to achieve such a feat, along with Liverpool (1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984) and Manchester United (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001).
They have lost a couple of important players in Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan but have replaced the latter with Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and strengthened in the defence by recruiting the impressive Josko Gvardiol for £77m from RB Leipzig.
Interestingly, City were top of the Premier League for only 42 of last season’s 296 days, thanks in large part to the efforts of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, who will hope they can go one better than their second-place finish in 2022-23, especially after a summer in which they have strengthened heavily (more on that later).
Manchester United were unable to get the better of fierce rivals City in the FA Cup final, but will be looking for a year of further progress under Erik ten Hag following further surgery on a squad that finished third last season.
They do not play until Monday, when Wolves visit Old Trafford.
And then there’s the other half of the ‘big six’ – Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham – all of whom fell short of expectation to a differing degree.
It has been another busy close season for the Blues, who will have a much-altered side to the one that limped to 12th in 2022-23 and a new manager in charge in Pochettino, making his return to the Premier League three years and eight months after he was sacked by Spurs.
The Argentine starts his tenure at home, with Liverpool the visitors on Sunday, bringing with them a refreshed midfield and a desire to improve on last season’s fifth-place finish.
Pochettino’s former club are at Brentford on the same day, looking for a positive start to the reign of Postecoglou, who left Celtic in the summer to take over.
There are more questions than answers around the club at present, most notably the future of record goalscorer Harry Kane, who has been the subject of transfer interest from Bayern Munich.