2021/2022 Premier League season: A preview
On Friday, August 13, the English Premier League will return with its latest instalment.
It all begins in London, as newly-promoted Brentford welcome Arsenal.
Game Week 1 will end with a top-six clash between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
Next week, Arsenal welcome Champions League winners, Chelsea to the Emirates.
As it has been with previous seasons, England’s top flight will not disappoint with its high-octane football and intense drama.
Manchester City, armed with the £100m Jack Grealish and perhaps £120m Harry Kane, are most bookmakers’ favourites to win the title again.
Pep Guardiola’s band of slick passers won the league last year 12 points ahead of rivals Manchester United, but this term, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are widely expected to be their biggest challengers.
Tuchel has added Romelu Lukaku to his team. The Belgian seems destined to play the Blues and will elevate their attack several notches, a far departure from Timo Werner’s profligacy in his debut season.
Lukaku will be in the mix for the Golden Boot of course. So will Kane, Mohammed Salah, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani and Jamie Vardy.
This year, the fans will be back in the stadium, following a COVID-19 enforced shut out.
The Premier League and EFL have not welcomed full crowds since last March, but stadiums in England will operate at a full capacity, after Prime Minister, Boris Johnson outlined what measures will be lifted as the UK moves towards step four of its roadmap.
A data study conducted by Nielsen’s Gracenote, analysed the 288 games with fans before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019/2020 and the 345 matches with no attendance in the 2020/2021 campaign.
It showed that away sides have scored more goals, won more games and been on the end of more favourable refereeing decisions, without hostile home supporters present to intimidate them or the match officials.
These little details and the actual quality of football on the 38 match days, will ultimately crown the next English champions in 2022.