Arsenal vs. Liverpool (14th August)
The very first weekend of the 2015/16 Premier League season will feature a high voltage clash between two potential league title contenders. Arsene Wenger has so far followed his usual transfer policy and has made only one high profile signing in Granit Xhaka, while Jurgen Klopp has made full use of his first pre-season at Anfield and has roped in a number of new faces.
It will be interesting to see how well the new signings have integrated at Liverpool and whether Arsenal start the campaign with a whimper like they did last season against West Ham United or show some real intent.
Chelsea vs. West Ham United (15th August)
Chelsea have brought in one of the best managers in modern football. Antonio Conte showed at the European Championship why he is so highly rated and amongst the world’s very best as he took an average Italian team to the brink of semi-final before they missed out in the penalty shootout against the reigning world champions Germany.
The former Juventus boss should be able to work wonders with the quality of players he has at Stamford Bridge and with his first opponents being another resurgent London team, it is one of the games to look forward to.
Manchester United vs. Southampton (19th August)
Jose Mourinho will make his debut as Manchester United manager at Bournemouth on the opening weekend and he will oversee his first home game at Old Trafford against Southampton. Now, the Red Devil supporters remain divided about the new man at the helm of their team and the kind of reception the former Chelsea boss gets at his new home will likely set the tone for the season.
The atmosphere is likely to be welcoming, but what kind of football will the attack-loving Manchester United fans be served?
Stoke City vs. Manchester City (20th August)
Pep Guardiola, the man synonymous with attractive attacking football, will take his new team to Stoke City, a team that have become the byword for dreary hoofball football. It has to be said that Stoke have shed their old reputation since Mark Hughes replaced Tony Pulis but some reputations take time to go.
Perhaps we will never know if Lionel Messi could do it on a rainy Tuesday night at the Britannia Stadium, but this game will should show if Messi’s old manager could do it on a Saturday evening at the vaunted home of the Potters. We don’t always get what we want.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool (27th August)
Last season when most of the big guns faded in the distance, Tottenham Hotspur challenged Leicester City for the league title right until (almost) the very end, but ultimately they also fell by the wayside.
Now the expectations will have risen and they have continued to do shrewd business over the summer. Will Mauricio Pochettino see the continuation of his work over the last two seasons or was the last campaign a fluke? This game should give us an early primer to the answer to that question.
Wasi is a keen fan with loads of knowledge about the game. He has written for some of the world’s leading soccer websites and is a major Barcelona and Pune City FC fan. He loves the Champions League and watches 200+ EPL games & La Liga games per season.