The 2016-17 Premier League schedule was released on Wednesday and excitement is already building ahead of the Aug. 13 kick off.
[ MORE: Full PL schedule ]
Less than two months, ladies and gents.
With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at 10 games which will go down as must-watch encounters in the calendar next season.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool – Matchweek 1
What a mouth-watering clash in the opening weekend. The PL runners up against a Liverpool side which will look decidedly different at the start of next season than it did at the end of last season. When Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp go at it, expect a tremendous encounter. Not a bad start to the season…
Manchester United vs. Manchester City – Matchweek 4
Ah, we didn’t think it would take them too long to meet again: Jose Mourinho vs. Pep Guardiola. The duo will both be just four PL games into their new jobs at United and City respectively and this derby has just become a huge focal point for the soccer world. It was already huge but throw a big summer of spending, plus Mourinho and Guardiola’s rivalry into the mix and you have one heck of a game.
Manchester United vs. Leicester City – Matchweek 6
Now, this will be interesting. Leicester flew out of the traps last season on their way to the greatest-ever title victory in PL history. Will they do the same next season? This is a tough game to have sandwiched in among UEFA Champions League games. By six games in we should have a good idea what kind of season it will be for the Foxes. Nobody knows what to expect.
Liverpool vs. Manchester United – Matchweek 8
The old enemy collide once again. Mourinho vs. Klopp on the sidelines of a spicy derby game is the stuff dreams are made of. Expect passion, plenty of pre-match chatter and passionate celebrations at Anfield. This game is the definition of a must-watch.
Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Matchweek 11
Another huge derby game which has taken on greater significance after last season’s tight finish where Arsenal pipped Spurs on the final day to finish above them for 20-straight seasons. Tottenham were title contenders for most of the campaign and if they strengthen in the right areas this summer they will be right up there again. The north London derby never disappoints.
Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur – Matchweek 13
Remember the vicious, toxic atmosphere at Stamford Bridge at the end of last season for this game? Yeah, there will be afters. Mousa Dembele was banned for gouging Diego Costa in the eye, yellow cards and dirty tackles flew in and we had bench-clearing brawls as Eden Hazard‘s late, late equalizer handed Leicester the title and dashed Spurs’ hopes. A feisty London derby awaits.
Everton vs. Liverpool – Matchweek 17
With Ronald Koeman on board and Farhad Moshiri set to spend over $150 million on new players, Everton fans are dreaming big. If they get off to a good start, this match at Goodison in the build up to the festive period would be the perfect reminder to Liverpool fans as to the Toffees ambitions. Drama. Goals. Red cards. Expect everything…. and more.
West Ham United vs. Manchester United – Matchweek 20
This two teams battled it out for fourth place last season and both came up short. They also had two epic FA Cup quarterfinal battles and with West Ham moving to the Olympic Stadium, they believe they can challenge the likes of Manchester United perennially. Expect a packed house as Hammers fans welcome their old foes to their snazzy new home in east London.
Chelsea vs. Arsenal – Matchweek 24
Sparks fly when these teams meet and it will be a clash of styles at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Conte’s Chelsea will be more defensive and set up to hit on the counter, while we all know Arsenal love to dictate the tempo and attack in numbers. Heading towards the busy Easter period, this game between two expected title contenders could be crucial in setting them up for a final push for the PL trophy.
Arsenal vs. Manchester United – Matchweek 36
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho do not get along. At all. Historically, Arsenal and Manchester United haven’t got along. Everything is set up perfectly for these two to be battling it out at the top for the title. With just three weeks of the season to go when this game takes place, it has the potential to be season defining.