At Chelsea v Leeds, a huge smile arrived as Jorginho and Cesar Azpilicueta joined in the chants of the home fans. Tottenham fans directing the every move of their player’s was both entertaining and summed up just how much fans had missed being at games.
Fans and players could hear absolutely everything, good and bad, as it was like supporters had been invited to a special friendly game behind-closed-doors. Jurgen Klopp was emotional at seeing fans return to Anfield too, and he could not stop smiling.
It was heart-warming, uplifting and chastening all at the same time. The vast number of empty seats told you something is obviously seriously wrong in the world but the chants and cheers of fans filled that void and for 90 minutes you could focus on hearing the reactions and the life from other individuals. As a journalist, those cues were helpful to know when to look up from my laptop as a big moment was occurring.
The overriding emotion was a sense of hope that one day, hopefully soon, fans can return in larger numbers safely. March 9 was the last day a Premier League game had fans in attendance. 271 days later, on December 5, fans returned.
The soul of the league has returned, albeit in small numbers, to the huge relief of everyone connected with the national obsession in England. Seeing videos of fans back in stands at lower-league grounds across England during the week was as much of a relief as it was a celebration.
Having attended games with no fans throughout the pandemic so far, it felt like the heart had been brutally ripped out of clubs. Grand stadia seemed meaningless without the atmosphere fans generate. Star players more minuscule without adoring supporters. Acts of splendour less spectacular without anyone there to watch it. Until now.
✅🏟👋 Welcome to Stamford Bridge! 2,000 fans are here to watch Chelsea for the 1st time in 9 months.
2,000 fans were allowed to attend five Premier League games in Matchweek 11, as the UK government relaxed regulations on fans attending events in outdoor stadiums. 2,000 fans in stadiums which can hold over 60,000 isn’t a lot, but it’s a start.
As I soaked it all in on Fulham Road outside Stamford Bridge, a group of Chelsea fans had a pint outside their usual pub. They greeted one another warmly, with elbow bumps, then sadly they recounted friends and family taken by COVID-19. The reminder of being incredibly lucky to even be attending games right now was always there.
What was the biggest takeaway?
I went to Chelsea v Leeds and Tottenham v Arsenal and the atmospheres were a little different. At Chelsea, the fans seemed louder and were closer to the action simply due to the fact that the stadium is smaller (20,000 seats smaller) than Tottenham.
Either way, everyone at those games found themselves pleasantly surprised at just how much noise 2,000 fans can make. The boos and banter directed at the officials and opposition players was amusing, and even though Leeds’ players were getting heckled by the Chelsea fans you got the sense they enjoyed having fans back.
Spurs fans flipped the bird at Arsenal players after they went 2-0 up and in that moment of ecstasy for Tottenham fans who saw their team score against their biggest rivals, everything else seemed to go away.
My biggest takeaway: there is definitely a home advantage.
One of the other big takeaways was the intensity of the game. Players seemed to run faster, tackle harder and coaches shouter louder. Now, I’m not saying the games were bad without fans. They were mostly very good. But the intensity levels were definitely closer to normal.
🔵👏⚪️ My half time thoughts from here at Stamford Bridge.
If you are lucky enough to be at one of these games as a fan in the coming weeks and months, it is like you’re living your dream. You can hear players and managers. They can hear you. It is a proper no frills environment, and fans sat near me directed their tactical acumen at players who could clearly hear them. And they responded.
A Tottenham fan sat a few rows behind me told Gareth Bale to get his warm ups off as he was coming on soon. He previously shouted that he loved Bale and then Bale gave him a smile and a wave. There was a close connection between players and fans, perhaps closer than before.
Perhaps both parties took that relationship for granted before COVID-19 shut down the league. The longest lockout in England’s soccer history will have that kind of impact.
Only 10 of the current 20 Premier League teams are allowed to host 2,000 fans, with the other 10 clubs located in high-risk areas so fans aren’t allowed to return. For now.
The Premier League hopes to accelerate the number of fans coming back to stadiums if they can prove that small numbers of fans returning isn’t dangerous and worked well.
In the coming weeks there is a chance that the number will be bumped up to 4,000 fans at some PL stadiums, depending on the level of coronavirus cases in their local region and whether that area is moved from Tier 2 to Tier 1 restrictions by the UK government.
Baby steps. That was the phrase which kept being said. The return of fans in small numbers can clearly work safely, but when to ramp it up is the tricky part.
Safety protocols in place worked well
From what I saw at Stamford Bridge and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Premier League clubs will be able to bring in more fans fairly soon, as long as COVID-19 cases stay low in England.
Stewards took their instructions very seriously, as they should, as fans at Chelsea were told to not stand persistently as it would impact all fans returning for future games. Fans are told to sit down during the game under the PL’s COVID-19 protocol for fans to return, but that is always the case in all-seater stadiums in the Premier League as it is not safe to stand due to the design of the seats.
At both clubs there were signs plastered everywhere with hand sanitizer stations galore and temperature checks for every single fan. Messages appeared on the big screens during the game to remind fans to wear masks, to keep their distance from others when inside or outside and many other rules which we know help stop the spread of COVID-19.
All in all, the Premier League clubs are going above and beyond what is expected, and what they are doing in the lower leagues, to try and increase the number of fans allowed in ASAP.
As long as COVID-19 cases stay low in England, that will be soon.
🗣 Jubilation at Tottenham at the final whistle, as #THFC beat #AFC in the #NorthLondonDerby to go top of the Premier League table 🙌⚪️🔝
Fans in attendance for the first time since March, and they loved it!
Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.
Will Manchester City win yet another Premier League title? Can Arsenal push them all the way? Will Chelsea and Liverpool recover to finish in the top four? Can Manchester United’s new-look side surge into the title race? What about Tottenham? How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package?
Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.
While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.
The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.
The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.
When will the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?
When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?
The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?
These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
2:45pm: AFC Bournemouth v Brighton
2:45pm: Leeds v Nottingham Forest
2:45pm: Leicester vs Aston Villa
3pm: Chelsea vs Liverpool
Wednesday 5 April
3pm: Man United v Brentford
3pm: West Ham v Newcastle
Saturday 8 April
7:30am: Man Utd v Everton
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Brentford v Newcastle
Fulham v West Ham
Leicester v AFC Bournemouth
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Chelsea
12:30pm: Southampton v Man City
Sunday 9 April
9am: Leeds v Crystal Palace
11:30am: Liverpool v Arsenal
Saturday 15 April
7:30am: Aston Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Fulham
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v AFC Bournemouth
Wolves v Brentford
12:30pm: Man City v Leicester
Sunday 16 April
9am: West Ham v Arsenal
11:30am: Nottingham Forest v Man Utd
Monday 17 April
3pm: Leeds v Liverpool
Friday 21 April
3pm: Arsenal v Southampton
Saturday 22 April
7:30am: Fulham v Leeds
Brentford v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Everton
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Sunday 23 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
9am: Newcastle v Spurs
Postponed due to European action
Man Utd v Chelsea
Brighton v Man City
Tuesday 25 April
2:30pm: Wolves v Crystal Palace
2:45pm: Aston Villa v Fulham
2:45pm: Leeds v Leicester
Wednesday 26 April
2:30pm: Nottingham Forest v Brighton
2:45pm: Chelsea v Brentford
2:45pm: West Ham v Liverpool
3pm: Man City v Arsenal
Thursday 27 April
2:45pm: Everton v Newcastle
2:45pm: Southampton v AFC Bournemouth
3:15pm: Spurs v Man Utd
Saturday 29 April
7:30am: Crystal Palace v West Ham
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
12:30pm: Arsenal v Chelsea
Sunday 30 April
9am: AFC Bournemouth v Leeds
9am: Fulham v Man City
9am: Man Utd v Aston Villa
9am: Newcastle v Southampton
11:30am: Liverpool v Spurs
Monday 1 May
3pm: Leicester v Everton
Wednesday 3 May
3pm: Liverpool v Fulham
3pm: Man City v West Ham
Thursday 4 May
3pm: Brighton v Man Utd
Saturday 6 May
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Spurs v Crystal Palace
Wolves v Aston Villa
12:30pm: Liverpool v Brentford
Sunday 7 May
9am: Man City v Leeds* subject to possible Champions League schedule
11:30am: Newcastle v Arsenal
2pm: West Ham v Man Utd
Monday 8 May
10am: Fulham v Leicester
12:30pm: Brighton v Everton
3pm: Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Saturday 13 May
Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Liverpool
Man Utd v Wolves
Southampton v Fulham
Saturday 20 May
AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd
Brighton v Southampton
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Spurs v Brentford
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Everton
Sunday 28 May
16:00 Arsenal v Wolves
16:00 Aston Villa v Brighton
16:00 Brentford v Man City
16:00 Chelsea v Newcastle
16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
16:00 Everton v AFC Bournemouth
16:00 Leeds v Spurs
16:00 Leicester v West Ham
16:00 Man Utd v Fulham
16:00 Southampton v Liverpool
There is something somewhat dull about knowing the identity of the 2022 Golden Boot winner, the lone curiosity being the final number of his final tally, we get it, but most of what Haaland is doing this season is simply marvelous and to be admired without much fear.
Haaland’s Premier League-leading 28 goals have him seven goals clear of the next closest challenger: Tottenham’s fantastic and firing Harry Kane.
The Norwegian star piled up 20 goals in a single Premier League season faster than any player in history… by seven games (Kevin Phillips of Sunderland did it in 21). Now he’s within five goals of equalling Kevin Phillips’ record for most goals in a debut Premier League season.
And the later this season goes with him projected so far over the current record, the less chucking is accompanied by marking out the pace (especially considering Haaland was not beaten up by the World Cup, as Norway was not in the tournament). And even though Haaland is currently overperforming his expected goals total, it’s clear that projecting him for the Premier League record is rather realistic.
Haaland may not be likely to hit 50 goals given the schedule congestion to come for Man City, but the Premier League record is very well under assault and that figure isn’t entirely absurd. He’s played in 23 of Man City’s 24 games, scoring 26 goals.
Mohamed Salah holds the 38-game season record with his 32 goals scored for Liverpool during the 2017-18 season, while Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer bagged 34 during 42-game seasons in the 20th century’s final decade.
Haaland also could topple the record for goal involvements (goals plus assists) in a single season, including beating the 42-game record. Alan Shearer put up 47 over 42, while Thierry Henry holds the 38-game record with 44.
Other records that Haaland could legitimately tie or topple:
30 goals in a first Premier League season (Kevin Phillips, Sunderland, 1999-2000)
Goals in 24 different Premier League matches (Salah, Liverpool, 2017-18)
Most goals in a Premier League match (Five tied with five)
11-straight Premier League games with a goal (Jamie Vardy, Leicester, 2014-15)
Read on to see the latest Premier League goal totals for the 2022-23 season, as Haaland looks to claim a Golden Boot in his first PL season.
The Premier League winners are yet to be determined for the 2022-23 season but there is going to be one epic battle to decide who are crowned champions.
With Arsenal leading the way but Manchester City set to hunt them down in the final months of the current campaign, it makes you think back to some of the great teams, and champs, in years gone by.
From Manchester United’s legendary treble winning side to the Leicester City fairytale and Arsenal’s Invincibles, there have been so many amazing title winners over the 30 seasons of the Premier League.
1992-93: Manchester United
1993-94: Manchester United
1994-95: Blackburn Rovers
1995-96: Manchester United
1996-97: Manchester United
1998-99: Manchester United
1999-00: Manchester United
2000-01: Manchester United
2002-03: Manchester United
2006-07: Manchester United
2007-08: Manchester United
2008-09: Manchester United
2010-11: Manchester United
2011-12: Manchester City
2012-13: Manchester United
2013-14: Manchester City
2015-16: Leicester City
2017-18: Manchester City
2018-19: Manchester City
2020-21: Manchester City
2021-22: Manchester City
Kevin De Bruyne’s gaudy assist numbers give rise to any number of considerations, and we have to wonder if the Manchester City star has ever wondered if the Premier League record would be his in a world in which Jose Mourinho found better use for him at Chelsea.
De Bruyne’s 12 assists this Premier League season are two more than his nearest competitors — Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka — and give him 98 for his career. That’s fifth all-time, two more than Dennis Bergkamp and 64 (?!) behind record holder Ryan Giggs.
The Belgian star, 31, arrived at Chelsea from Werder Bremen at the age of 22 and managed only 425 in a half-season before being offloaded to Wolfsburg. Back in the Bundesliga, De Bruyne got six assists the rest of the way before setting up 21 goals the next season to set up a move to Man City.
He’s since won the nascent Premier League Playmaker of the Season Award twice, including a 20-assist 2019-20 season, and he’s on pace to make it three of six. Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, and Eden Hazard have also won the award, which is only five years old.
De Bruyne also led the Premier League in assists in 2016-17, the year before the league but a name on the honor.
His stats hint that there’s more to come, as ‘KDB’ is creating a gaudy 3.61 chances per 90 minutes. After a season in which he scored 15 times with eight assists, De Bruyne is back taunting those who’d dare chase him in terms of setting up goals (Some guy named Erling Haaland is helping…).