The Premier League is a strange place.
On it’s best days, it can be home to the best players in world football, competing for and against incredible teams in some of the best sporting events of the year.
However, like any other institution; it is not always that way.
Perhaps more than any other, the Premier League has it’s own quirks and events that separate it from any other league in the world and make it the best in the world.
With less than two weeks to go until the start of the 2016/17 Premier League season, fans and journalists alike are beginning to speculate about what they expect to see over the next 9 months.
Many are placing an emphasis on the Premier League title race – but that topic has been analysed to depth. What is more interesting are the individual events that we can expect to see each and every week in the Premier League – beginning on the first day of the season.
It is these events, sometimes incredible, sometimes strange, sometimes funny – that make the Premier League what it is.
With that, here are FIVE things to look out for on the opening day of the Premier League season…
Antonio Conte was the most discussed manager at this summer’s European Championship; and whilst a good part of that was his side’s impressive display at the tournament – there was just as much focus on the animated behaviour of the now Chelsea manager himself.
Conte has become renowned in recent years for his behaviour on the touchline, with the Italian oozing charisma and passion as he screams orders at his players.
Even in a non-competitive environment, such as during Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the Untied States, Conte was as animated and mobile as ever; running up and down the touch lines for a games entire duration.
With the Premier League set to be a hotly contested league this year; you can imagine his role on the sidelines will become even more chaotic; and you can expect a lot of attention to be placed on him throughout the year – beginning on the opening day.
Easily the stand out fixture on the opening weekend of the Premier League, Arsenal host Liverpool in what is sure to be a classic.
The games between the two in recent years have, for the most part, been exciting affairs – with games typically involving controversy and goals galore.
The last Premier League game between the two was a six goal thriller, and with both teams likely keen to get off to a quick start on the opening day – you can expect more of the same.
The opening day is always an exciting time; and with such a hotly contested rival fixture to get things started; you can expect something very exciting on the 14th of August.
Wherever Jose Mourinho goes, controversy seems to follow – and next season is shaping up to be no different.
Sometimes Mourinho’s controversy are funny, sometimes they are serious – sometimes they are just plain awkward – but they always, always cause a storm.
In an unexpected turn of events, even the pre-season period has seen it’s fair share of controversy; with Mourinho making the news over his treatment of both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Juan Mata at his new side.
Whilst you cannot always guarantee an exciting time on the pitch under Mourinho; you can always be sure that SOMETHING will happen off of it.
It might be a controversial substitution, it might be a technical area rant, it might even be something completely new! All we know is that something ALWAYS happens with Mourinho is involved.
Leicester City’s triumphant and shocking rise to the top of the Premier League last season was something that nobody expected; but the 2016/17 season will see the side step into yet more uncharted territory, as they begin their first ever Premier League title defence.
Whilst the side have sold N’Golo Kante, they have managed to retain many of their key stars; and they have also brought in a few replacements to make up the numbers.
Whilst nobody is expecting the side to win back-to-back Premier League titles – neither did anybody expect them to win one in the first place; so who knows where Leicester might end up this season?
The first game of the season will be an intriguing one for Leicester fans, as they look to see how their team will react coming into the new season. Will they pick up where they left off? Will they struggle to reach the heights of last season?
Who knows – but their opening day fixture against Hull will give us a first opportunity to see Leicester as defending Premier League Champions.
No Premier League side has had a busier summer than Manchester City, with no less than six major first team players brought in to the club this summer.
New Boss Pep Guardiola clearly has a plan for the season ahead, and has brought in these players in order to achieve whatever expectations he has for his team – one would expect that a Premier League title is at the top of his list.
Man City’s opening Premier League fixture against Sunderland will give many fans their first opportunity to see their side play under the new boss for the first time; and you can expect him to put on a show to prove to everyone what he is all about.
City will want to put down a marker for their rivals this season; and it will be up to them to show the rest of the Premier League how it is done.
Expect a big win for The Citizens on Saturday the 13th of August, with Guardiola introducing himself to the Premier League with style.