It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating Manchester City’s Premier League win – as well as their treble! Well, just like that, tomorrow the 2023/24 EPL season begins with an opening match between Manchester City and the newly promoted, Burnley.
This year’s schedule will be the first in three seasons to have traditional scheduling since the past seasons were disrupted by the coronavirus and the FIFA World Cup. However, the fixture list does provide for a return of the mid-season break that will take place from January 14-20.
The fixtures for the season have already been released, so make sure to add your favorite matches to your calendar. You can check out the full fixture list on the Premier League site!
Will Manchester City take home the title for the fourth year in a row? Or will Arsenal make a comeback from their second place finishing last season. Tottenham and Chelsea are going to have to prove to their fans that they’re a part of the ‘big six’ after last season’s upsets, and Liverpool is going to have to act on Salah’s apology to make it to Champions League.
To find out everything you’ll need to know about the upcoming season, keep reading!
Who Was Promoted?
At the end of the 2022/23 season, we said goodbye to Southampton, Leicester City and Leeds United, meanwhile three new teams are ready to take on the Premier League.
The newly promoted clubs are Burnley FC, Sheffield United, and Lutton City, who will all face off to sustain their position in the league by season's end.
After being relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2021/22 season, they’ve made a swift return by landing at the top of the table in last season’s Championship campaign. The Vincent Kompany-led squad had an impressive 101 points by the end of the season to gain promotion to the EPL.
Burnley has been playing an attractive style of football with a new possession-based attacking style that proved to be a game changer for the squad. After setting a record for the fastest comeback to the EPL, let’s see if they can hold onto their spot!
They failed to make promotion back in the 2021/22 Championship season, but their second attempt brought them a second-place finish and a return to the EPL. The club has been up and down for years, but club manager, Paul Heckingbottom, hopes that this season will give them the stability they need to stay.
With their hotshot player Iliman Ndiaye gone to Marseille, they’re now missing their key player who carried them last season. Let’s see if they have what it takes to stay out of the bottom three.
The promotion that was covered in every news headline, Lutton City had a triumphant season landing them their first ever promotion to the Premier League.
Their modest Kenilworth Road stadium will finally get to welcome the elite of English football and Lutton will have to fight for every point they can earn. Do you think they have what it takes to hold onto their Premier League spot?
The summer transfer window is coming to an end (September 1st) and there has already been over £1 billion spent by the topflight teams on transfers. As exciting as transfer windows can be, they can also be nerve-wracking for fans.
The first major transfer of the summer came from Brighton when they paid £30 million for João Pedro who was previously an attacker for Watford. Brighton also snatched up veterans James Milner and Mahmoud Dahoud on free transfers from Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, respectively.
Liverpool said goodbye to Jordan Henderson and Fabinho who moved to play in the Saudi Arabian league, but in return signed Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for £35 million and Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig for £60 million.
After facing a tough season, Chelsea saw some of their best players leave, including N’Golo Kante (to Al-Hilal), Christian Pulisic (to AC Milan), Kai Havertz (to Arsenal), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (to AC Milan), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (to Marseille), Mason Mount (to Manchester United), Mateo Kovacic (to Manchester City), and more.
Arsenal got ahold of Havertz for £65 million from Chelsea, as well as Declan Rice from West Ham for £100 million plus £5 million in add-ons – making them the most expensive transfers in the Premier League so far this summer.
The Treble winners let Ilkay Gundogan and Benjamin Mendy go on free transfers, while Manchester United snagged Inter Milan’s goalkeeper Andre Onana for a free transfer.
New Rules and Regulations
As with every season, the rules and regulations are reviewed beforehand, and changes are made to keep up with the times. This coming season, we’ll see a couple of rule changes that are said to be incorporated after watching the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Most of the changes revolve around making the games flow better and ensuring they’re not hindered by unsportsmanlike conduct
This season, the Premier League matches are expected to have longer match times since there’s going to be more time added due to stoppage. Taking notes from the 2022 World Cup, referees will now note down the time before restarts after a goal, celebration, substitution, injury, and set piece. Any time where the ball’s not in play will be added to the stoppage time.
This change came about because it was discovered that last season the ball was only in play on average for 55 minutes per game. Authorities learned that the goal celebrations and referee discussions seem to be longer than ever, cutting into playing time that the fans want to see. As a result, the matches are expected to be as long as they were in Qatar.
Referees are being told to be stricter on managers staying in their technical areas, and to penalize ‘clear and impactful actions’ of time-wasting that’s not just kicking the ball away.
The guidelines around what a referee constitutes as a foul have been updated to hopefully reduce unnecessary game stoppage. Mild physical contact will no longer be considered a foul – fouls will only be given if the degree of physical contact exceeds a certain threshold, which is to be determined by the referees.
This has been done to reduce the number of free kicks given, which has been known to obstruct the flow of the game.
A new rule has been introduced that could see players booked if they’re deemed to be crowding officials. Players who come to talk to them from a long distance can now be booked since the game has to be stopped every time, they run to talk to them.
Staff are now banned from approaching officials at half-time and at full-time while no more than two people are allowed to coach in the technical area at the same time. All except one member of staff must be seated or they’ll receive an automatic yellow card. Staff members who aren’t named on the team sheet are not permitted to stand in the technical area.
Who do you think is going to take home the Premier League trophy at the end of the season? Let us know in the comments, and then head over to SoccerCards.ca and treat yourself to some club merchandise to cheer on your favorite club!
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