Liverpool begin their title defence against Premier League newcomers Leeds United in a mouthwatering contest between the winners of last season’s two top divisions.
Leeds play a fast and furious brand of football under Marcelo Bielsa, not unlike Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, and it will be fascinating to see Bielsa’s beloved 4-1-4-1 formation pitch up against Klopp’s 4-3-3.
Liverpool are of course the favourites and will be hoping to hit the ground running after slowing down last season once the title was won.
They also lost the Community Shield, beaten by Arsenal on penalties.
Leeds have new signings Robert Koch and Rodrigo both available and in contention to start the game.
When is the game?
The match kicks off today, Saturday 12 September, at 5.30pm BST.
How can I watch the game online and on TV?
The match will be broadcast live on Sky One, Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Ultra HD, available to Sky subscribers.
To stream the game online via the SkyGo app you must be a Sky Sports subscriber.
Liverpool are likely to be without captain Jordan Henderson, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also unavailable and new left-back Konstatinos Tsimikas is suffering from an illness.
Leeds have a fully fit squad bar Adam Forshaw, who remains out with a hip injury.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Fabinho, Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Leeds: Miazek, Ayling, Cooper, Koch, Dallas, Phillips, Klich, Harrison, Hernandez, Costa, Rodrigo.
Liverpool 2-1 Leeds. I expect Leeds to give the champions a really good game at Anfield, but ultimately the Reds’ quality should tell, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane too hot to handle.
Arsenal have reluctantly decided to sell Emiliano Martinez and will now continue talks with Aston Villa, who are expected to make an improvement on their £15m offer for the goalkeeper.
Despite a series of discussions between Martinez and head coach Mikel Arteta, the Argentine has been given no clear assurances over being the club’s long-term No 1, with Bernd Leno in line to start Arsenal’s season-opening fixture against Fulham on Saturday.
The Independent understands that Martinez has already agreed personal terms with Villa on a four-year contract, worth in the region of £60,000 per week.
Dean Smith’s side are Martinez’s first choice as he wants to remain in the Premier League, despite firm interest from Villarreal in Spain.
Exclusive: Bernd Leno is now in line to start against Fulham in the season-opener on Saturday
Some positive news for Arsenal and their interest in Houssem Aouar.
The French midfielder has apparently told Lyon that he wants to leave this summer.
That’s according to L’Equipe.
Lyon are adamant he won’t leave for less than £50m, a figure that is out of the Gunners range at present.
However, sales of the likes of Hector Bellerin, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira could give Mikel Arteta the funds he needs to go and get one of his No 1 targets.
This one is going to run and run.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed Kevin De Bruyne as the best midfielder in the world.
City playmaker De Bruyne was named PFA Player of the Year earlier this week in recognition of an outstanding 2019-20 campaign in which he clocked up a Premier League record-equalling 20 assists.
“He is a masterclass player, one of the best players I have ever trained in my life,” said Guardiola in a new documentary about De Bruyne’s career, ‘Made in Belgium’, by City TV.
“Right now, he is the best. Right now, in the midfield position, he is the best.”
More on Michy Batshuayi’s move to Crystal Palace.
The Belgium international returns to Selhurst Park after a successful spell with the Eagles in the second half of the 2018-19 campaign.
Batshuayi scored six goals in 13 appearances for Palace to help them retain their Premier League status, but will be out to help them achieve greater honours this time.
The Belgium international returns to Selhurst Park after a successful spell with the Eagles in the second half of the 2018-19 campaign
Manchester United have announced the signing of England international Alessia Russo on a two-year deal.
Forward Russo, 21, who had spells at Brighton and Chelsea earlier in her career, joins United following three years in the United States with North Carolina Tar Heels, having represented the University of North Carolina in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Russo was part of the squad which won bronze at the 2018 Under-20 Women’s World Cup and made her senior debut earlier this year against Spain in the 2020 SheBelieves Cup.
Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea.
The Belgian has signed a new deal with the Blues before joining the Eagles on loan for the season.
Callum Wilson is determined to join the Premier League’s 100 goals club and help drive “sleeping giant” Newcastle to the upper echelons of the top flight.
The 28-year-old striker completed his £20million switch to Tyneside earlier this week and could make his debut for the club in the season’s opener at West Ham on Saturday, and he will do so with individual and collective objectives in mind.
Asked what would represent success during the four-year duration of his contract, Wilson said: “I have 41 Premier League goals, so for me, the 100 club is massive. That is a massive carrot there to get into that in four years.
“That is where I’d like to be at the end of my career, 100 Premier League goals and join that exclusive club. That is something to treasure for life. Scoring goals here is massive and I need another 59, so I guess that is the aim as an individual.
“From a team point of view, the club is a sleeping giant. It has massive potential.
“There are two leagues in the Premier League. You have the top six, and the teams below that. Some years the six, fifth place is achievable.
“You have to set your ambitions and aims high or there is no point doing it. I don’t think anyone will say they are happy finishing 10th, 12th, or even ninth. You don’t gain anything from that.”
Fulham have announced the signing of Dutch defender Kenny Tete.
Tete joins on a four-year deal from Lyon, and is expected to hold down Fulham’s right-back role.
“It is a great feeling. I feel blessed to be here,” the 24-year-old said to FFCtv. “I cannot wait to start my new journey and meet my new teammates.
“I heard of Fulham’s interest and I was bowled over. I spoke with people around me and knew quickly I wanted to leave Lyon and join Fulham.
“The team is back in the Premeir League now and I will give 100 percent to keep us there.”
Chelsea have spent more than any other team but boss Frank Lampard is still looking to manage expectations.
The Blues have splashed more than £200m on Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr with more to come.
But Lampard knows his side still have a way to go.
Chelsea have paid out more than £200million to recruit Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Malang Sarr
Fulham manager Scott Parker insists the final say on transfers is his and suggested the club could yet do more deals before the window closes on October 5.
The west London club have already made five additions to their squad this transfer window, including Anthony Knockaert and Harrison Reed who had been on loan at Craven Cottage last season.
Kenny Tete and Ola Aina are also expected to join the club in the coming days, although Parker insisted the deals were not official yet.
“Like anything really we’re looking to strengthen the squad and looking to strengthen certain positions so hopefully we can get those two over the line in the coming weeks really,” the 43-year-old said.
When asked about other potential deals, Parker added: “We are hoping to do a few things, there is no set number, there are areas of the team we need to improve, areas we need to evolve, for their development and our development as a team we need people coming in to improve us.
“This is the world we live in, part and parcel of football you want to progress – if you can bring people in that you think can make you better, then you will do that.”
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