After a year like no other, a day that all football fans look forward to is finally upon us… the reveal of the Premier League fixtures.
Supporters’ optimism is at an all-time high as they dream of success for the forthcoming season.
With a mountain of mouthwatering clashes coming up, Sportsmail has chosen 10 to look forward to the most.
Premier League champions Liverpool’s defence of their title begins with a humdinger of an opener against newly-promoted Leeds United.
These two rivals have thrown up some absolute classics in the top-flight over the years and expect goals a plenty with their style of play. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has built a juggernaut of a side and will want them to eclipse 2019-20 when they won the league by a mammoth 18 points. Meanwhile, Leeds counterpart Marcelo Bielsa is a legend for restoring the club back to the big time for the first time since 2004 with a brand of swashbuckling attacking play.
Premier League champions Liverpool begin the defence of their title at home to Leeds United
The return of Jose Mourinho to Old Trafford once more is always an interesting sub-plot but for once the Special One could be overshadowed by another side story.
And that’s because the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport remains hopeful that supporters will return from October 1 – as announced by the Prime Minister last month, despite the postponement of test events in other sports.
And while it may be a limited capacity, some fans are better than none – and what a game to kick-start that. We didn’t even mention the prospect of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min all being on display.
Manchester United versus Tottenham could see the return of some fans attending matches
The Merseyside derby. What more needs to be said? Everton and Liverpool separated by less than a mile but their recent history couldn’t be more contrasting. The former have disappointed, while the latter have flourished.
It’ll be 10 years to the exact day that Everton last won a Merseyside derby (home or away) and that was a 2-0 victory courtesy of Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta.
The Toffees would love nothing more than to dent the Reds’ title defence, but the question is, can they?
October 27, 2020 will mark exactly 10 years since Everton last won a Merseyside derby
Just a few weeks later, Liverpool travel to another fierce rival in Manchester City – in what is no doubt bound to be a pivotal game in the title race, despite it being the beginning of November.
The last time these two sides faced each other, Liverpool were given a guard of honour on to the pitch – having just been crowned as champions. However, City dismantled them 4-0. That result irked Klopp and he will be desperate for his team to atone for that heavy defeat.
With the talent on display, with the fact that Liverpool wrestled the title away from City so convincingly, expect fireworks at the Etihad Stadium.
Title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool first meet at the Etihad Stadium on November 7
You have to wait until December to get the first north London derby of the season and it’s Tottenham who ‘welcome’ Arsenal. The history of these two bitter rivals is well and needs no introduction.
Spurs edged Arsenal 2-1 at home on July 12 following the Premier League restart for the 2019-20 campaign – a result that ultimately propelled them to finish above their foe.
It’ll be Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho and Arsenal counterpart Arteta’s first full seasons in charge of their respective clubs and they will have this match ringed on their calendar already. First for bragging rights, secondly as a key factor in their quest to finish in the top four.
Toby Alderweireld (third left) scored the winner as Tottenham beat Arsenal last month
Just a week later we have another mouthwatering derby to look forward – this time with it being the Manchester one. These two sides played four times last season – with United coming out on top in three of them.
The Red Devils produced a league double over City (winning 2-1 away and 2-0 at home) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope his side can repeat their fortunes. The Norwegian has a knack of winning the ‘big’ matches domestically but knows his side need consistency if they are to challenge City and Liverpool to win the title. This match would be another statement victory.
Manchester United did the double over ‘noisy neighbours’ City in the 2019-20 campaign
Shortly after the New Year festivities are over we have England’s two most successful clubs going head-to-head. Oh, and make no mistake about it – these two are bitter rivals.
Liverpool have just one less top-flight triumph than United (19 to 20) and will be chomping at the bit to level this playing field come May 2021. If fans are allowed in too, expect Anfield to be a cauldron as the Reds’ fanbase taunt Solskjaer’s side over their Premier League title success.
The atmosphere will be electric as will the football on the pitch with the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes on display.
Mo Salah (left) was on the scoresheet as Liverpool won 2-0 vs Manchester United in 2019-20
For Leeds United fans there will be three games they ring on their calendar. Who have they got first, who have they got last and when are they hosting Manchester United? The answer to the latter is currently April 24, 2021.
Leeds supporters would love nothing more than to beat their bitter rivals this season and dent any top-four or title hopes along the way. For United supporters they’d love it if they can silence Elland Road and potentially damage their survival hopes.
Leeds supporters will love nothing more than their side to beat Manchester United on April 24
Hold on to your hats as we fly towards the climax of the season. The third-to-last game pits Chelsea against London foes Arsenal under the lights at Stamford Bridge. A midweek fixture this could have huge ramifications on the title race or top four depending on their fortunes. It will also see Willian return to Chelsea for the first time since leaving on a free transfer for Arsenal this month.
These sides met three times during 2019-20 and there really was nothing in it. Chelsea won 2-1 at Arsenal before the two sides later drew 2-2 in west London. However, the Gunners got redemption with a 2-1 victory in the FA Cup final last month.
Willian (left) will return to Stamford Bridge on May 12, 2021 – this time as an Arsenal player
The final round of fixtures could provide some sort of deja-vu for Leicester supporters as they host another top-four rival. Last month they faced Manchester United – knowing only a victory would grant them Champions League football at the expense of their opponents. They failed in that quest – losing 2-0 at home and therefore missing out on Europe’s elite club competition.
Brendan Rodgers will be hoping his side will have already secured a top-four spot by the time Mourinho’s men come to the King Power Stadium.
The drama of the Premier League season could come down right to the wire with this game.
Leicester and Tottenham will go head-to-head on the final day of the Premier League season
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