Haaland’s debut headlines opening weekend of Premier League season ▷ SportsBrief.com

Erik ten Hag’s reign at Manchester United begins at home to Brighton on Sunday. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB/AFP
Source: AFP

Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace lifts the curtain on the new Premier League season on Friday, with Erling Haaland’s debut in the English top flight the highlight of the weekend as champions Manchester City travel to West Ham.

Haaland was the star arrival in the Premier League with more than £1bn ($1.2bn) spent on transfer fees ahead of the new campaign.

The Norwegian is expected to further strengthen Pep Guardiola’s side, who have won the title in four of the last five seasons.

However, Haaland and City’s season did not get off to a good start as perennial title rivals Liverpool won the Community Shield 3-1 last weekend.

A trip to the London stadium is a good early-season test for City’s revamped squad with Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips also coming in to replace the late Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.

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West Ham nearly denied City the title last season as they trailed 2-0 at half-time in the penultimate game of the campaign before the visitors rallied to salvage the point that won them worth the league.

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The Hammers have also strengthened with the signing of Italy international striker Gianluca Scamacca as David Moyes’ men look to close the gap on the top four after qualifying for Europe the past two seasons.

“We know what the standard is and we will reach the standards as soon as possible and maintain what we have always done,” Guardiola said.

“I don’t have the impression, because we know each other well, that we are far, very far.

“But the games against West Ham and after Bournemouth will dictate our level and what we have to do.”

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Chelsea ‘not ready’

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel (right) doesn't believe his side are ready for the start of the Premier League season
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel (right) doesn’t think his side are ready for the start of the Premier League season. Photo: Glyn Kirk / AFP
Source: AFP

Chelsea’s visit to Everton on Saturday pits two teams who have reason to fear the season ahead at different ends of the table.

The start of Chelsea’s new era under the ownership of Todd Boehly’s consortium has not been smooth, with manager Thomas Tuchel blaming a grueling schedule on a pre-season tour of the United States and a lack of signings to feel “not ready” for the new season.

Tuchel is also unhappy with a number of key players, including captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who is still looking to leave the club before the transfer window ends.

Chelsea were beaten 4-0 in pre-season by Arsenal in Orlando, but Everton suffered an even more embarrassing 4-0 loss to Minnesota United on their tour of the United States.

After narrowly surviving last season, the Toffees have since sold Richarlison to Tottenham.

But Everton have beaten Chelsea in each of the Londoners’ last four trips to Goodison Park.

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The first impression of Ten Hag

Should Chelsea fail to reach the heights they had before under Tuchel, Manchester United would be one of the teams hoping to take their place in the top four.

A 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Brighton in May summed up a miserable season for the Red Devils who finished sixth.

Erik ten Hag has the chance to make a good first impression as United boss when the Seagulls visit Old Trafford.

But hopes of a new dawn for United have been dashed by another difficult summer off the pitch.

Cristiano Ronaldo has made his desire to leave clear, but no buyer has been found for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, while United’s protracted pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong looks doomed. failure.

Calendar (all times GMT)

Friday

Crystal Palace v Arsenal (1900)

Saturday

Fulham v Liverpool (1130), Bournemouth v Aston Villa, Leeds v Wolves, Newcastle v Nottingham Forest, Tottenham v Southampton (all 1400), Everton v Chelsea (1630)

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Sunday

Man Utd v Brighton, Leicester v Brentford (both at 1300), West Ham v Man City (1530)

Source: AFP

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