Premier League 2022/2023 | Opening weekend & talking points
The 2022/2023 Premier League season is about to begin...
Another Premier League season is so close we can almost touch it, and the dates of all 380 matches throughout 2022 and 2023 have been released. Let’s have a look at some of what the first weekend has in store for us.
Opening weekend - 5th, 6th & 7th August
Crystal Palace v Arsenal - Friday 5th August
Crystal Palace and Arsenal will kick the 2022/2023 Premier League campaign off under the lights on Friday 6th August, kicking off at 8pm on the dot at Crystal Palace’s home ground, Selhurst Park.
Arsenal fans will remember all too well the beginning of last season when Brentford dominated their team on the opening night, which also happened to be a Friday.
Arteta’s men will look to make a statement about their chances in this Premier League season, in an effort to not repeat another drubbing away from home. Fans will be optimistic about their side’s chances, having enjoyed a brilliant pre-season and transfer window thus far, could 2022/2023 be Arsenal's year?
However, it was only in April of this year the Eagles thumped the Gunners 3-0, and Arsenal have won just one game out of their last eight encounters with Viera’s men. The statistics certainly aren’t in Arsenal’s Favour, but it’s uncharacteristic of any Arsenal fan not to remain optimistic.
AFC Bournemouth v Aston Villa - Saturday 6th August
Steven Gerrard’s team has been strengthened recently with the additions of Diego Carlos, Boubacar Kamara and Ludwig Augustinsson. Robin Olsen and Phillipe Coutinho have also become permanent additions. In total, Gerrard has spent £50 million to date improving his squad ready for the 2022/2023 Premier League campaign.
Fans are delighted Gerrard has kept fan-favourite striker, Cameron Archer, in his squad for the upcoming season. Several clubs showed interest in Archer and supporters were concerned that he might’ve been loaned out for the duration of Aston Villa's 2022/2023 campaign. An inexperienced talent with plenty of skill to show for, Villa fans are hoping for a slow but successful introduction for Archer into the main team this season.
Freshly promoted AFC Bournemouth will be gunning for a great start to spur them on for the rest of the season. Funnily enough, Bournemouth’s first ever Premier League game was also at home against Aston Villa all the way back in 2015.
They haven’t been the busiest of clubs in the off-season, having signed only two players over the summer, Joe Rothwell and Ryan Fredericks. However, both of them are expected to miss out on their team’s opening fixture due to minor injuries they sustained at the end of July.
AFC v Aston Villa will kick off at 3pm on Saturday 6th August.
Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion - Sunday 7th August
With new boss Erik ten Hag at the helm, Manchester United fans are feeling optimistic about their 2022/2023 Premier League campaign, especially having only lost one in six friendlies and hammering home 14 goals while conceding just six.
The biggest talking point of United’s season will be the resurgence of front three Rashford, Martial and Sancho, who scored a combined eight goals during their tour of Thailand and Australia. All predicted line-ups for Sunday involve all three stars taking to the pitch from the off against Brighton & Hove Albion, along with Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire and Martinez as the obvious choices in defence.
We shouldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves however, as the last time these two teams met, Brighton came away victorious after thrashing United 4-0 at the Amex Stadium. The Seagulls will be extremely eager to claim a shock victory in their first match of the season, but will have to do it without their key midfielder Yves Bissouma, who moved to Spurs over the summer.
The main 2022/2023 Premier League talking points
Erling Haaland to Manchester City
The signing of gargantuan youngster Erling Haaland has certainly been grabbing headlines in the build up to the brand-new EPL season.
Man City’s hunt for an elite striker came to an end when they bagged the Norwegian footballer for a modest £51m from Borussia Dortmund, but it wasn’t an easy process.
Convincing Haaland to join the top English club took some real doing, as Real Madrid were also extremely interested in the 22 year old. But who wouldn’t want a player who’s scored 86 goals in 89 games for Dortmund in their team?
Haaland’s introduction to City fans came last weekend when he played against Liverpool in a Community Shield meeting, but had a frustrating afternoon, missing a late sitter as Man City lost 3-1. Of course, this sparked critics voicing their concerns toward Haaland ahead of the opening weekend of the Premier League. Signed for his reputation for scoring goals, it’s been suggested by some that he might take time settling in, but Haaland doesn’t share the notion.
He shot back at the critics and said: "People can take time, people can come directly into it. We have to see, but I'm not concerned. That's life as a footballer — you have to live with it.
"You are a kind of entertainer. You get judged every single week for what you do on the pitch and you have to deliver and do your best. For me as a striker, this is something I cannot stress about because if you think too much, you might end up doing things you don't want to do.
"It's all about trying to enjoy, live in the moment. People talk about what you did a year ago, but it's the next game that counts."
A very mature response from a young player who seems to have incredible expectations resting on his shoulders.
It’s a worrying time to be a Chelsea fan, with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen exiting as free agents, with club-captain Azpilicueta expected to go to La Liga, while Marcos Alonso being linked with a return back to his homeland.
Only four signings have been made by the Blues, with superstar Raheem Sterling signing for Chelsea last month, giving a great attacking option out wide, but not helping with the concerns surrounding the defence. Kalidou Koulibaly, Senegal international and ex-Napoli centre-back, has also come in in perhaps bid to help shore up the defence amidst various players leaving the club. Midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka was confirmed as Chelsea’s third signing last week, too, as the 18-year-old leaves Villa in a permanent switch to Stamford Bridge.
News broke of a fourth signing, but any hopes for another defender were soon crushed when it was announced goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina was joining the club, the youngest ever goalkeeper in the MLS, having made his debut at just 17 years old. In fairness, the deal has drawn a likeness to when Thibault Courtois was signed at just 18 himself, with big things expected from Slonina, who was also being pursued by Real Madrid during the transfer window.
There’s still plenty of time for Chelsea to pursue defenders during the summer transfer window, so let’s hope for Chelsea fans that other defensive signings are made going into September.
Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal
Is Gabriel Jesus the man that can inspire Arsenal to success this season? Mikel Arteta seems to think his “contagious mentality” might do just that, having signed for a massive £45m from 2021/2022 Premier League champions Manchester City.
As one of the leading strikers in the Premier League in recent seasons, Jesus could be that flame in attack Arsenal have been searching for. He’s an experienced international player, having made 56 appearances for Brazil, and at just 25 he’s got a long and illustrious career ahead of him - hopefully one in the white and red of Arsenal.
Jesus knows what it takes to win, having celebrated four Premier League titles, an FA Cup victory and the League Cup three times, not to mention winning the Copa America in 2019 and earning a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with Brazil.
Mikel Arteta is clearly delighted with the signing, believing it’s a massive step in the direction he wants to take the club. On the signing of Gabriel Jesus he said, “The club has done a tremendous job to recruit a player of this stature… This is a position that’s been on our radar for a long time now and we have managed to get a player that we all wanted, so I’m really happy.
Liverpool v Manchester City for the title
An incredible season saw Liverpool fall just short, achieving 92 points over the course of the 2021/2022 Premier League season, just one behind the champions, Manchester City, who achieved 93 - agonising!
Liverpool also reached the final of the Champions League, only to be narrowly beaten by one go to nil by Real Madrid. What could have been the season of dreams of Liverpool players and fans just wasn’t meant to be.
It’s a shared notion between football pundits that both Liverpool and Manchester City are the only teams in for a shot of winning the 2022/2023 EPL and no other teams will get close.
If Manchester City continue their run of form, and with a player such as Erling Haaland coming into the fold, the title is theirs to lose. Sadio Mane leaving Liverpool is a huge blow for them coming into the new season, and while there are other players ready to step forward and take on his role, his absence might prove key in the up and coming campaign.
Catch all the 2022/2023 Premier League action on both Sky Sports and BT Sport.