We take a look at five key Premier League fixtures, which might just prove crucial in deciding who will be crowned champions.
After Liverpool’s dramatic 4-3 win over Arsenal at the Emirates on the Premier League’s opening weekend, fans all around the country are already beginning to debate the possible significance of the result, heading into the new season.
With this season’s title race likely to be one of the most exciting, and closest-fought the Premier League has ever seen, we take a look at five more key fixtures which might just prove crucial in determining who will be crowned Premier League champions come the end of the season.
One of the first big derbies of the season, and a match which sees eternal rivals Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola pitted against each other once again – the first Manchester derby is sure to be an absolute cracker.
Taking place at Old Trafford, and just four games into the new Premier League season, the game presents a prime chance for both sides to not only get one over on their local rivals, but also to send a message to the rest of the league that the victor means business.
With United and City each having started their campaigns with victories over Bournemouth and Sunderland respectively, both teams will be desperate to maintain their 100% record between now and September.
This might just prove easier said than done however, with City facing a tricky home tie against West Ham prior to the international break, whilst United face-off against newly-promoted Hull in the same week of fixtures
Chelsea v Manchester United – October 23
Always one of Chelsea’s biggest home games of the season, and a game which has developed into something of a rivalry over the past few years, Manchester United’s trip to Stamford Bridge in October is sure to be a fierce encounter.
For Chelsea, this fixture represents just one of a number of tricky games to come for the Blues in the month of October, with the West London club facing tricky away trips to both Hull and Southampton, whilst also squaring off against last season’s champions Leicester at home just the week before.
United’s fixture list is only slightly kinder, however, with relatively easy home ties against Stoke and Burnley at the start and end of the month, but one of the highlights of the season – an away trip to Anfield – coming just the week before.
What with both teams facing tricky games in the build-up to this crucial encounter, whichever side is able to secure the best result heading into the game might just be able to use this confidence to secure an all-important three points heading into the run up to Christmas.
Arsenal v Tottenham – November 6
The first North London derby of the season, and one that is sure to carry huge ramifications for both sides involved – Arsenal’s November clash with Tottenham is sure to be one of the highlights of the season.
Arsenal and Tottenham’s ever-lasting rivalry reached boiling point last season, after Tottenham led Arsenal for the majority of the season, only to be pipped for second spot by the Gunners on the very last day of the season.
Now, with both teams desperately seeking to bring in last-minute reinforcements ahead of their respective surges for the title once again, this year’s North London rivalry looks set to be a close one.
Tottenham will head into the encounter fresh from playing last year’s champions Leicester away at the King Power stadium, whilst hosts Arsenal face a tricky – but definitely winnable – trip away to Sunderland.
Manchester United v Liverpool – January 14
The reverse leg of the fixture set to take place just before United and Chelsea’s clash at the Bridge, United get to entertain their fiercest of rivals Liverpool at home just three months later.
With Liverpool set to experience their first full season under former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, things are looking promising for the north-west side ahead of one their biggest seasons in recent years.
Having spent big to secure the likes of Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, Klopp’s side have already begun the season in a very impressive fashion – having defeated Arsenal away in a 4-3 thriller on the seasons opening weekend.
United have also started strongly however, but face a potentially troublesome encounter away to West Ham in the build-up to the Liverpool game.
Liverpool also face an away fixture in the build-up to the clash, facing off against David Moyes’ new look Sunderland just 12 days before.
Manchester City v Leicester – May 13
The penultimate game of the season for both sides involved, and one that might just see last year’s champions face-off against this year’s. Leicester’s last-minute trip to the Etihad might just decide it all.
With Manchester City representing many people’s early favourites to secure the title this season under new manager Pep Guardiola, their match against Leicester in the closing few weeks of the season could prove to be the week in which they wrap up the title.
With Leicester having defied all odds last season however, to be crowned the Premier League’s least-likely champions in history, the Midlands club are something of an unknown quantity heading into the new season.
With predictions varying from a bitter struggle against relegation, right up to another title challenge from Claudio Ranieri’s wily old foxes, Leicester may just yet have another chance to decided where this season's Premier League trophy will lie.
Both teams head into the game on the back of home fixtures, exactly a week before, with City scheduled to face off against Crystal Palace, whilst Leicester are set to face Watford – in a game that could have as many ramifications at the bottom of the table as it could at the top.