Like snowdrops that push through the frozen ground to signal the beginning of spring and rebirth of life and love, the first official sign of the 2019-20 Premier League season has poked its head out from underneath the summer
snow silly season.
The new fixtures are here — though their exact dates and times will change slightly as they get adjusted by the those who hold the real power in the Premier League, the TV companies Sky and BT!
And that means we’re just about halfway between the end of the last Premier League season and the start of the next preseason. Time flies, even when you’re not having much Silly Season fun.
For Chelsea, it will be a rather difficult, away from home, as we travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Ouch. This game has already been moved to Sunday, because TV.
This will be Chelsea’s 28th Premier League season. We’ve won 17 of the previous 27 opening games, including last year’s 3-0 win over since-relegated Huddersfield Town, losing just 4. The only team with a better record than that are Manchester United (18 wins, 4 draws, from the 27). The two teams with the best Premier League opening day records to start the new Premier League season!
As usual, Chelsea will have some European commitments to consider as well, including the inconveniently scheduled UEFA Super Cup between the first two matchdays. The draw for the Champions League group stage will be held on August 29.
Man Utd (A) | Super Cup (Aug 14) | Leicester City (H)
Wolves (A) | CL MD1 (Sep 17) | Liverpool (H)
Brighton (H) | CL MD2 (Oct 1) | Southampton (A)
Newcastle (H) | CL MD3 (Oct 22) | Burnley (A)
Watford (A) | CL MD4 (Nov 5) | Crystal Palace (H)
Man City (A) | CL MD5 (Nov 26) | West Ham (H)
Everton (A) | CL MD6 (Dec 10) | Bournemouth (H)
One fairly big change overall will be the introduction of a winter break, sort of, which will add a two-week break in mid-February in a staggered format, with half the teams taking one weekend off and the other half taking the following weekend off. The idea is to keep players fresh for the second-half grind, while still keeping England’s festive period calling card intact. We’ll see what, if any, difference this makes.
For Chelsea, the winter break will be the weekend of February 15, which is a great time considering that it will be sandwiched between home games against Manchester United and Spurs (for now).
Another change will be the introduction of a third player in the UK TV market, as Amazon Prime will stream 20 games, including all Boxing Day fixtures as well as all ten matches from another matchweek yet to be determined. In other major markets, the coverage remains largely unaffected. It’s still NBC and Telemundo in the USA, Star Sports in India, SuperSport for the southern half of Africa and beIN Sports for the northern half as well as the Middle East. Upstart DAZN continues to make inroads in certain markets however, including their newly acquired rights in Canada, where all games will be available to stream (for a monthly or yearly subscription fee). The future is digital!
And now back to your regularly scheduled Silly Season, where there’s no time to waste.