The 2011/12 English Premier League season is rapidly approaching, expect an incredible ten months full of delight for the some and despair for others. This year there are realistically six teams with realistic title hopes.
There is no better place than Sky Sports to follow all the action, with more games than you can handle, there are not only being shown in HD but now 3D – It is your chance to get closer to the action.
Champions Manchester United will be looking to retain the title, but have a battle on their hands. Their city rivals have an excellent chance of winning their first title since 1968, with their talented squad and the impressive signing of Sergio Agüero, which could make all the difference this season.
After a disappointing 2010/11 campaign, Chelsea will want to get their hands on silverware again, there has been some investment on the pitch but the key development came with the appointment of 33-year-old Andre Villas-Boas who impressed in his debutant season with Porto, but is he ready for the demands of the Premiership and the club’s owner?
As for North London, both Arsenal and Tottenham will be looking to improve on last season when they finished a disappointing fourth and fifth respectively. Both clubs will have title aspirations, but it is key for the their further development that they finish in the top four, providing much needed Champions League football.
Following an impressive resurgence by Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish, their fans will be dreaming of finally ending their 21-year-old wait to lift the league title. It has not been a happy time domestically for the Reds, who have seen their bitter rivals overtake them on most top-flight titles, a record they did not want to lose.
As for the bottom, nobody will want to find themselves in the relegation zone come May, the images of distraught Birmingham fans at White Hart Lane on the last day of the season lives on in our memories.
The Games You Want to See
By the end of November, Sky Sports will have shown 11 matches between last year’s top six teams, this includes a mouth-watering treble for Manchester United, where the Champions take on Tottenham on August 22nd, Arsenal on August 28 and Chelsea on September 18.
It is not just the big clubs that can be seen on Sky Sports, every Barclays Premier League team will be shown live on Sky Sports HD, this includes the three promoted clubs who will feature three times by the end of November.
Having triumphed in the play-offs Swansea face a very tricky opening game, as Brendan Rodgers takes his team to Eastlands to take on big spending Manchester City on the 15th August. Championship winners QPR face Tottenham on the 30th October and Norwich host Arsenal on the 19th November.
The Derbies …
When the fixtures are released, the first game any fan looks for; is when they will play their rivals. Sky Sports HD does not want you to miss any of these big games; the first derby of the season sees Everton take on Liverpool on the 1st October, and a day later Arsenal travel to White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham.
The 23rd October, is day to stay in as Manchester United play hosts to bitter rivals Manchester City at 13.30 and then that battle is followed by Queens Park Rangers vs. Chelsea, the game that all Hoop’s fans will be looking forward to.
Then there are other grudge matches which include Manchester United travelling to Anfield to take on Liverpool for the lunchtime kick-off on the 15th September, then two weeks later Arsene Wenger takes his team to Stamford Bridge. On the 20th October, Fernando Torres will be looking to get one over his old teammates when Liverpool come to London, a game both sets of fans cannot wait for.
August … and they are off
Sky Sports has an action packed opening month to the season, it all starts with title hopefuls Chelsea travelling to Stoke for the 1.30pm kick-off, this is followed by the Champions opener against West Brom at the Hawthorns.
The first big tie of the season is a week later when Liverpool take on Arsenal at the Emirates, after big money moves for English internationals Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, King Kenny will be looking for a good start to the season.
On the 21st, Bolton play Man City in a Lancashire derby and a day later Manchester United face Tottenham in a game that traditionally provides goals and lots of attractive football. With Birmingham now plying their trade in the Championship, Aston Villa’s closest rivals will be Wolves – the two teams meet on the 27th August in what is expected to be a fiery affair, which has led to an early kick-off at 12.05pm.
The month comes to an end with a cracker, as two managerial legends meet, the 4pm kick-off on Sunday the 28th will see Sir Alex’s Manchester United host Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, the days of Roy Keane and Patrick Viera maybe long gone but this match still guarantees fireworks.
With Sky Sports showing all this incredible action live in your homes, where else would you want to be, other than sat in your living room watching the battle for the Premiership crown.