The upcoming Premier League season will be disputed between the more than 320 miles of motorway connecting Southampton and Newcastle and the nearly 310 miles separating Swansea and Norwich.
London and its six top-flight sides will become a familiar destination for all 20 clubs while, for the first time, the South Wales Derby will be a Premier League affair. Never before has a 10th of the division’s representatives hailed from outside England.
Coming into the weekend, four teams have new managers, including Manchester United. No doubt a good many United fans have never known a club campaign without Sir Alex Ferguson. This will be the first Premier League season conducted without him—the first time since 1986 the wily Scot won’t be patrolling the Old Trafford technical area match after match.
Jose Mourinho is back at Chelsea and, as Gary Neville wrote in the Daily Mail last week, his return is good for everyone.
Naturally, there are some new players to get to know as well.
Manchester City made a handful of signings with an eye to regaining the title, and up and down the country money was spent—albeit not to the degree it has been previously—by managers and chairmen hoping for everything from a title challenge to a European place to just another season in the most lucrative football league in the world.
The outset of the season is really the only time in which all 20 Premier League clubs retain an element of pure, unblemished hope and, as such, it’s the best time to take a look at their prospects going into the first round of matches.
The following slides will provide that look, offering a comprehensive, alphabetical guide to each participant of the 22nd Premier League campaign.