Manchester City will hope to make a winning start to the defence of the Premier League title when their 2019/20 campaign begins away to West Ham United on Saturday.
City remain the class of the division, but the Hammers have recruited some exciting talent this summer, including midfielder Pablo Fornals and striker Sebastien Haller. Expect a West Ham side managed by former City chief Manuel Pellegrini to keep the pressure on the champions.
Getting off to a winning start will be vital for the Citizens, who can expect nearest rivals Liverpool to begin with a victory. The Reds, who finished as runners-up by a point last season, host newly promoted Norwich City at Anfield on Friday.
Liverpool and City look set to dominate the title race once again, but the scrap to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League could be more intense. Arsenal missed out for the third campaign running, but the Gunners have added club-record signing Nicolas Pepe and should turn on the style against Newcastle United at St. James' Park on Sunday.
Like City, Arsenal need the win because north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur will be expected to beat Aston Villa at home on Saturday. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Manchester United should take points off one another at Old Trafford in the final fixture of the opening weekend.
Week 1 Schedule (TV Info and Picks)
Friday, August 9
- Liverpool vs. Norwich City: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBCSN (Liverpool)
Saturday, August 10
- West Ham United vs. Manchester City: 12:30 p.m. BST/7:30 a.m. ET, BT Sport 1/NBCSN (City)
- Bournemouth vs. Sheffield United: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, NBCSN (Bournemouth)
- Crystal Palace vs. Everton: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (Everton)
- Burnley vs. Southampton: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (Southampton)
- Watford vs. Brighton & Hove Albion: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold (Watford)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Aston Villa: 5:30 p.m. BST/12:30 p.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBCSN (Spurs)
Sunday, August 11
- Leicester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers: 2 p.m. BST/9 a.m. ET, CNBC (Draw)
- Arsenal vs. Newcastle United: 2 p.m. BST/9 a.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBCSN (Arsenal)
- Manchester United vs. Chelsea: 4:30 p.m. BST/11:30 a.m. ET, Sky Sports PL/NBCSN (Draw)
West Ham United 1-2 Manchester City
Fornals and Haller have added flair, vision and power to an already capable West Ham attack. Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson also ensure there is ample skill and technique in the final third, and they will surely test City's normally resolute defence.
The Citizens don't win with defensive resolve, though. Instead, Pep Guardiola's squad has more match-winners in the final third than any other.
Striker Sergio Aguero and winger Raheem Sterling are arguably the deadliest double act in the division, thanks to the former's strength and instincts in the box, combined with the latter's pace and perceptive movement.
The duo's effectiveness is boosted by the quality of supply from a midfield led by stylish maestros Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.
City possess sufficient quality in midfield to keep the ball away from West Ham's danger men long enough to edge an entertaining game.
Newcastle United 1-4 Arsenal
Newcastle have a new manager, Steve Bruce, and a few promising summer recruits, including striker Joelinton. The Brazilian can expose a suspect Arsenal defence early, but the Gunners' own quality in attacking areas will make the difference.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished in a three-way tie for the golden boot as the division's top scorer with 22 goals last season. He's a good bet to strike again, while often-maligned playmaker Mesut Ozil appears to love facing the Magpies.
Ozil has found the net in two out of his last four meetings with Newcastle. The 30-year-old's eye for a pass will also be a problem for Bruce's three-man defence.
Aubameyang and Ozil may be supported by some marquee match-winners, depending on fitness. Striker Alexandre Lacazette, who has also scored twice in his last four games against the Magpies, could start after suffering an ankle problem against Lyon in the Emirates Cup this preseason.
Unai Emery is "hopeful" both Lacazette and Pepe will be ready for Sunday, per Metro's Tom Olver.
Arsenal's team is front-loaded enough to not only compensate for ongoing weaknesses at the back, but also to score in bunches in the north east.