The time is upon us once again—the beginning of a new English Premier League season. On Friday, August 9, the new season of the top club soccer league in the world kicks off once again as Liverpool faces Norwich City (NBC Sports in America, streaming online on NBC Sports Live and fuboTV), and the action won’t stop until a champion is crowned in May 2020.
To prepare you for the next ten months of the best soccer on earth, here’s a preview of what to expect, including the top dates of the season and how to watch all the action on television or stream it online.
What To Expect
The Premier League title race is likely to come down to two teams: Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champion, and Liverpool, the reigning UEFA Champions League champion. Last season, City and Liverpool put on a title race for the ages, totaling 98 and 97 points, respectively, the second and third highest tallies in Premier League history. Neither team has lost much to transfers this summer and none of their rivals has improved enough to mount a credible challenge to them. In all likelihood, City and Liverpool will duke it out for Premier League supremacy again this season.
The race for the remaining top four spots and a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League will be considerably tighter and should feature the other four of England’s Big Six clubs: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham. Last season, Chelsea and Tottenham claimed third and fourth, respectively, with Arsenal and Manchester United on their heels.
While all four teams are considered in the running, the favorite among them to achieve a top-four finish is Tottenham, last season’s UEFA Champions League runner-up, which has bolstered its ranks with a few big signings. Arsenal has also improved its squad this summer, most notably with the signing of Nicolas Pépé, but defense will still be an issue for the Gunners. Manchester United has made some significant moves in the transfer market over the summer but could lose both Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku in coming weeks. Meanwhile, Chelsea and new manager/club legend Frank Lampard are banned from transfers at the moment, rendered completely unable to bring in reinforcements in the wake of manager Maurizio Sarri’s departure for Juventus.
New to the Premier League this season is the introduction of Video Assistant Replay (VAR), the controversial replay technology used in the latest men’s and women’s World Cups as well as a number of other leagues throughout the world. VAR will be used to review all goals scored, all penalties awarded and all straight red cards and can also be used on offside calls.
Norwich City at Liverpool: August 9. While this isn’t a high-stakes contest, and Liverpool should win easily, the fact that it’s the first match of the new season makes it a must-watch affair.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool: November 9 at Liverpool, April 4 at City. Unless something shocking happens, these two giants will once again battle for Premier League supremacy, and the two contests between them could be the deciding factor in the title race.
Manchester Derby: Manchester City vs. Manchester United: December 7 at City, March 7 at United. Although City has proven to be the better team and club in recent years, the Manchester Derby is still one of the most anticipated matches of the season.
North London Derby, Tottenham vs. Arsenal: August 31 at Arsenal, April 25 at Tottenham. Arsenal is looking to fight its way back into the top four and archrival Tottenham will do anything to stop it and claim continued supremacy in North London.
Boxing Day: December 26. One of the Premier League’s great traditions. All 20 teams will be in action the day after Christmas.
Final Matchday: May 17. Perhaps the most important day of the entire season. Depending on how the season shakes out, the title, top four and relegation battles could all be decided on the final fixtures of the 2019-2020 season.
How to Watch
In the United States, the Premier League is carried in English by NBC. Most of the top matches of the season will be shown on either NBC or NBC Sports. Some games may also appear on NBC-owned channels such as USA and CNBC. It can be found in Spanish on Telemundo and Universo.
For those looking to view online, you can watch matches on the NBC Sports Live website and app with a cable log-on. In order to watch all Premier League matches of the season, you’ll need a subscription to NBC Sports Gold’s Premier League Pass.
For cord-cutters, one of the best options is a subscription to fuboTV, which also gives you access to a number of top domestic leagues across the world.