The Premier League fixtures for the 2020/21 season have been released with many signalling this day as the starting point for the new campaign.
The new season will begin on the later date of September 12 following the long break due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Manchester City are the odds-on 5/6 favourites with Sky Bet to reclaim the title following Liverpool's success in 2019/20.
As ever, the league will see three newer faces with teams joining from the Sky Bet Championship. For 2020/21, Leeds have ended their 16-year wait for a return and will be involved, while they will be joined by West Brom and Fulham - two teams who have seen top-flight football over recent years.
Fulham and the Baggies are the two favourites for the drop, although Leeds are fancied to survive their first season back with seven other teams a shorter price for relegation.
It shows how the money is behind immediate returns back to the Championship, but history has shown how promoted teams can cope with life among England's elite in their first season.
A look at the previous ten years shows us how Leeds can feel confident that they have what it takes to retain their spot for the 2021/22 campaign.
Reading, Cardiff and Norwich are the only three sides who have been relegated after winning the Championship title the season before.
Championship title winners and the following season
Brackets indicate season they won the title
Survived: Reading (2005/06); Sunderland (2006/07); Wolves (2008/09); Newcastle (2009/10); QPR (2010/11); Leicester (2013/14); Bournemouth (2014/15); Burnley (2015/16); Newcastle (2016/17); Wolves (2017/18).
Relegated: Sunderland (2004/05); West Brom (2007/08); Reading (2011/12); Cardiff (2012/13); Norwich (2018/19).
Overall, the Championship title winner survives more often than not. In the 15 seasons since the rebrand to what it is today, ten champions have stayed up in their first season while five have been relegated.
Five of the past six seasons have seen the champions hit the 40-point mark, although Wolves significantly improved that average as they defied the odds to qualify for the Europa League in 2018/19. Norwich became a recent example of things not going to plan with just 21 points and five wins from their 38 games.
Wolves' 2018/19 points tally of 57 is the highest of any promoted club from the Championship. Sheffield United, who were promoted as Championship runners-up in 2018/19, sit in second with their 54 points in 2019/20.
However, in terms of a 38-game season, it's Ipswich who hold the crown for most points for a promoted team in the following season. They secured 66 in 2000/01 and that was enough for them to finish in fifth.
Championship runners-up and the following season
Brackets indicate season they were promoted
Survived: Wigan (2004/05); Stoke (2007/08); Birmingham (2008/09); West Brom (2009/10); Norwich (2010/11); Southampton (2011/12); Hull (2012/13); Watford (2014/15); Brighton (2016/17); Sheffield United (2018/19).
Relegated: Sheffield United (2005/06); Birmingham (2006/07); Burnley (2013/14); Middlesbrough (2015/16); Cardiff (2017/18).
As time has progressed, the Premier League favours the side who come up as champions.
Some recent exceptions to that rule include 2015/16 where Watford, who finished second, concluded their campaign a point above Bournemouth. Norwich, of course, also finished bottom last season so both the runners-up and play-off winners finished above them.
However, in terms of rate of survival, those in second match those in first with ten staying up while five were relegated.
Championship play-offs winners and the following season
Brackets indicate season they were promoted
Survived: West Ham (2004/05); Hull (2007/08); Swansea (2010/11); West Ham (2011/12); Crystal Palace (2012/13); Huddersfield (2016/17); Aston Villa (2018/19).
Relegated: Watford (2005/06); Derby (2006/07); Burnley (2008/09); Blackpool (2009/10); QPR (2013/14); Norwich (2014/15); Hull (2015/16); Fulham (2017/18).
That positive rate doesn't continue to those achieving promotion through the play-offs as the majority of teams found themselves relegated in their first Premier League season.
Seven of the 15 play-off winners have survived the following campaign while eight have dropped straight back down. That said, Huddersfield and Aston Villa are the only two teams to have done that over the previous five seasons.
Fulham will be hopeful that it isn't a repeat of their last top-flight campaign as they were relegated following their success in the play-offs. Villa managed to beat the trend as they survived on final day last season.
Opening five fixtures
Leeds: Liverpool (A), Fulham (H), Sheffield United (A), Manchester City (H), Wolves (H)
West Brom: Leicester (H), Everton (A), Chelsea (H), Southampton (A), Burnley (H)
Fulham: Arsenal (H), Leeds (A), Aston Villa (H), Wolves (A), Sheffield United (A)
Final five fixtures
Leeds: Brighton (A), Tottenham (H), Burnley (A), Southampton (A), West Brom (H)
West Brom: Wolves (H), Arsenal (A), Liverpool (H), West Ham (H), Leeds (A)
Fulham: Chelsea (A), Burnley (H), Southampton (A), Manchester United (A), Newcastle (H)
2020/21 Premier League opening weekend fixtures
- Burnley v Manchester United - postponed
- Crystal Palace v Southampton
- Fulham v Arsenal
- Liverpool v Leeds
- Manchester City v Aston Villa - postponed
- Tottenham v Everton
- West Brom v Leicester
- West Ham v Newcastle
- Brighton v Chelsea
- Sheffield United v Wolves
Odds correct at 1600 BST (19/08/20)
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