With British interest in Euro 2016 petering out at the hands of Ronaldo and co. last night, the announcement of Sky Sports and BT Sport’s first batch of Premier League fixtures could not have been timed better. Here’s a quick guide to the season kick off, which games are HOT, which games are NOT, and who is showing WHAT when the season kicks off.
The first weekend has a distinctly Wimbledon feel to it with the reigning champs – Leicester City – taking on a qualifier in the form of Hull City. Two other big seeds – Man City and Man Utd – also begin their campaigns against less fancied opposition in the form of Sunderland and Bournemouth respectively. No first round draw would be complete without a juicy match up between one of the big four and a former champ that – following years of injury, seem to be making a comeback under a new coach: for Wawrinka vs Del Potro, read Sunday Afternoon - Arsenal vs Liverpool, 4pm on Sky Sports. While Monday evenings have tended to be a bit of a damp squib in recent years, the first one looks tasty with new man Antonio Conte’s Chelsea taking on West Ham, (probably still) complete with star of Euro 2016 Dmitri Payet. All in all, a real humdinger of an opening round.
Over the following five weekends, and in amongst the inevitable snorefests otherwise known as International Breaks, there are a few things to look out for:
1. Friday Night Football kicks off for the first time with Man Utd vs Southampton on 19 August on Sky Sports. Expect Mourinho’s first home game to be a cracker.
2. Three mega juicy looking Saturday evening clashes on BT Sport:
a. Leicester City vs Arsenal (20 August)
b. Liverpool vs Leicester City (10 September)
c. Arsenal vs Chelsea (24 September)
3. GUARDIOLA vs MOURINHO in ENGLAND pt.1: Put Saturday 10 September in your diary now. 12.30pm, Sky Sports, Man Utd vs Man City, Mourinho vs Guardiola. It’ll be spicy…
4. Seeing how the new boys get on. We’ve already mentioned Hull City kicking us off, but worth looking out for Middlesbrough’s first televised game (a juicy north-eastern clash with Sunderland on Sky Sports, Sunday 21 August) and Burnley’s return against Watford (Monday 26 September, Sky Sports).
David Rey, Managing Director at Sky Business, said: “What a way to kick start the new Premier League season on Sky Sports, with 20 exciting games across more days of the week than ever before. It’s our biggest season ever, including 126 Premier League games, more of the top match picks and the brand new Friday night match slot, exclusive to Sky Sports, all in addition to our Saturday, Super Sunday and Monday Night Football games. All this is great news for our pub customers for the season ahead, helping to attract more customers through the door, staying longer and spending more money throughout the season.”
This is probably the most even matched set of fixtures we’ve seen from Sky and BT in recent years with games from both sides offering great opportunities for smashing the season start, and blowing away those Euro 2016 cobwebs.
|Sat 13 Aug||Hull City||vs||Leicester City||12.30pm||Sky Sports|
|Man City||vs||Sunderland||5.30pm||BT Sport|
|Sun 14 Aug||Bournemouth||vs||Man Utd||1.30pm||Sky Sports|
|Mon 15 Aug||Chelsea||vs||West Ham||8.00pm||Sky Sports||HOT|
|Fri 19 Aug||Man Utd||vs||Southampton||8.00pm||Sky Sports|
|Sat 20 Aug||Stoke City||vs||Man City||12.30pm||Sky Sports|
|Leicester City||vs||Arsenal||5.30pm||BT Sport||HOT|
|Sun 21 Aug||Sunderland||vs||Middlesbrough||1.30pm||Sky Sports|
|West Ham||vs||Bournemouth||4.00pm||Sky Sports|
|Sat 27 Aug||Tottenham Hotspur||vs||Liverpool||12.30pm||Sky Sports||HOT|
|Hull City||vs||Man Utd||5.30pm||BT Sport|
|Sun 28 Aug||West Brom||vs||Middlesbrough||1.30pm||Sky Sports|
|Man City||vs||West Ham||4.00pm||Sky Sports|
|Sat 10 Sep||Man Utd||vs||Man City||12.30pm||Sky Sports||HOT|
|Liverpool||vs||Leicester City||5.30pm||BT Sport||HOT|
|Sun 11 Sep||Swansea||vs||Chelsea||4.00pm||Sky Sports|
|Mon 12 Sep||Sunderland||vs||Everton||8.00pm||Sky Sports|
|Fri 16 Sep||Chelsea||vs||Liverpool||8.00pm||Sky Sports||HOT|
|Watford||vs||Man Utd||12.00pm||BT Sport|
|Sun 18 Sep||Crystal Palace||vs||Stoke City||2.15pm||Sky Sports|
|Tottenham Hotspur||vs||Sunderland||4.30pm||Sky Sports|
|Sat 24 Sep||Man Utd||vs||Leicester City||12.30pm||Sky Sports||HOT|
|Sun 25 Sep||West Ham||vs||Southampton||4.00pm||Sky Sports|
|Mon 26 Sep||Burnley||vs||Watford||8.00pm||Sky Sports|
MatchPint pubs can start advertising these fixtures with immediate effect.
If you do not currently use MatchPint at your pub, take a look here to find out how you can make more out of sport in your pub. Alternatively email email@example.com for more info.