The new Premier League season is almost upon us.
Following the conclusion of Euro 2020, the Olympics occupied many sports fans’ minds before the return of live action from English football’s elite division.
Premier League fixtures have been released which is often the signal football fans need to start plotting their weekends and away days as the domestic season take centre stage.
A dramatic final day of the 2020/21 Premier League season saw Liverpool and Chelsea take third and fourth place for Champions League qualification.
FA Cup winners Leicester City and West Ham United took fifth and sixth place respectively to qualify for the Europa League, with Tottenham Hotspur missing out on the top seven.
The Premier League title had already been claimed by Manchester City, with Manchester United finishing second.
Here’s when the 2021/22 Premier League season starts, ends and which teams will be taking part this campaign...
When does Premier League 2021/22 start?
The 2021/22 Premier League season begins with newcomers Brentford at home to Arsenal at 8pm on Friday 13 August in the curtain raiser.
It will be the first of a full weekend of Premier League action which sees Manchester United face Leeds United in the early 12.30pm kick off on Saturday 14 August.
The 3pm games see Burnley v Brighton, Chelsea v Crystal Palace, Everton v Southampton, Leicester City v Wolves, Watford v Aston Villa before Norwich City and Liverpool play at 5.30pm.
The following day (Sunday 15 August) sees Newcastle United take on West Ham United at 2pm before Tottenham Hotspur play champions Manchester City at 4.30pm later that same afternoon.
The Premier League’s shareholders have agreed the start and end date of the new campaign, which will conclude with all final day fixtures on 22 May 2022 kicking off at the same time.
Will fans be allowed back into grounds?
Under the government’s roadmap out of Covid lockdown restrictions, it is hoped home and away fans will be allowed back into grounds for the start of the new season.
A limited number of fans were allowed back into grounds for the final two rounds of fixtures of the 2020/21 season, as rules relaxed around attending live events from 19 June.
Both semi finals and the final of the Euros held at Wembley saw increased capacities to allow more fans into the stadium to witness live football under a government pilot scheme.
The events research programme was designed to allow large crowds back to live events as lockdown restrictions brought on by the Covid pandemic begin to ease.
Which teams will compete in the 2021/22 Premier League season?
Manchester City will look to defend their Premier League crown, with rivals Manchester United keen to go one step further in challenging their neighbours for supremacy.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester City and West Ham United will all have European fixtures to negotiate after their to six finishes to the last Premier League campaign.
Two of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who finished the 2020/21 season in seventh and eighth respectively, will want to improve on their seasons.
Leeds United and Everton enjoyed top half finishes, with Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers all ending the season well clear of relegation trouble.
Crystal Palace, Southampton, Brighton and Hove Albion and Burnley will be planning on how they can improve on their 14th-17th placed finishes for the new Premier League season.
Relegated Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United will compete in the Championships with Norwich City, Watford and Brentford coming up.
Premier League 2020/21 table
Manchester City (C)
West Ham United
Brighton and Hove Albion
West Bromwhich Albion (R)
Sheffield United (R)
How can I watch the Premier League 21/22 season on TV?
The Premier League recently announced a new TV broadcast deal with its partners Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and BBC Sport to show 200 live games in 2021/22.
The £4.7b deal was a rollover of the current agreement in place between the Premier League and broadcasters after the government agreed to the private sale amid the Covid pandemic.
The three-year agreement means the Premier League can fulfil its planned £1.5b commitment to the football pyramid at a time when many clubs have faced financial hardship.