Premier League 2023/2024: key information you need to know
The 2023/24 Premier League season is nearly upon us and it’s fair to say we’re all more than a little excited for its return. Football has been scant over the summer but that has given fans time to brush up on things for the season ahead, and there’s quite a bit to know.
In this guide, we review the essential information. We look at when the season starts, the date the transfer window closes, the key fixtures to look out for and the details of some new rule changes.
When does the 2023/24 Premier League season start?
The new Premier League season kicks off on Friday 11 August 2023, with a very interesting encounter. Newly-promoted Burnley welcome reigning champions Man City to Turf Moor and it also sees Burnley manager Vincent Kompany face his old club.
The bulk of the games take place on Saturday 12 August 2023. The early kick-off features Arsenal at home to Nottingham Forest. Newcastle and Aston Villa round off the day with the evening kick-off.
On Sunday 13, you can clear your afternoon schedule. Chelsea play Liverpool at Stamford Bridge at 16:30 in what promises to be the standout game of the opening weekend.
What date does the transfer window close?
This year, the summer transfer window closes on Friday 1 September at 11pm sharp. This is the final opportunity teams have to strengthen their squads.
In the past, the Premier League experimented with a rule change that saw the window close before the first games of the season were played. This new, slightly delayed approach can work well, allowing teams to test their squads and identify weaknesses, as well as helping address cover for any early injuries.
Top fixtures to look out for
Here are some key fixtures to look out for during the coming season:
- 23 September – Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur
- 21 October – Liverpool vs Everton
- 28 October – Manchester United vs Manchester City
- 23 December – Liverpool vs Arsenal
- 30 March – Man City vs Arsenal
- 3 April – Chelsea vs Manchester United
- 20 April – Tottenham Hotspur vs Man City
New rule changes
The Premier League is always tweaking its rules and the interpretation of certain laws. The idea behind these changes is to make the game better, though some, like the video assistant referee (VAR), have caused a stir.
For the new season, four new changes have been introduced. The first relates to offsides. In the past, once a defender touched the ball, an offside player could become active. The new rule now states that players who are clearly offside will not become onside once an opponent touches the ball.
The rules have also been changed in respect of yellow cards. If a genuine attempt to win the ball is made, the referee is not obliged to issue a yellow card, even if the player is fouled. This rule should hopefully prevent red cards, which can ruin a match. And it’ll also prevent red cards in last-man situations when genuine attempts to win the ball don’t succeed.
Another interesting rule change relates to goalkeepers. The men between the posts do everything they can to try and put their opponent off. Now, keepers will be punished if they try to distract the opposition player taking a penalty kick. That means an end to the arm waving and jumping about.
The final change introduced by the league relates to time wasting. It became quite common in Premier League matches last year, so this year, if a team wastes time with prolonged goal celebrations, that time will be added on. It’s a small step to eradicating time wasting in the game, but probably won’t be the most effective.
Who do the bookies think will win the league?
The bookies do a lot of research on the Premier League before they publish their odds. Some have already begun to offer markets on the season ahead.
Unsurprisingly, title holders and the newly crowned champions of Europe, Manchester City, have been declared favourites to repeat last season’s feat. Odds of 4/6 are commonly being offered for City to claim the title again. Close behind is Arsenal, with odds of 5/1, and Liverpool coming in third with odds of 15/2,
Despite a pretty shocking season last year, Chelsea are predicted to improve, especially with new and more competent management in place, in the form of Mauricio Pochettino. Odds of them taking the title are around 16/1.