Manchester United vs. Leicester (Friday 8/10/18, NBCSN, 12 noon PT)
Newcastle vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday 8/11/18, NBCSN, 4:30 AM PT)
Watford vs. Brighton (Saturday 8/11/18, NBC Sports Gold, 7 AM PT)
Fulham vs. Crystal Palace (Saturday 8/11/18, NBC Sports Gold, 7 AM PT)
Huddersfield vs. Chelsea (Saturday 8/11/18, NBCSN, 7 AM PT)
Bournemouth vs. Cardiff City (Saturday 8/11/18, NBC Sports Gold, 7 AM PT)
Wolves vs. Everton (Saturday 8/11/18, NBC, 9:30 AM PT)
Liverpool vs. West Ham (Sunday 8/12/18, NBCSN, 5:30 AM PT)
Southampton vs. Burnley (Sunday 8/12/18, NBC Sports Gold, 5:30 AM PT)
Arsenal vs. Manchester City (Sunday 8/12/18, NBCSN, 8 AM PT)
Top three games
3. Southampton vs. Burnley
It’s not the flashiest game on the docket, but it should provide a look into two sides that have some questions going into the new season. For Southampton, who have been regressing over the past few years, this is a good early test to prove they are up for a fight this season. After a miserable 2017-18, Saints have a chance right off the bat to show that it’ll be different this time, and that opportunity is critical for a fanbase that must be nervous heading into the season with a largely unchanged squad that desperately needs a boost. For Burnley, it’s everyone’s first look at their attempt to back up their best season in 50 years. The Clarets’ form last year was immense, but they were a couple of fortunate moments here and there from being another run-of-the-pack team. Can they keep their identity this year and still produce the same results?
2. Manchester United vs. Leicester
1. Arsenal vs. Manchester City
Fans can’t ask for anything more than a week one banger, and the EPL has delivered us a tantalizing fixture between a revamped Arsenal side and the defending champions from Manchester City. Unai Emery will have his work cut out for him in his very first EPL game as he faces old foe Pep Guardiola at the Emirates. It’ll be a great benchmark for both sides. Are the Gunners ready to take a step back towards the top six this year? Will City experience any sort of a title-winning hangover? Another point of interest will
Under-the-radar game to watch
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Everton
These two were among the winners of the transfer window (or, in Everton’s case, deadline day). That’s a loaded title, but there’s no denying that both of these clubs enter the new campaign with optimism overflowing. Wolves were nothing short of electrifying last season in the Championship, and with a whole bunch of new toys to play with (including classy midfielder Joao Moutinho and Portuguese international goalkeeper Rui Patricio), manager Nuno Espirito Santo has what appears to be a top-half side on his hands. On the other side, Everton are feeling positive as well after capturing the signing of wingers Richarlison and, on deadline day, Bernard, as well as the Barcelona duo of Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes, both of whom joined just before the window shut. Like Nuno, Marco Silva has plenty to work with this season; as the pair get started with their top-flight tasks, expect an open, end-to-end affair at the Molineux Stadium.
European games of the week
Nantes vs. Monaco (Ligue 1, Saturday 8/11/18, BeIn Sports, 8 AM PT)
While the matchups aren’t exactly superb on the opening weekend of the French season, there’s at least one match that could catch the eye. Last season’s runners-up, Monaco, must hit the road to begin the campaign, and they’ll line up across from a tough Nantes side that finished ninth last year and got better in the summer. For USMNT fans, this also looks like it’ll be the debut of Nantes’ new center back, Matt Miazga, who joined on a year-long loan from Chelsea. He’ll have a mighty tall task on his hands against Monaco’s crop of forwards, but Nantes could very well make a loud statement about their intentions this year if they start off with an upset win.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayern Munich (German Supercup, Sunday 8/12/18, FS2, 11:30 AM PT)
Many will remember Eintracht holding off Bayern in a thrilling DfB-Pokal Final back in May, and now the teams meet again with the season on the horizon for another nice piece of silverware. While it’s not the most critical fixture, it’s certainly one Eintracht in particular will want to win as the Eagles line up against their former manager, Niko Kovac, whose first game in charge of Bayern comes against his most recent side. That will open up the possibility for some drama, and with a trophy on the line (even a less-than-meaningful one), this could be a better match than most might expect.
Barcelona vs. Sevilla (Spanish Supercup, Sunday 8/12/18, ESPNews, 1 PM PT)
It’s nothing more than a glorified friendly in Tangier, but both Barcelona and Sevilla will come to play for the Supercup. Copa del Rey runners up Sevilla finished seventh in the league last year and will be looking for a bounceback campaign. They will want to at least put forth a good showing against Barca to provide some confidence, but that may be tricker said