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Five talking points ahead of the 2021-22 Premier League opening weekend

Five talking points ahead of the 2021-22 Premier League opening weekend
© Reuters
There are a number of eye-catching fixtures on the first weekend of the 2021-22 Premier League weekend.

The fixtures for the new Premier League campaign were released on Wednesday with the 2021-22 season only two months away.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at five storylines from the opening weekend.

Who will Harry Kane be lining up for?

Champions Manchester City visit Tottenham on the first day of the season and the subplot to the fixture is Harry Kane could potentially line-up for the visitors. Pep Guardiola’s side are among the clubs heavily linked with the England captain, who has made clear his ambition to win team trophies – something Spurs have failed to achieve since 2008. Guardiola memorably labelled Tottenham the ‘Harry Kane team’ in 2017 but in a twist of fate, the striker could make his first appearance for his new club at his old stomping round if a move is forthcoming this summer.

The Bees are buzzing

Brentford are back in the top flight for the first time in 75 years and start life in the Premier League with a London derby in front of their fans. Arsenal are the visitors to the Brentford Community Stadium in what should be a great occasion for the Bees faithful, who have hardly been able to step foot inside the ground since it opened last year. It will be only the second meeting between the sides since the west London club were part of the Old First Division back in the 1946-47 term. Meanwhile, Thomas Frank has a number of ex-Gunners in his ranks including Josh Dasilva.

Old rivals face off early

Gary Speed celebrates scoring against Manchester United
Manchester United and Leeds face each other on the opening weekend to make it three matches in the space of eight months (John Giles/PA)

When Leeds travelled to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in December, it was the first meeting between the clubs in nine years but they have been pitted against each other on the opening weekend to make it three matches in the space of eight months. After waiting so long to face each other regularly, the fans of both will not mind it coming out first in the fixture list. An eight-goal thriller was produced in the first encounter of last season, with Manchester United triumphing 6-2 before a stalemate took place at Elland Road. On this occasion supporters from the two clubs will hopefully be in attendance for a game which could feel a throwback to yesteryears.

Canaries to have wings clipped?

Daniel Farke would have produced a wry smile when he saw the fixtures announced with Norwich once again pitted with Liverpool. Upon promotion two years ago, the Canaries travelled to Anfield on the opening day and – while this time they host Jurgen Klopp’s men in matchday one – it is still a tricky start. The Carrow Road outfit have lost 12 of their last 14 games against the Reds, with their last victory on April 30, 1994 but their German boss will still remain positive in his efforts to get the better of his countryman.

Familiar face at the Bridge

Frank Lampard on the touchline
Could Frank Lampard be back in the dugout? (Richard Heathcote/PA)

Champions League winners Chelsea get their campaign under way at home to Crystal Palace and Thomas Tuchel will be desperate for a good start. His planning for that fixture will be difficult currently with the Eagles managerless after Roy Hodgson stepped down at the end of the past campaign. There are a number of candidates for the role at Selhurst Park, including Frank Lampard who could end up back in the Stamford Bridge dugout sooner than expected – just in the away end.

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Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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