The 2020/21 Premier League campaign kicks off at Craven Cottage on Saturday lunchtime where Arsenal make the short trip to Fulham.
After a shorter-than-usual pre-season, the English top flight calendar begins a month later than it’s traditional start date due to coronavirus.
And the action begins in the capital, where newly-promoted Fulham welcome FA Cup holders Arsenal to the Cottage.
Scott Parker has impressed at the helm of Fulham in the short time he has been in charge, guiding the West London side back to the Premier League at the first time of asking via a Wembley playoff final last season.
Former Chelsea and Spurs midfielder Parker took over the Cottagers at the end of the 2018/19 season, with Fulham all but condemned to relegation back to the Championship after spending an eye-watering £100m on players the previous summer.
Fulham will undoubtedly be hoping that the demons of two seasons ago can be exorcised, where it is fair to say they crashed and burned.
However, there are not many tougher tests on the first day of the season than Arsenal, who seem to have rediscovered their swagger under manager Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal’s hierarchy have been impressed with the Spaniard so much since his arrival last December that they have even moved to ‘update’ his job title from first team coach to first team manager.
Scooping the FA Cup with a Wembley win over Chelsea will increase the Gunners’ confidence heading in to the new campaign, a season in which you feel finishing in the Champions League spots is a must for a club of Arsenal’s prestige.
Despite the silverware, a 13th placed finish last season was simply not good enough and represents Arsenal’s lowest league placing for 25 years.
Arteta will be hoping master marksman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can continue his prolific form in front of goal for the Gunners – the Gabon striker has bagged 71 goals in 110 Arsenal appearances since his arrival in 2018 – and is due to sign a bumper new deal worth £400,000 a week, making him the club’s highest earner.
Arguably it is at the back where Arsenal’s frailties lie, although defender Gabriel Magalhaes has signed for the club from Ligue 1, much like William Saliba who returns from a loan spell in France.
Former Chelsea ace Willian is also a new recruit, but his old pal David Luiz is unlikely to feature for Arsenal due to injury.
Fulham gaffer Scott Parker has also strengthened, adding experienced PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to the Cottagers’ ranks on a loan deal, as well as Southampton duo Harrison Reed and Mario Lemina.
Highly rated full back Antonee Robinson is also a fresh face having penned a deal from Wigan Athletic.
Fulham v Arsenal is a 1230 kick off at Craven Cottage in the Premier League.