1) Arsenal to avoid opening night again

It has become traditional for Arsenal to look somewhat undercooked at the start of a season, but this time their hosts have more question marks. With Crystal Palace beating them at Selhurst Park in April, a rematch so soon seems to suit the visitors more and Patrick Vieira’s prediction of a “completely different game” seems hard to fault. Palace have yet to find a replacement for Conor Gallagher, whose energy was so fundamental to their best performances last season, while Cheikhou Kouyaté has left and the current injured list includes James McArthur and Michael Olise. Reinforcements have taken longer to arrive than Vieira would like, while Mikel Arteta has been able to strengthen in key areas and field something close to his preferred starting XI in recent friendlies. A year ago, Arsenal’s Covid-weakened side got off to a disastrous start at Brentford, but a Friday night scare doesn’t seem as likely this time around. Nick Ames

2) Núñez ready to leave for Liverpool

Darwin Núñez doesn’t look like he needs to be made comfortable. The Uruguayan striker started on the bench when Liverpool beat City in the Community Shield last weekend, but he seemed to be on the same page as his new teammates after coming into the second leg. The runs were smart and efficient, the link-up play was smart and there were signs of agreement with Mohamed Salah, who was involved when Núñez scored his first Liverpool goal with a brave header. The question is whether Klopp decides to play the former Benfica striker when Liverpool visit Fulham on Saturday. Is there anything to be gained by retaining the 23-year-old and playing Roberto Firmino in the middle instead? Firmino is a fine, subtle player, but Fulham defenders must be wary of trying to silence Núñez. Jacob Steinberg

3) Everton lack firepower

It was against Frank Lampard’s former club last season that Everton found the spirit, style and support that ultimately kept them in the Premier League, but that was thanks to a Richarlison winner – with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Salomón Rondón on the bench as a backup. The goalscorer is gone, the England international is injured for the next six weeks and Rondón is suspended. Another attritional approach is likely, with no established striker available for the first game of a new campaign. And to think that it is Thomas Tuchel who has deplored his club’s summer transfer affair so far. Chelsea at least have new faces to reflect an ambitious new era under Todd Boehly to Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Carney Chukwuemeka, along with the promise of more to come. However, they have lost on their last four league visits to Goodison Park, and Tuchel’s calls for reinforcements will only intensify with a fifth. Andy Hunter

Ready for the Premier League 2022-23: Everton – video

4) Will the pope force Dubravka out?

Nick Pope or Martin Dubravka? That’s the dilemma facing Eddie Howe as his Newcastle side prepare to take on Nottingham Forest at St James’ Park on Saturday. Pope didn’t join Burnley for £10m earlier this summer to just sit on the bench. Instead, the 30-year-old made it clear he intended to play first-team football, which would virtually guarantee him a place on the flight to Doha in England for the FIFA Cup. world in November. As a result, the consensus is that Howe will start Pope ahead of Dubravka on Saturday. That, in turn, should upset the Slovak keeper and his agent, who have repeatedly said his client is too good to be anyone’s understudy. Something has to give; Could a Newcastle-Leicester parts-swap deal involving Dubravka and James Maddison be the answer? Louise Taylor

5) Kane can hit the ground while running

While pre-season is a time for optimism, it has been particularly pronounced at Tottenham. Antonio Conte first committed to the project, then the club made quick and targeted signings. Yet there is one player who holds the key to glory and, luckily for all, Harry Kane looks relaxed and ready. This time last year, the striker wanted out. When his wish was denied, he worked hard, scoring just one league goal before mid-December. He found his stride under Conte, who joined in early November, to finish with 17 in the competition and he continued his momentum in the opener against Southampton, having had a strong pre-season this time. Conte’s system is based on getting the best out of his front men, and Kane intends to live up to expectations. David Hytner

6) The Hammers pose a tough opening test for City

The champions don’t have an easy start in defending their title. West Ham are unbeaten in their last three home games against Manchester City and are playing in a way that unsettles Pep Guardiola’s side. Much of it centers on the incisiveness of Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio on the counter, and while West Ham seemed to lack creativity during pre-season, that’s likely to be less of a problem against City. After all, David Moyes won’t be making plans for his team to dominate possession. It will be for West Ham to maintain a low block, watch Erling Haaland closely and look for ways to release Bowen, whose diagonal runs from right to left saw him score twice when Moyes’ side held City to a thrilling 2-2 draw. in that game last season. Jacob Steinberg

Jarrod Bowen gave West Ham a 2-0 lead against Manchester City in May, before the champions came back to draw. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

7) Parker is looking for points on board

Great expectations. This sentence probably does not embody the outlook of Bournemouth fans ahead of their return to the Premier League. With Scott Parker’s men working hard for automatic promotion last season and a worrying lack of summer spending so far, the club look set for a trying campaign. After hosting Aston Villa, Bournemouth next travel to Manchester City before facing Arsenal at home and Liverpool at Anfield. A point at Vitality Stadium on Saturday could be needed to avoid the ominous prospect of losing their first four league games and seeing their survival hopes begin to crumble along the south coast by the end of August. Villa fans will be expecting bigger things than 14th place last season, and if Steven Gerrard’s players are intent on making big moves up the rankings, picking up three points in games like this- this should be a must in their quest for a first half final. since his promotion in 2019. Joel Mians

8) Will Ronaldo make an appearance?

Erik ten Hag’s first Manchester United XI for a Premier League match is unlikely to include Cristiano Ronaldo due to the striker’s lack of fitness. The manager has called the 37-year-old’s early departure from Sunday’s friendly with Rayo Vallecano ‘unacceptable’ and anyone watching Brighton’s visit will turn into body language experts, analyzing any interaction for a hint of contention . The Portuguese’s decision to walk away was surely premeditated as a last ploy in a bid to leave a club he is supposedly adored for. As the new manager attempts to somehow rebuild a broken squad, the way Ten Hag treats Ronaldo and an unwanted spectacle may define his tenure. Jaime Jackson

Ready for the Premier League 2022-2023: Manchester United – video

9) Bamford give Marsch a big boost

The injuries that limited Patrick Bamford to just nine appearances for Leeds last season played a big part not only in the team’s banter with relegation, but also in Marcelo Bielsa being replaced by Jesse Marsch. The good news for the latter is that Leeds’ key striker, and 2020-21 top scorer, is approaching 100 per cent fitness and looks ready to start against Wolves at Elland Road on Saturday. If Marsch can keep Bamford fit, he stands a good chance of buying the time needed to lay down his exciting new signings, perhaps most notably attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson and winger Luis Sinisterra, in the first XI and help Leeds fans forget about summer starts. by Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha. The American’s chances of succeeding this season will be significantly improved if he manages to keep Bamford fit. Louise Taylor

10) Foxes face uncertainty at kick-off

This summer has been difficult for Leicester. Kasper Schmeichel is gone, the futures of Wesley Fofana and James Maddison are up in the air, and the Foxes are the only Premier League club yet to sign a player. A club on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League in 2020 and 2021 have discovered that last season did not go entirely to plan, with Brendan Rodgers’ side finishing eighth, six points behind a place in Europa League. There is a different mood among Leicester fans compared to the start of other recent seasons. They host a Brentford side they beat twice last season, albeit by chance. The visitors had a busy transfer window marked by the departure of their midfield maverick, Christian Eriksen. Given the uncertainty in LE2, Thomas Frank’s side may not have a better chance of stinging their hosts. Uzzi Majid