Liverpool begin the defence of their first-ever Premier League title as Leeds United return to the top flight for the first time in 16 years.
A historic day for both teams as champions for the top two divisions in England face off and the much-praised Marcelo Bielsa tests his skills in front of, arguably, his biggest audience in the world’s biggest league.
For Leeds, they start with likely the toughest fixture of the entire season – which could be a positive due to the unknown state of all teams heading into a truncated campaign.
Liverpool, though, will no doubt be buoyed by their champions tag on the opening day, and will surely win this.
Liverpool will monitor Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip, both of whom have recently returned to training following injuries.
Leeds are without injured pair Gaetano Berardi and Adam Forshaw.
New signings Rodrigo and Robin Koch returned from international duty fully fit, and are available to make their debuts.
Head coach Marcelo Bielsa must decide whether to pick Illan Meslier or Kiko Casilla in goal.
- Leeds’ most recent win against Liverpool was by 2-1 in the Premier League at Anfield in April 2001. Rio Ferdinand and Lee Bowyer scored for the visitors, while Steven Gerrard netted – and was later sent off – for the Reds.
- The Reds are unbeaten in their opening league fixture over the past seven seasons, winning six times.
- Eighteen-time champions Liverpool have begun their title defence with a defeat just once before, losing 2-0 to West Brom in 1923.
- This will be the seventh time the reigning Premier League champions have hosted a newly-promoted side in their opening game, with the title holders winning all six of the previous matches.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in a club record 59 Premier League fixtures at Anfield (W48, D11), with their last defeat coming against Crystal Palace in April 2017.
- They are one shy of conceding 2,000 top-flight goals at home.
- Mohamed Salah can become only the second player to score in his side’s opening fixture in four consecutive Premier League seasons. Teddy Sheringham did so with Nottingham Forest in 1992 and Tottenham from 1993 to 1995.
- Fifteen of Salah’s 19 league goals last season were scored at Anfield.
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- The Whites have never lost their first game of a Premier League season, winning five and drawing seven. No team has taken part in as many Premier League campaigns without ever losing their opening match.
- The Yorkshire club last began a top-flight season with a defeat in 1981, when they lost 5-1 at Swansea.
- The winner of the previous season’s Championship has not won their first Premier League game since Sunderland beat Tottenham in 2007 (D3, L9).
- The most recent newly-promoted side to win away at the reigning top-flight champions on the opening day were Notts County against Aston Villa in 1981.
- Leeds conceded 35 league goals last season, the best defensive record of any Championship winner since QPR in 2010-11, and kept 22 clean sheets.
- Marcelo Bielsa is only the fourth Argentine to manage in the English top flight.
- Bielsa, 65, will become the second oldest post-war permanent manager to take charge of his first game in the English top flight, behind only Dick Advocaat, who was 67 when he debuted with Sunderland in 2015.