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EPL begin after record spending

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1 EPL begin after record spending on 16th August 2014, 6:48 am


The Premier League season begins on Saturday
following a record summer of transfer
spending in England's top league.
The 20 top-flight clubs have invested an estimated
£647m - £17m more than in the whole of last
summer - with experts believing the figure could
reach £1bn.
Manchester United, under new boss Louis van
Gaal, kick off the season in the early game against
Chelsea start as favourites, while Manchester City
are the holders.
Premier League opening weekend fixtures (all
15:00 BST unless otherwise stated)
Saturday, 16 August
Manchester United v Swansea (12:45 BST)
Leicester v Everton
QPR v Hull
Stoke v Aston Villa
West Brom v Sunderland
West Ham v Tottenham
Arsenal v Crystal Palace (17:30 BST)
Sunday, 17 August
Liverpool v Southampton (13:30 BST)
Newcastle v Manchester City (16:00 BST)
Monday, 18 August
Burnley v Chelsea (20:00 BST)
It is the second year in a row that Manchester
United start with a new manager, with Van Gaal
looking to improve on the seventh-placed finish
achieved by predecessor David Moyes.
The Dutchman is one of four new bosses in the
league, while 10 players have come in for fees of
£20m or more, with Alexis Sanchez's £35m move
to Arsenal the biggest so far.
Van Gaal led
Netherlands to
third in the
World Cup with
United striker
Robin van Persie
his captain
The record summer spending comes with the
Premier League in the second year of a three-year
TV package with BT Sport and Sky, worth over £1bn
per season. The BBC will continue to show
highlights every weekend on Match of the Day,
part of more than 12 hours of television coverage
every weekend across BBC One and BBC Two.
Prize money for the winners, including their share
of television money, is likely to be near £100m.
Last year, Manchester City earned £96.5m, £1m
less than second-placed Liverpool, who earned
more as they were on television more times.
Cardiff, who finished bottom and were relegated,
earned £62m.
Vanishing spray
over Arteta's
The major innovation this season is the vanishing
spray introduced at the World Cup, which sees the
referee spray a white line, which disappears after a
short period, on the pitch to ensure a defensive
wall stands 10 yards away from a free-kick taker.
The season promises to produce one of the most
open title races in memory, with five teams
expected to battle for the championship.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has gone two years
without winning a trophy, having won one in each
of the nine seasons before that, but has added
more than £80m of talent to his side this summer.
Spain internationals Diego Costa and Cesc
Fabregas come in, with club legend Didier Drogba
returning on a free transfer.
Biggest Premier League transfers of the summer
Alexis Sanchez [Barcelona - Arsenal] £35m
Diego Costa [Atletico Madrid - Chelsea] £32m
Eliaquim Mangala [FC Porto - Manchester City]
Cesc Fabregas [Barcelona - Chelsea] £30m
Ander Herrera [Athletic Bilbao - Manchester
United] £29m
Romelu Lukaku [Chelsea - Everton] £28m
Luke Shaw [Southampton - Manchester United]
£27m (Could rise to £31m)
Adam Lallana [Southampton - Liverpool] £25m
Dejan Lovren [Southampton - Liverpool] £20m
Lazar Markovic [Benfica - Liverpool] £20m
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini won the
league last term in his first season in England but
has been hindered in the transfer market this
summer by a transfer cap for breaching Uefa's
financial fair play (FFP) rules - although he has still
spent £50m.
The club have also had their wage bill capped and
can only name 21 players, instead of 25, in their
Champions League squad.
Arsenal 3-0 Man
After leaving his job as Netherlands boss to take
up the position vacated at Old Trafford by Moyes,
Van Gaal has already made his mark, bringing in
Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera for £29m and
making Southampton left-back Luke Shaw the
most expensive teenager in the history of football -
paying an initial fee of £27m for the English 18-
Arsenal, meanwhile, won their first trophy in nine
years when they beat Hull in the FA Cup final in
May, and are bidding for their first league title in
11 years, boosted by the signing of Barcelona
forward Sanchez.
The Gunners won the Community Shield, the
annual season curtain-raiser, 3-0 against
Manchester City at Wembley last Sunday.
Liverpool mounted a surprise title challenge last
season, leading the table at the beginning of May,
but may struggle for a repeat after selling 31-goal
top scorer Luis Suarez to Barcelona in a £75m deal.
boss Ronald
Koeman tweeted
"Ready for
#Training!" with a
picture of an
empty pitch
One of the major talking points of the summer was
Southampton's sale of five key players.
Following the departure of manager Mauricio
Pochettino to Tottenham, they sold Adam
Lallana,Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert to
Liverpool - who they face on Sunday - for a
combined £49m, plus Shaw to Manchester United
and Calum Chambers to Arsenal for £16m. They
also loaned out Dani Osvaldo, who was their £15m
record signing last summer, to Inter Milan.
Southampton hired Ronald Koeman to replace
Pochettino, with Alan Irvine the other new Premier
League manager, having taken over at West Brom.
Seven clubs will represent England in European
competition this season, with Manchester United
missing out for the first time since 1989-90.
Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea qualified
automatically for the Champions League group
stages, with Arsenal needing to play Besiktas in a
Everton, Tottenham and Hull will play in Europe's
second tier cup, the Europa League.
The three new teams in the top flight following
promotion are QPR, Leicester and Burnley.

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