What you need to know about the new English Premier League season

World Cup break, taking-the-knee changes and new rules that are part of the new English Premier League season.

haaland shirt
Manchester City's signing of Erling Haaland has been the biggest move in the league this season [Carl Recine/Reuters]

Crystal Palace are hosting Arsenal on the opening day of the new English Premier League season on Friday.

Manchester City have won four of the last five titles with Liverpool’s lockdown success in 2020, the only interruption to the dominance of Pep Guardiola’s team.

Not since Chelsea triumphed in 2017, a year after Leicester City’s utterly unexpected title, has the Premier League had a winner from outside the two clubs in the country’s northwest.

The new season starts a week earlier than the last one and will end a week later too in order to accommodate an extended winter break due to the World Cup.

World Cup break

Given that the World Cup will take place in November and December in Qatar, the league will take an extended winter break from November 13 to December 26.

Extra substitutions

Teams will also be able to make up to five substitutions in every game, up from three previously allowed.

Major transfers

Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City
Darwin Nunez – Benfica to Liverpool
Richarlison – Everton to Tottenham
Gabriel Jesus – Manchester City to Arsenal
Raheem Sterling – Manchester City to Chelsea

Premier League exits

Sadio Mane
Alexandre Lacazette
Paul Pogba
Romelu Lukaku
Antonio Rudiger
Andreas Christensen
Raphinha Belloli

Promoted teams

Nottingham Forest

Taking a knee

Premier League teams will limit their pre-match anti-racism gesture of “taking the knee” to only some significant games from the new season.

“We have decided to select significant moments to take the knee during the season to highlight our unity against all forms of racism and in so doing we continue to show solidarity for a common cause,” Premier League captains said in a statement on Thursday.

Players will take the knee during the opening match round of the season, “No Room for Racism” match rounds in October and March, Boxing Day fixtures after the World Cup, league matches on the final day of the season and FA Cup and EFL Cup finals.

Opening-round fixtures

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

Fulham vs Liverpool
Bournemouth vs Aston Villa
Leeds United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Newcastle United vs Nottingham Forest
Tottenham Hotspur vs Southampton
Everton vs Chelsea

Leicester City vs Brentford
Manchester United vs Brighton
West Ham vs Manchester City

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies