Premier League Opening Weekend

  • The first football of the season was kicked off at 15:00 today. Photo: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport.

    Torrential rain during the Euro 2012 fixture between Ukraine and France. Photo: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport.

    New Manchester United signing Robin Van Persie, seen here with manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Photo: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire/Press Association Images.

  • Premier League Opening Weekend
    18.08.2012 15:04


    This weekend sees the return of the Barclays Premier League after a 3-month lay off, with a full round of fixtures taking place. The affect of soaring afternoon temperatures, as well as the risk of heavy showers, may prove a difficult obstacle for some players over the next few days.

    Weather has already played a part in football during the summer break from the Premier League, notably at the UEFA European Football Championships where the match between Ukraine and France in Donetsk was suspended for nearly an hour due to torrential downpours associated with severe thunderstorms. Despite a waterlogged pitch, the players resumed the game without too much impact.

    Meanwhile, closer to home, six matches kicked off at 15:00 today, with the London venues seeing temperatures reaching up to 31 Celsius in dry and fine conditions. The later fixture of Newcastle and Tottenham looks set to be dry with hazy spells of evening sunshine on the cards across Tyneside.

    The two fixtures that take place tomorrow are in the north-west of England, where there are expected to be unsettled conditions as an area of showery rain sweeps northwards across the region. There will be a few heavy bursts at times, with the risk of a few rumbles of thunder too. Wet conditions are therefore anticipated ahead of the 13:30 kick off between Wigan and Chelsea. Later in the afternoon, Manchester City hope to get their title defence off to a winning start as they entertain newly-promoted Southampton at 16:00. The rain should start to ease off in the early evening, but there are some uncertainties on the exact timing.

    On Monday, Manchester United travel up to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the 20:00 kick off. New signing Robin Van Persie is likely to be making his debut for the visitors after completing the switch from rivals Arsenal and will be hoping to get on the score sheet. However, the well-drilled Merseysiders will themselves be looking to make a better start than in recent seasons. Conditions are forecast to be dry with temperatures around or slightly above what should be expected for the time of year.

    By: Nick Prebble