Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Watford complete club record £18.5m Gray deal
  2. Arsenal's Sanchez to miss Leicester game
  3. Chelsea need to sign more players - Conte
  4. Gossip: Barcelona want Coutinho 'by the end of the week'
  5. GET INVOLVED: #myPLmemories

Live Reporting

By Jamie Lillywhite and Neil Johnston

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Farewell

And that's where we leave you for today, many thanks to those you stayed with us. Thanks for all your 2002-07 memories and pictures, even to Will, whose image sadly refuses to leave my head. There will be another Football Special tomorrow when the team will be looking at 2007-12 and, on the eve of the Premier League season, providing further build-up to the big kick-off. Some of us have some late nights ahead for the US PGA golf but, as Jim McDonald would say, cheerio now.

'Where are you?'

Delia Smith's 'Where are you?' rant.

Phil Brown's half-time team talk...on the pitch.

Nigel Pearson's bizarre 'ostrich' outburst.

And Gary Lineker in his pants, definitely one for my significant other, although she is the proud owner of a lifesize cardboard cut-out of a similar image that I had to walk across the Media City piazza with.

BBC Sport has compiled the funniest moments from 25 years of the Premier League.

It's well worth a watch and it has the legendary Des Lynam at the start, my favourite of all the presenters.

Premier League at 25: Funny moments from 25 years of the Premier League

Man City will win title

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Pep Guardiola's arrival at Etihad Stadium last summer was greeted with an excitement and expectation which was ultimately unfulfilled as they finished the season without a trophy and in third place in the Premier League.

There were flashes of the scintillating attacking style the Catalan wants but too often City were fragile in defence.

Guardiola has embarked on some spectacular - not to mention costly - renovation work on his defence.

City's attacking riches are already in place and look for Gabriel Jesus to emerge as a Premier League superstar this season.

This makes City the champions.

.
Getty Images

Brighton v Man City (Sat, 17:30 BST)

We had our Chris Hughton look-a-like competition the other day in tribute to his recent goatee beard. Suggestions ranged from Denzil Washington to Sir Tom Jones. Anyway, here's the Brighton boss on what his last message to the team will be before the Saturday teatime match against multi-million Manchester City.

BBC App users may need to click the link to see and hear him.

View more on twitter

Chelsea to finish 2nd

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Antonio Conte's miraculous rebuilding from a 10th-place finish to champions last season was a superb feat of management.

There has been turmoil around Stamford Bridge this summer, with Diego Costa's discontent providing the backdrop along with questions about Conte's own future before he signed an improved two-year deal.

Chelsea, however, will still be hugely formidable although it remains to be seen whether the decision to sell Nemanja Matic to rivals Manchester United is a wise one.

Conte, having appeared to pursue Romelu Lukaku, will be delighted to have landed one of his personal favourites in Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid while Tiemoue Bakayoko's arrival from Monaco will be expected to offer a more youthful and athletic alternative to Matic.

No title - but a very good shout for a cup.

.
Getty Images

Get Involved

#myPLmemories

Richard Benson: I put this in the loft 14 years ago, but kept the faith that he would come back one day.

Wayne Rooney t-shirt
RichardBenson

Man Utd will finish 3rd

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

It is testimony to Jose Mourinho's built-in winning mechanism that a campaign that appeared a disappointment for so long still ended with Manchester United winning the EFL Cup and the Europa League, confirming Champions League football this season.

United and Mourinho will be under pressure to offer a serious title challenge this season and I expect them to do so.

Victor Lindelof from Benfica will be asked to provide added central defensive reliability with the shield offered by midfield enforcer Nemanja Matic.

The big arrival, however, is £75m Romelu Lukaku from Everton, apparently stolen from under Chelsea's nose.

Lukaku will be under huge scrutiny to deliver but his track record suggests he will. Mourinho will be back in the title shake-up.

.
Getty Images

In the hood

There are still blue skies in Salford but lots of rain in the south today, bad news for the construction of my conservatory....I bet Mark Noble doesn't have to rely on his elderly father to do his...

Definitely a hood up kind of day...

Definitely a hood up kind of day...

Liverpool to finish 4th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Strange summer for Liverpool and manager Jurgen Klopp - and at this stage it is a slight leap of faith to back him to deliver another top-four finish but he is moving his club in the right direction.

Mohamed Salah's arrival from Roma offers even more pace and movement to an attack rich in those qualities with the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho.

Liverpool will watch developments on the south coast with interest to see if there is any way of reviving the fractious deal for Southampton's Virgil van Dijk to bolster a vulnerable defence and RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita remains on the radar.

The big question mark is the future of Coutinho. Klopp and Liverpool are understandably bullish about their refusal to sell - but Barcelona do not normally just walk away. The outcome will be crucial to Liverpool's season.

.
Getty Images

Ace coach Ventura extends contract

Giampiero Ventura has extended his contract as Italy head coach until 2020.

The 69-year-old former Torino boss signed a two-year deal when replacing Antonio Conte, who left to join Chelsea, in the role in June last year.

But, having won eight of his 11 games in charge, Ventura was handed fresh terms by FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio at a press conference this afternoon.

Giampiero Ventura
Getty Images

Arsenal to finish 5th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Arsenal finally slipped out of the Champions League places last season after a campaign which contained much acrimony and discontent at Emirates Stadium, but which was salvaged to an extent by an outstanding FA Cup final win against Chelsea.

Arsene Wenger, the central figure in so much of that debate, has signed a new two-year deal and the French manager wants to make a fast start to ensure there is a feel-good mood around Arsenal.

Wenger insists Alexis Sanchez will not be sold but there will still be much relief if he is still a Gunner at the turn of the month. If he stays, and Wenger says he will, then Arsenal can flourish.

.
Getty Images

Fan banged up for firework fracas

A reminder that I do have Phil McNulty's number, but in other news, a 24-year-old Swiss football fan has been handed a prison sentence for setting off fireworks at a game which damaged another supporter's hearing.

The man from Herisau in eastern Switzerland, a supporter of FC St. Gallen, must serve at least 18 months of a 36-month sentence and pay a fine of 9,700 Swiss francs.

Spurs to finish 6th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Rather like my slightly wayward prediction of Leicester City's relegation before the season they won the title, this is a prediction that bears all the hallmarks of coming back to haunt.

Spurs have proved an outstanding team over the last two seasons but have yet to win a trophy - this placing is also heavily influenced by the fact they have yet to strengthen this summer.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has a top-class first team but still needs high quality cover for Harry Kane and chairman Daniel Levy should also be scouring the markets to improve what he has.

.
Getty Images

Get Involved

#myPLmemories

nathan: My first Premier League game, 04-05, Middlesbrough beat West Brom 4-0 at the Riverside! Some youngster Stewart Downing scored!

Everton to finish 7th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Everton are a club on the move under manager Ronald Koeman and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Their summer transfer business has been highly impressive and there is justified optimism around Goodison Park.

The minus has come with the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United. Koeman has yet to land the front line striker to replace his goals and presence - Everton also appear to lack pace.

Do not expect them to finish any lower than last season but they may need a couple more transfer windows to seriously infiltrate the top six.

.
getty

Get Involved

#myPLmemories

Tom Mo: Chelsea v Liverpool 02-03. Last game of the season. Jesper Gronkjaer's goal to send us into the UCL. Birth point of the Abramovich era.

West Ham to finish 8th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

It was an unsettling first season at London Stadium for the Hammers, away from the home comforts and familiar surroundings of Upton Park.

There may also be a slight false start this season with home fixtures delayed after the World Athletics Championships but expect better from Slaven Bilic's side after some very interesting work in the transfer market.

Javier Hernandez, goal poacher par excellence, may yet prove to be a masterstroke while Marko Arnautovic is a talented wildcard.

Cause for cautious optimism.

.
Getty Images

Gray joins Hornets

Watford complete a club record £18.5m signing of 26-year-old Burnley striker Andre Gray on a five-year deal.

View more on twitter

Get Involved

#myPLmemories

AJPS: We remember the winners, but final day of 04/05 had an epic relegation zone battle, all four teams were safe at various points!

Leicester to finish 9th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Leicester City looked much more like the side that won the Premier League after Craig Shakespeare took over from the sacked Claudio Ranieri last season - but will full command be different to temporary charge for a talented coach?

Riyad Mahrez's future remains in doubt but the Foxes have shown their ambition with the arrival of Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City, while plenty regard the signing of Vicente Iborra from Sevilla as a coup.

Shakespeare will hope there is no more upheaval before the end of August, with Chelsea being linked with midfielder Danny Drinkwater.

And with one or two more additions (Harry Maguire may prove a shrewd acquisition in defence) then this could be a very decent season at the King Power.

.
Getty Images

'We need more players'

Antonio Conte - We need to improve our squad and the quality

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has spent more than £100m during the summer transfer window but wants more players if the Blues are to make a successful defence of their Premier League title.

Bournemouth to finish 10th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Bournemouth will be starting to feel almost established in the Premier League now as they enter their third season, still with manager Eddie Howe and the likes of top scorer Josh King.

And this status is reflected in the additions they have made to the squad in the summer.

Asmir Begovic is a goalkeeper of experience and reliability, Nathan Ake is a defender of rich promise while Jermain Defoe will hope to continue the Indian summer of his career towards next year's World Cup with England in Russia.

Bournemouth and Howe are growing together and I expect that to be reflected in another season of good consolidation.

.
Getty Images

Frustrating for Benitez - Shearer

Newcastle United

Moving swiftly on, although staying with Newcastle, and former striker Alan Shearer says it has been a "frustrating" summer for his old club - despite promotion.

"If I remember correctly I think Mike Ashley said he would give Rafa [Bentiez] every penny generated," the Premier League's record goalscorer told Sky Sports.

"I don't know if that's been the case but I suspect not. Rafa will have Newcastle hard to beat, I'm sure of that."

.
Getty Images

Get Involved

#myPLmemories

Do you think Rafa might give this guy a game?...

Will Clark: loved this NUFC top. They used to wear them extra baggy in them days!

I think Will might have been at the Photoshop here but I wanted to share it with you. Just be thankful I cut out the bottom half....

Newcastle
WillClark

Newcastle to finish 11th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Any prediction about Newcastle United always comes with a variety of strings attached - and this is no different.

Manager Rafael Benitez's relationship with the hierarchy has appeared strained at various stages of the summer, a situation not unfamiliar for either party throughout their history.

Benitez's Premier League experience and his bond with the Toon Army means it is vital he feels comfortable in his role. The effects of anything otherwise could be catastrophic for Newcastle.

The so-called marquee signing may not have arrived on Tyneside yet but Benitez is the most important figure in Newcastle's dynamic. If he goes, all bets are off.

.
Getty Images

Ref watch

For the newcomers, Huddersfield's first match in the Premier League at Crystal Palace will be refereed by Jon Moss, Brighton's maiden Premier League campaign begins against Manchester City with Michael Oliver in charge and Newcastle take on Tottenham on Sunday when Andre Marriner will be the man in the middle.

West Brom to finish 12th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

It has been a relatively quiet summer at The Hawthorns, although it remains to be seen how important the loss of the influential Darren Fletcher to Stoke City proves to be.

Striker Jay Rodriguez is a real talent who has suffered cruelly with injuries but manager Tony Pulis will hope he regains the form and influence that won him England recognition.

And while he is an acquired managerial taste to some, Pulis keeps teams in the Premier League with the minimum of fuss. Expect the same again.

.
Getty Images

Soldado's sayonara

Roberto Soldado, who it has to be said did not justify his £26m transfer fee with only seven goals in 52 league games for Tottenham, looks set to leave Villarreal for the volatile atmosphere of the Turkish Super League and Fenerbahce.

BBC App users may need to click on the link to view the full tweet.

View more on twitter

Taking in the rain

And speaking of Crystal Palace, Steve Coppell, who has had four spells in charge of the Eagles and now coaches in the Indian Super League, is back at the Palace training ground soaking up the rain. They still hold him in high regard, clearly.

Crystal Palace to finish 13th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

Palace are another club who will now be feeling a sense of permanence in the Premier League - but once again suffered managerial musical chairs with the surprise resignation of Sam Allardyce after he guided them away from relegation last season.

New manager Frank de Boer is a personality of real pedigree who is looking to re-establish himself after a brief and bruising experience at Inter Milan following success at Ajax.

De Boer must get used to life in the Premier League but Palace have firepower in the shape of Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a smart addition on loan from Chelsea.

Palace should have enough to survive with a little to spare.

.
Getty Images

Ref watch

Watford v Liverpool (Sat, 12:30 BST)

The first match on Saturday is at Vicarage Road and another smooth-headed official will be in charge of this one, Anthony Taylor.

A return to #PL action is nearly upon us. ⚽️

#MyLFCMatchdayImage

A return to #PL action is nearly upon us. ⚽️ #MyLFCMatchdayImage

Rodgers returns

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is back at Swansea this evening in a testimonial for Alan Tate. Alongside Swans stalwart Brian Flynn, he will be in charge of the Swans Legends XI taking on a Manchester United Legends side. The match kicks off at 19:00 BST.

BBC App users may need to click the link to Brendan holding play-off trophy aloft.

View more on twitter

Southampton to finish 14th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

New season. New manager. New season. More speculation about their best player.

This seems to be life almost every summer at Southampton as Mauricio Pellegrino replaces the sacked Claude Puel, who seemed harshly dealt with after an eighth-place finish and a Wembley final, while Virgil van Dijk sits on the sidelines declining to figure in pre-season as he craves a £60m move to Liverpool.

Southampton seem to thrive in this environment but surely there will come a time when they cannot pull off this trick of succeeding surrounded by such turbulence.

.
Getty Images

Get Involved

#myPLmemories

Sam Cook: My first ever football shirt aged 6. Memorable one as it is the Blues 100th anniversary shirt and the season we won our 2nd PL.

Surely that's one of those mini-kits that go in car windows isn't it?!

Chelsea shirt
@Sam_cook9

Ref watch

Arsenal v Leicester (Fri, 19:45 BST)

Let's have a look at who you are likely to vent your anger at, or in other words, who are the referees this weekend?

Mike Dean has had his moments under the spotlight over the years and he will be in charge for Arsenal against Leicester, the Premier League's first Friday opening.

'Bayern would not spend £200m'

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says the German champions will never spend the 222 million euros (£200m) that Paris St Germain paid for Brazilian forward Neymar.

Rummenigge said more "rationality" was required as transfer costs spiralled out of control.

"We as Bayern Munich must have a different philosophy," Rummenigge said. "Overall the Neymar transfer could cost even more than the arena.

"During the Neymar transfer I asked myself the question what would be more important: Neymar or the Allianz Arena.

"I have to say clearly that I prefer having the Allianz Arena which is also more important."

.
AFP

Stoke to finish 15th

Phil McNulty

BBC Sport chief football writer

There was a real sense that Stoke City were running out of momentum under Mark Hughes last season. Some of the old menace had gone and they were too tame on too many occasions.

Still formidable on their own ground but Hughes will need a good start to deflect some of the criticism that was aimed his way last season.

Darren Fletcher will be a steady presence in midfield while Kurt Zouma is a very good defensive addition - but how much will the 'X Factor' provided by the unpredictable Marko Arnautovic be missed?

Big season for Hughes. Good start essential.

.
Getty Images

New talent emerges

2002-03 season

.
Getty Images

For those of you who have just joined us and are wondering why there is an old picture of Wayne Rooney on the index, we are looking back all this week over 25 years of the Premier League and today's focus is on the seasons from 2002-3 to 2006-7.

The 02-3 campaign was the season the man who would go on to become England and Manchester United's all-time leading scorer would burst onto the scene, memorably grabbing a late winner for Everton against Arsenal five days before his 17th birthday.

Rooney was not the only person making a name for himself that year. Will Young won the inaugural series of Pop Idol. The singer of Leave Right Now and Evergreen was worth around 12.5m by 2012. You weren't expecting to see a picture of him on here today were you?

Send your favourite memories of the 2002-07 era to #myPLmemories.

.
Getty Images

Shakespeare happy with Mahrez

Leicester City

Riyad Mahrez will continue to feature for Leicester despite saying he wants to leave, says boss Craig Shakespeare.

Mahrez has asked to leave the Foxes but Shakespeare is happy with the player's attitude since reporting back for pre-season training.

"I can only speak about how I have found him and he hasn't given me one problem," said Shakespeare, whose side visit Arsenal on Friday (19:45 BST).

.
Getty Images

Hughton on Kayal

Let's get some thoughts from Brighton boss Chris Hughton on the fractured fibia injury suffered by midfielder Beram Kayal.

"It was operated on today and we expect him to be out for a period of 10-12 weeks," Hughton confirmed. "The good news is that it was a clean injury and the operation went very, very well, so we don't expect any complications, but it's bad news for us and for him."