EPL Preview: History beckons for Zim football

The English Premier League action will return this weekend when the 2022/23 season begins.

The new campaign kicks off on Friday 5 August, with the first fixture happening at Selhurst Park between Crystal Palace and their London rivals Arsenal.

The opening round will continue over the following two days with newly-promoted side Nottingham Forest travelling to Newcastle United, while fellow newcomers Fulham will take on Liverpool.

The Bournemouth versus Aston Villa clash at the Vitality Stadium could leave a historic mark in the Zimbabwean football.

The country will this term be represented by the Cherries defender Jordan Zemura and Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba.

If both players are in action on Saturday, this would be the first time in over two decades that two fully-capped Zimbabwean players are on opposite sides in the English top flight.

The other time this happened was in the mid-90s when Peter Ndlovu was at Coventry City while Bruce Grobbelaar had settled at Southampton.

Even if the two fail to meet on Saturday, history could still be made if Zemura makes his EPL debut to become the latest Zimbabwean player to feature in the top-flight.

The young fullback could join the likes of Saturday’s nemesis Nakamba, ex-Manchester City striker Benjani Mwaruwari, Peter Ndlovu (Birmingham City) and Bruce Grobbelaar (Liverpool) as fully-capped Warriors internationals to play in the EPL.

Zimbabwe left-back Brendon Galloway played for Everton but did so while representing England’s junior teams.

Elsewhere, champions Manchester City face a trip to West Ham United, while Chelsea will be up against Everton.

SuperSport TV will show all the games live across various channels.

Meanwhile, this season will be unique in that the campaign will take a mid-season break for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with the last match set to happen on the weekend of 12 November.

The action will resume on Boxing Day, just eight days after the World Cup final in Lusail.

First round of fixtures in full:

05/08/2022 — 21:00 Crystal Palace v Arsenal

06/08/2022 — 13:30 Fulham v Liverpool
06/08/2022 — 16:00 A.F.C. Bournemouth v Aston Villa
06/08/2022 — 16:00 Leeds United v Wolverhampton
06/08/2022 — 16:00 Leicester City v Brentford
06/08/2022 — 16:00 Newcastle United v Nottingham Forest
06/08/2022 — 16:00 Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton
06/08/2022 — 18:30 Everton v Chelsea

07/08/2022 — 15:00 Manchester United v Brighton
07/08/2022 — 17:30 West Ham United v Manchester City

All times CAT.

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