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By Sam Lyon
2000: We'll call that a wrap, then, my good people. The good news is that Premier League football is back. The even better news is that you suspect it can only get more entertaining. All the more reason, then, to join me again tomorrow for
Stoke v Chelsea
West Brom v Man Utd
as well as a couple of Championship fixtures. Good to have you lot back, make sure you check out our
debate on Radio 5 Live now before sinking in to a bit of Match of the Day from 2215 and then the Football League Show from 2335 on here and BBC One. Let's do all this again on the morrow, yes? Jubbly.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "I think Gervinho didn't deserve the red card personally. I dont know why Joey Barton has grabbed him at the throat to get him up. I think thats a yellow card. I feel the referee has not seen it and the assistant has not seen it properly. I am 100% sure the referee has not seen the incident so I would like to know who made the decision. Will I appeal? I will have a good look at it but I am tempted to say yes."
Jason Roberts' take on Joey Barton on
"He's a good player but he comes with baggage. Where he moves on from here will be the biggest move of his career."
NEWCASTLE 0-0 ARSENAL Chris Bevan
reports: "Arsenal's difficult week continues as Gervinho is sent off on his Gunners debut and the Londoners fail to break down a stubborn Newcastle side."
LIVERPOOL 1-1 SUNDERLAND Alistair Magowan
reports: "Liverpool looked like they would dominate after a first-half showing where all their new signings were purring, but Sunderland defended better after the break and Sebastian Larsson's goal was worth a point at least."
QPR 0-4 BOLTON Phil Dawkes
reports: "In short, new-boys QPR were outclassed by a powerful and professional Bolton side. On this evidence, it will be a long-season for the west Londoners, but another one of progress for Owen Coyle's Lancashire outfit."
BLACKBURN 1-2 WOLVES Ian Singleton
reports: "Wolves get their first win at Ewood Park in 19 years and revenge for that defeat in May. It wasn't pretty but they were the better and more tenacious team."
WIGAN 1-1 NORWICH Saj Chowdhury
reports: "Norwich will be delighted to have come away from Wigan with a point after the Latics put the newcomers under severe pressure late on. Team spirit saw them to the end - a valuable asset in this league."
FULHAM 0-0 ASTON VILLA Chris Bevan
reports: "Villa were on top in the first half, Fulham dominated after the break. Plenty of chances, no goals, and a draw probably the right result."
1935: The Premier League season gets going with a... pop rather than a bang, then. Let's see what our reporters made of things...
Anon via text: "Arsenal title contenders??? Give me a break... sixth at the best."
henvre73 on Twitter:
"0-0 away. Red card. Boring Arsenal. Maybe they'll win something this season then?"
1930: That's that at St James's Park and for a moment it looks like Arsene Wenger is going to stalk the touchline to have a word with Joey Barton - but the Frenchman thinks better of it and slinks off back to the dressing room. Not the result he will have wanted either way from his side's first match of the season, I'm sure.
1927: FULL-TIME Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal
1927: We're into the last minute.
1926: Arsenal break with substitute Johan Djourou bursting forward, but with Theo Walcott screaming for the ball ahead of him into space and a one-on-one chance, Djourou slips and the attack breaks down. More Arsenal frustration.
1923: Hold up... foul on Leon Best, free-kick to Newcastle, Joey Barton over it...
1923: We'll have four minutes of added time.
1919: Any hope that the red card incident would instill a bit of verve and sting into this match appears lost. It's petering out in these final few minutes, it really is.
1916: Less than 10 minutes remaining, is there a winner left in this one? England youth international Emmanuel Frimpong is going to make a late cameo for Arsenal. A debut goal perhaps?
1913: Wenger, looking like he's sucking on the bitterest of lemons, is not happy.
1912: Does Alan Pardew sniff a late win here? Peter Lovenkrands comes on to replace Yohan Cabaye, and maybe... just maybe... the hosts are going gold here.
Red card: Well well well... an ignominious debut from Gervinho ends with a red card. The Ivory Coast forward theatrically throws himself to the ground on the hunt for a penalty, Joey Barton reacts by grabbing his shirt, and Gervinho throws a slap
that prompts a collapse form the Newcastle midfielder that might have earned him top scores at the recent world diving championships. It was six of one, half a dozen of the other for me. Barton is only yellow carded, though. Controversy.
1905: Time for another Newcastle change, Shola Ameobi replaced by Leon Best.
1903: ...it falls to Gervinho, who controls well before spooning his cross behind and... oh you get the idea.
1903: Corner to Arsenal (this will work at one point or another)...
1900: Apologies, I'm even starting to bore myself a bit with this, but Gervinho breaks well down the right, does his defender with a nice bit of footwork, and then crosses straight into the arms of Newcastle keeper Tim Krul. Ho hum.
1857: And it's almost an immediate impact from Walcott, the winger cutting inside from Aaron Ramsey's pass before firing goalwards, Tim Krul down to save well. Decent chance, decent effort, decent save.
1854: Arsene Wenger clearly has a direct line to Jack Wilshere - because here comes Theo Walcott, Andrey Arshavin the man replaced.
1853: Finally, half a glimpse at goal for Newcastle, Yohan Cabaye latching on to Gabriel Obertan's pass in the box but firing straight at the keeper after a neat piece of footwork.
1851: Hold the phone - that's naughty. Joey Barton and Alex Song collide and with the ball rolling harmlessly away from the pair, Song appears to deliberately stamp on Barton's leg on the floor. Not seen by the ref - fortunately for the Gunners midfielder, I'd say.
FuadAhmed24 on Twitter:
"Arsenal should buy Samba, Cahill, Baines, Parker, Jadson, Gotze and Eto'o - and then I think we'll be sorted." Yes I dare say seven signings would improve the team a touch.
1846: ...deary me, that's close. Robin van Persie steps up and rips a fine left-foot free-kick a matter of inches over the bar with Toon keeper TIm Krul struggling.
1846: Now then, Bacary Sagna fouled, Arsenal with a free-kick in a promising area to the right of the penalty area...
1844: I've said it before and I may well say it again - but it's good from Arsenal new-boy Gervinho charging at the Newcastle defence until he gets in the box and fast runs out of ideas, his cross blocked and turned away easily.
1841: Gabriel Obertan slips in as the man behind frontman Shola Ameobi - but it's a scrappy start to proceedings in the second half. Just under 47,000 fans inside St James' Park wait for a spark...
1837: The second half kicks off.
1835: Change for Newcastle - and one debutant replaces another, Gabriel Obertan on for Demba Ba.
1830: Unbelievably, some of you people are trying to blame this borefest on me following my 1627 entry. I mean, really. I had no idea I possessed the power to influence things purely through my keyboard. With that in mind, may I just say... I absolutely will not win the lottery tonight. Ey fank yaow.
Carlos, Broadstairs via text: "I miss Cesc Fabregas, much like this game does."
1822: HALF-TIME Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal Chris Bevan's
HT snap-shot: "Even without Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsenal remains a pleasure to watch. Sadly for the Gunners, not even a lively debut up front by Gervinho has conjured up too much resembling an end product so far."
1820: The half-time whistle blows. Get yourself a brew. Or, given the quality on show, something a little stronger perhaps.
1818: We'll have two minutes of stoppage time...
1817: Oh, better from Arsenal, Andrey Arshavin's delightful dink over the defence almost finding Robin van Persie clean through, but Ryan Taylor getting back to clear just in time.
1815: Another half-decent break from Arsenal, another failure to find a killer pass or finish. Frustrating for the visiting fans.
1813: Gervinho has looked 77% (no more, no less) good so far - very good approaching the area, not so good inside it. Another decent break comes to a stuttering end when the debutant's cross is easily cut out by Fabricio Coloccini.
1804: ...off the line! Laurent Koscielny rises to meet Tomas Rosicky's corner, getting the better of Tim Krul's lame punch attempt in the process, but Danny Simpson clears his lines well on the post. Andy Gray will have liked that one, the big post-defending lover that he is.
1804: Corner to Arsenal...
1800: Half a chance for Arsenal as Andrey Arshavin latches on to an error by Ryan Taylor - but then fails to find Robin van Persie in the clear, Fabricio Coloccini getting in the crucial block.
ZaKKarim on Twitter:
"To be fair to Arsenal, even without Fabregas and Nasri they don't look like a bad side."
1755: Boom! A rare Newcastle attack, and Jonas Gutierrez meets Danny Simpson's cross with a firm volley that flies narrowly wide from 20 yards.
1753: All the threat is coming from Arsenal - and the opener almost came there, Gervinho getting the better of Ryan Taylor down the right and dancing into the area, but his cross is chopped away by Steven Taylor.
1749: Ooh, it looked for a minute like that was going to creep in. Danny Simpson, released down the right by Joey Barton, crosses into the box and for a moment it looks like it might beat Wojciech Szczesny at his near post, only for the Arsenal keeper to scramble across and save.
1748: No great signs that Arsenal are missing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri too badly so far, the visitors typically crisp and accurate with their passing. No great chances created as yet, though.
PREMIER LEAGUE FACT: St James' Park was the stadium with the most Premier League goals last season (68) finishing one ahead of Blackpool's Bloomfield Road. 12% of those 68 goals were scored in this fixture (4-4). Courtesy of Infostrada Sports
1745: INJURY NEWS UPDATE QPR boss Neil Warnock says Kieron Dyer's foot is not broken, it is just badly bruised.
1743: And now Andrey Arshavin causes the odd flutter of hearts in the Newcastle defence with a probing run. Cleared in the end by Fabricio Coloccini.
1741: Nice from Gervinho this time, the Arsenal debutant bursting down the left, cutting back on to his right foot, and crossing for Robin van Persie - the Dutchman's glance header is well off target.
1739: Shaping up to be a good contest already, this.
1737: Both teams plenty busy in the opening stages - Newcastle already in the Arsenal faces but the Gunners already stroking the ball about rather nicely.
1735: And an early chance for Arsenal as they launch a counter attack, the ball falling nicely for Gervinho in the box coming in from the right - the Ivory Coast forward gets his feet all wrong, though, and the home defence gets back - Tomas Rosicky eventually curling well wide from range.
1733: Up and running at St James' Park.
1732: Last season this match was 4-4... let's finish the Premier League season-opening day with a bang shall we...?
1729: Here come the teams at St James' Park... packed to the rafters as always... and it would appear a positive reception for Joey Barton is in the offing. One banner reads "One Joey Barton" - a compliment from some, a relief to others.
Anon via text: "Big cheer for Barton's name from home fans."
1727: NEWCASTLE v ARSENAL Chris Bevan
reports: "Safe to say that not much has gone right for Arsenal since they saw a four-goal lead slip away in an amazing 4-4 draw at St James' Park in February, with the seemingly inevitable departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri the latest cloud hovering over boss Arsene Wenger's head. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is not exactly all-smiles either, especially having seen Jose Enrique join Liverpool this week, but at least his best midfielder (Joey Barton) is in his team today. Whether he will stay at St James' Park is another matter entirely."
DtM_Milner on Twitter:
"West Brom, Blackburn and QPR in the bottom three, anticipate that to be the case all season."
Tom the Gooner via text: "Arsenal about to prove all you doubters wrong like every season. Watch this space!"
1723: NEWCASTLE v ARSENAL Chris Bevan
reports: "Transfer-listed Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton is included in the Magpies starting XI after persuading boss Alan Pardew that he is committed to the cause, while new signings Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba make their debuts. Arsenal are without Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who both appear likely to be leaving the club, but the Gunners at least have Thomas Vermaelen fully fit at the back after he missed almost the whole of last season through injury and hand a debut to Gervinho, who joined from Lille in the summer. Tomas Rosicky, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song and Andrey Arshavin make up their midfield."
1719: NEWCASTLE v ARSENAL (1730) Newcastle: Krul, Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Ryan Taylor, Simpson, Barton, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi, Ba. Subs: Forster, Williamson, Lovenkrands, Gosling, Best, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi. Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Rosicky, Song, Ramsey, Arshavin, Gervinho, van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou, Jenkinson, Frimpong, Chamakh. Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "Southampton, Brighton and Derby all recorded narrow 1-0 wins to lead the pack at the top of the Championship. Former England managers Steve McClaren and Sven-Goran Eriksson found their respective teams on the end of 2-0 defeats; Millwall overcame Nottingham Forest, who are still without a goal in the league this season, while Leicester fell at home to Reading. West Ham won a league game for the first time since 5 March and Middlesbrough defeated Leeds in an ill-tempered game which saw three dismissals."
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "In League One, Charlton defeated Notts County 2-1 with Paul Hayes the star of the show as he scored one and created another. Sheffield United backed up their opening day win against Oldham with another at Brentford and David Buchanan's solitary goal gave Tranmere their second victory of the season at Leyton Orient. Rochdale fans will be jubilant after snatching a late equaliser against League One's much-fancied Huddersfield."
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "In League Two, Rotherham sit top of the pile after an impressive 4-1 triumph at Plymouth, with Gareth Evans and Adam Le Fondre both bagging two goals. Gillingham and Southend both won 2-1, at Crewe and Accrington Stanley respectively, to join Rotherham at the top. Macclesfield, Crewe and Hereford are all pointless."
1708: Why not get in touch and let me know your thoughts, then? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text in via 81111 (UK). Bootiful.
1705: Positive starts, too, for Norwich and Sunderland - though it will be interesting to hear what the likes of Liverpool and QPR fans make of results today? Fulham and Aston Villa... would I be wrong in saying both teams might have taken a point before kick-off?
1702: Bolton and Wolves fans - may I suggest you print off the Premier League table this very minute for a cut-out-and-keep moment to show the grandkids in years to come? At this rate, both teams will finish the season on 114 points each with the title decided on goal difference. Actually, they have to play each other don't they? So that can't happen. Oh dear... brain... melting...
1658: FULL-TIME QPR 0-4 Bolton
1658: You can almost see the pre-season optimism evaporating out of the QPR team and supporters, I tell ya.
Red card: Worse to even worse for QPR as Clint Hill sees red for a deliberate headbutt on the midriff of Martin Petrov, the Rangers defender losing his rag in the face of the visitors' keep-ball at the end of a comfortable win. Silly.
1657: RED CARD, Clint Hill, QPR
1656: The agony will continue a few minutes more for the home fans at Loftus Road as QPR and Bolton only just crawl into stoppage time.
1654: FULL-TIME Wigan 1-1 Norwich
1653: FULL-TIME Blackburn 1-2 Wolves
1652: FULL-TIME Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland
1651: FULL-TIME Fulham 0-0 Aston Villa
1650: We'll have four minutes of injury time at Blackburn, Liverpool and Wigan.
PREMIER LEAGUE FACT: Currently there are no home clubs winning. This could be the first time in PL history that no home club wins on the opening day of the season. Courtesy of Infostrada Sports
1648: Nothing happening at Craven Cottage, really. Cue a late winner...
1647: Excellent from Ritchie de Laet - and the defender has possibly secured Norwich a point here with a double block, first from Wigan striker Victor Moses with keeper John Ruddy stranded and then from Hugo Rodallega on the rebound.
1645: BREAKING TEAM NEWS The Arsenal team at Newcastle is confirmed now, with Gervinho handed a debut and Tomas Rosicky starting in midfield alongside Alex Song and Aaron Ramsey.
1644: Bosh. Woodwork. So near to a Wigan winner. Ben Watson lines one up from range and arrows a fine strike at goal - but it crashes back off the post and Norwich visibly breathe a sigh of relief.
Bolton goal: A rude awakening and then some for QPR as Fabrice Muamba adds the sugar dusting to the cherry on the icing of the cake for Bolton with a fine finish after being put through by Ivan Klasnic.
1642: GOALFLASH QPR 0-4 Bolton (Muamba)
1641: Wolves have tightened up and appear to have the game nailed down at Ewood Park. Blackburn, who look out of ideas, are throwing on young forward Nick Blackman.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "Crawley Town look set for a dream start at home in League Two as they go 2-0 up against Macclesfield and a brace from Rotherham's Gareth Evans sees them leading 2-1 against Plymouth and set to keep their winning start to the season intact. Tranmere and Sheffield United join Charlton at the top of League One as all three sides look set to notch back-to-back league wins. Big spenders Leicester City fall behind to last season's play-off finalists Reading in the Championship, as nine-man Leeds fall behind against Middlesbrough."
1640: Pick a winner time in the Liverpool-Sunderland game - both teams look like they fancy their chances. The Reds, with Luis Suarez substituted, just lacking a cutting edge up front now.
1638: BREAKING TEAM NEWS Joey Barton does indeed start for Newcastle against Arsenal, while Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye get their debuts.
1636: Villa finally manage their first chance of the second half, with Darren Bent and Emile Heskey combining well and cutting the ball back from the left byline for Marc Albrighton on the right-hand corner of the box. Albrighton sets himself up with a nice first touch, but his rasping shot swerves just the wrong side of the post. Unlucky.
Mark Bright on Final Score: "To get hammered 3-0 at home on the opening day of the season tells you everything you need to know about QPR."
Bolton goal: Or maybe no hope for QPR, then. There's an element of (bad) luck about this one too, Ivan Klasnic collecting Kevin Davies's nod down in the box and shooting on the turn, his effort deflected into the far corner off the shin of Rangers defender Bradley Orr. Welcome to the Premier League.
1634: GOALFLASH QPR 0-3 Bolton (Klasnic)
PREMIER LEAGUE FACT: Hope for QPR? Bolton have not kept a clean sheet in their last 26 Premier League away matches. Courtesy of Infostrada Sports
Bolton goal: It's a fine finish - but unfortunately at the wrong end for Danny Gabbidon, who stretches out a leg to toe-poke Chris Eagles's free-kick into his own net. QPR learning some harsh lessons early on in their Premier League career.
1631: GOALFLASH QPR 0-2 Bolton (Gabbidon og)
1630: At St James's Park, by the way, Joey Barton has just arrived... with a kit bag in hand... I wonder...
1629: New signing David Goodwillie comes on for a Blackburn Rovers team desperate for an equaliser. Morton Gamst-Pedersen was the player to make way.
1627: Not exactly a goal-fest yet today is it? Worry not, though, people - Newcastle v Arsenal is on later. There's no chance of that not throwing up some goals.
1625: Lot more even at Anfield following that Sunderland equaliser - the increased work-rate of the visitors paying dividends there.
1623: Perhaps Villa haven't quite weathered the storm just yet at Craven Cottage as Shay Given is forced into another great save, again from Bobby Zamora, who made space for a shot from the right-hand side of the box after controlling Danny Murphy's clipped ball over the top but was denied by the legs of the Villa keeper.
1621: New 606 co-presenter Jason Roberts shows his oratory skills - by talking himself into a yellow card for dissent. He can get it all off his chest on the phone-in after the game, I dare say.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "It looks like AFC Wimbledon are heading for their first win as a Football League club - they are now 2-0 up at Dagenham & Redbridge. In the Championship, Derby look set to maintain their 100% winning start to the season by taking the lead against Watford and it is 10-versus-10 at Leeds as Middlesbrough's Tony McMahon is sent off after picking up a second yellow. The, ahem, top-of-the-table clash in League One sees Charlton go 2-0 up against Notts County with goals from Scott Wagstaff and Paul Hayes."
1619: Near brilliance from Wigan forward Victor Moses, there, as he dances around four or five players with a mazy dribble into the box but his shot on goal is blocked well by Zak Whitbread. Still 1-1 there.
1617: Jordan Henderson's solid Liverpool debut lasts little more than an hour as he is replaced by Dirk Kuyt at Anfield. Moments later Andy Carroll forces Simon Mignolet into a smart stop at his near post with a firm header.
1616: Bolton are holding QPR very much at arms length at present at Loftus Road - thanks in no small way to their fhackling of the influential Adel Taarabt. Work for QPR to do.
Sunderland goal: Liverpool bossed the first half - but Sunderland are level thanks to a beauty. Ahmed El Mohamady drifts over a looping cross from the right and Sebastian Larsson, having lost marker John Flanagan, fires a super volley into the far corner. Brilliant.
1614: GOALFLASH Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland (Larsson)
1613: Blackburn are pressing for an equaliser but it feels like their best chance of scoring is from a corner. Wolves have struggled with each of the nine so far.
1612: There have been a flurry of Fulham chances in the last few minutes, with Bobby Zamora bringing a more straightforward save out of Shay Given with a header, before Andy Johnson almost got on the end of a quick-fire passing move. Villa, however, seem to have weathered the storm. For now.
1610: Great chance for Wigan. Maynor Figueroa delivers a brilliant cross from the right that team-mate Franco Di Santo glances wide from eight yards. Should have done better.
1609: QPR-Bolton restarts.
PREMIER LEAGUE FACT: Three - Míchel Salgado has given away more penalties since the start of last season than any other Premier League player. Reckless. Courtesy of Opta Sports
1607: We're back up and running at the DW Stadium - but QPR-Bolton is yet to restart after that first-half injury time delay.
1606: Excitement straight from the restart, too, at Craven Cottage, where only a fantastic reaction save by Shay Given denies Fulham striker Bobby Zamora, after he gets on the end of Damien Duff's cross. The ball flew straight at Given, but it was an instinctive stop from point-blank range.
Wolves goal: Where to start? Michel Salgado hacks Matt Jarvis down in the box for a definite penalty - but Paul Robinson pulls off a fine stop to push Kevin Doyle's penalty away from goal. From that save, however, the ball is returned into the area with interest and Stephen Ward latches on to a half clearance with a slap volley into the corner. Advantage Wolves.
1605: GOALFLASH Blackburn 1-2 Wolves (Ward)
1605: MISSED PENALTY, WOLVES (Doyle)
1604: PENALTY TO WOLVES
1602: Back under way at Anfield, Craven Cottage and Ewood Park...
willperrybbc on Twitter:
"Some dude with an afro from the X Factor is "singing" at halftime for Leicester vs. Reading. It can only get much better."
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "In the Championship, Craig Mackail-Smith bags his first goal for Brighton as the Seagulls take the lead against rivals Portsmouth, but standing top of the table at the moment are fellow south-coast side Southampton, who lead Barnsley 1-0. Dropping into League One, Rochdale equalise against Huddersfield through the wonderfully named Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro while in League Two, Gillingham are on course for back-to-back wins as they lead 2-0 at Crewe."
BenHockett7 on Twitter:
"Work shuts down on Tuesday - so we're playing football upstairs while on BBC Football's live feed. Wish work was always like this."
1557: HALF-TIME QPR 0-1 Bolton Phil Dawkes's
HT snap-shot: "Bolton have taught QPR a lesson in Premier League football: when your chances come you have to take them. Still time for Warnock's men to turn it round but they need to be more clinical."
1556: HALF-TIME Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland Alistair Magowan's
HT snap-shot: "The decision to start Luis Suarez appears justified despite his penalty miss, and Charlie Adam looks like he has been playing in Liverpool's midfield for seasons. Sunderland restricted to a threat from set-pieces so far."
1555: HALF-TIME Wigan 1-1 Norwich Saj Chowdhury's
HT snap-shot: "Was it a penalty? Probably not. But Norwich are back in it thanks to a glimpse of the attacking verve which was a trademark of the club in the Championship last season. Game on."
1554: HALF-TIME Blackburn 1-1 Wolves Ian Singleton's
HT snap-shot: "A scrappy first half at Ewood Park marked by poor defending and a goal for each team in a two-minute flurry. Both will believe they can win this."
1553: HALF-TIME Fulham 0-0 Aston Villa Chris Bevan's
HT snapshot: "Fulham have had more possession, while Villa have had the better chances. But no goals yet and not much in the way of thrills and spills either."
1552: And now, finally, the break is called at Loftus Road.
1548: Half-time whistles blowing up and down the country - only QPR-Bolton still playing in the Premier League.
Bolton goal: That is a jaffer - and from a most unlikely source. It's a touch against the run of play but Bolton care not, Chris Eagles teeing up centre-half Gary Cahill to take a touch and spank home a doozy from 25 yards into the top corner.
1547: GOALFLASH QPR 0-1 Bolton (Cahill)
Norwich goal: This afternoon is shaping up to have it all - we now have a keeper gaff to add to the melting pot. Steve Morison gets clear down the Wigan left but his cross looks to have been claimed by Latics keeper Ali Al Habsi, only for the ball to slip out of his hands, allowing Wes Hoolahan to slam home.
1545: GOALFLASH Wigan 1-1 Norwich (Hoolahan)
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "It is shaping up to be a bad day for Yorkshire sides as Max Gradel is given his marching orders for Leeds against Middlesbrough in the Championship. Sheffield Wednesday fall behind against Bournemouth in League One, while in the basement division League Two Oxford United take the lead against Bradford. AFC Wimbledon, looking for their win since promotion into the Football League, are 1-0 up at Dagenham & Redbridge."
1542: At last a threat from Sunderland at Anfield, Sebastian Larsson's excellent free-kick narrowly eluding Stephane Sessegnon 10 yards out with Reds keeper Pepe Reina flapping.
1541: Neither team is dominating - or defending particularly well - at Ewood Park. Wolves are targeting makeshift defender Steven Nzonzi with crosses and long balls, but at the other end their defence is struggling with the pace of Blackburn. Open.
1539: Most of Villa's best moments have come from free-kicks this afternoon - and this time, with Fulham expecting the ball to be pumped into the box, Stephen Warnock spreads it wide to Charles N'Zogbia, whose cross from the right is headed over by James Collins. The Welsh defender was unmarked, and should have done better.
1538: That's the closest Norwich have come to a goal this afternoon, Ritchie de Laet inches away from prodding David Fox's free-kick home on the stretch six yards out but just failing to make contact, the ball zipping past the Wigan far post.
PREMIER LEAGUE FACT: QPR new-boy Kieron Dyer, stretchered off earlier, has now completed 90 minutes only once in his last 29 Premier League matches stretching back over the last three seasons. Courtesy of Infostrada Sports
1534: Liverpool are rampant - and Stewart Downing almost marks his debut in sensational fashion, powering through the Sunderland midfield before unleashing a pile-driver from range, his effort crashing back off the crossbar and over. So close.
1532: The first sight of Adel Taarabt in full-flight at Loftus Road. He picks up the ball 25 yards out and attempts an audacious chip at goal - but his radar is just off and the ball drifts harmlessly wide. The Hoops talisman is being shackled well by Bolton, but they won't want to see him in dangerous areas like that too often.
LeeMFraser on Twitter:
"Missed penalties, clashes of heads, disallowed goals and already the shout for goal-line technology, its good to be back !!!"
1529: Apologies, it was Wigan's Adrian Lopez who came off the pitch needing treatment earlier, not Jordi Gomez. He's back on the pitch with a big bandage round his head now. Also very fetching.
1527: Disallowed-goals-tastic. Villa have the ball in the back of the net when Emile Heskey slides Darren Bent clear and he slots into the bottom corner. A nice finish but the linesman's flag is up and replays show it was the right decision. Bent was definitely offside.
1526: QPR looking the more likely to break the deadlock at Loftus Road. DJ Campbell runs in behind the Bolton defence but he is taken wide before teeing up Tommy Smith, whose shot from an angle is saved by Juusi Jaaskelainen. They need to make this dominance count.
1525: A first sniff of goal for Villa. Emile Heskey out-muscles Brede Hangeland to reach a Richard Dunne long ball, but cannot clip the ball past Mark Schwarzer from a tightish angle. A comfortable save by the Fulham keeper.
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "In the Championship former England boss Steve McLaren's Nottingham Forest side fall behind against Millwall, while in League One, Lee Novak gives heavily-fancied Huddesfield the lead against Rochdale. Down in League Two, it's turning into something of a nightmare for Bristol Rovers boss Paul Buckle, who quit Torquay for the Pirates in the summer but finds his new side 2-0 down against the Gulls at the Memorial Stadium."
1524: This really is good stuff from Liverpool - and they've just had a potential second against Sunderland ruled out as Andy Carroll fires home from Charlie Adam's cross, only to be pulled back for a nudge on Anton Ferdinand in the process.
Wolves goal: Blackburn's lead lasts approximately 90 seconds as Steven Fletcher brings Wolves level straight away with a far-post header from Matt Jarvis's cross.
1522: GOALFLASH Blackburn 1-1 Wolves (Fletcher)
Blackburn goal: Dream debut - Jason Roberts is the creator as he lays in Mauro Formica charging into the area, the Argentine producing a delightful finish low across the keeper and into the far post.
Wigan goal: It's a touch harsh, for me, but Ben Watson cares not as he coolly dispatches the spot-kick after Ritchie de Laet is adjudged to have tripped Franco di Santo in the area. Just the start the Canaries did not want.
1520: GOALFLASH Blackburn 1-0 Wolves (Formica)
1520: GOALFLASH Wigan 1-0 Norwich (Watson, pen)
1519: PENALTY TO WIGAN
1518: Chance for Norwich now as Grant Holt charges down a poor Wigan defensive clearance before striding into the area - his cut-back, however, is sliced wide of the upright by the onrushing Wes Hoolahan.
1516: Close. QPR so near to bagging the opener as DJ Campbell's initial shot is cleared by Gretar Steinsson but only as far as Jay Bothroyd, whose powerful, goal-bound shot from 15 yards is headed over by the defender. Great chance, great block. Suspicion that Kieron Dyer's injury earlier, by the way, is a broken metatarsal. How's your luck?
1514: Not a good day for, erm, heads so far - Wolves' Kevin Doyle returns to field with the first Terry Butcher bandage headwear of the season after a clash with Steven Nzonzi. Very fetching. But also a little bit soft compared to the bandage-less Steve Morison.
1513: Almost a dream debut for John-Arne Riise at Fulham, but he blasts over the bar after being played in on the edge of the area. He was clean through too. That's the best chance at either end so far, although Charles N'Zogbia did whip in a dangerous free-kick for Villa that Richard Dunne could not quite get on the end of.
PREMIER LEAGUE FACT: Suarez's missed penalty earlier marks the first time for eight years that a penalty has been missed on the first Premier League weekend of the season. Courtesy of Infostrada Sports
Liverpool goal: Redemption. Luis Suarez makes up for that earlier penalty misss with a deft glance header at the near post from Charlie Adam's whipped free-kick to notch the first goal of the new Premier League season.
1512: GOALFLASH Liverpool 1-0 Sunderland (Suarez)
FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST: "We have early goals in all the lower leagues. Kevin Nolan, new signing from Newcastle, puts West Ham 1-0 ahead against Doncaster in the Championship. In League One, Jonathan Macken scores from the spot to give Walsall the lead, only for Hartlepool to hit back immediately and in League Two, Northampton take the lead at Aldershot through Ashley Westwood and a Liam Dickinson penalty puts Southend 1-0 up at Accrington. All this in the first five mins."
1509: Ooof. Norwich striker Steve Morison and Wigan midfielder Jordi Gomez suffer a nasty clash of heads and have to go off for treatment with blood pouring from their heads. Morison is the first to come back on... he's made of tough stuff that lad.
1508: Early drama at Ewood Park after shouts from Blackburn that the ball had crossed the Wolves line. Wayne Hennessey looked like he just managed to keep out Junior Hoilett's shot, but it was close.
1507: Sunderland's Kieron Richardson received just a yellow card for that foul, by the way, despite taking Luis Suarez out with just the keeper to beat. Hhmm.
Missed penalty: Luis Suarez goes from near-hero to villain in the space of a minute as he forces a penalty after charging down a clearance to go clean through... his progress halted by Kieron Richardson's ankle tap... but the Uruguayan blazes so far over the bar from the spot his effort is troubling nothing but row Z. Oops.
1506: MISSED PENALTY, LIVERPOOL (Suarez)
1505: PENALTY TO LIVERPOOL
1504: Bad to worse for QPR... Kieron Dyer has lasted less than five minutes - the Rangers new-boy has twisted an ankle and is being stretchered off. Incredible.
1503: Disallowed goal! Almost an absolutely dream start to the campaign for QPR as DJ Campbell sweeps in from close range from Jay Bothroyd's flick-on... but the Londoners' joy is curtailed by a linesman's flag. Correct decision, too.
1502: And we have our first yellow card of the season inside a minute - Norwich's David Fox for a rather naughty foul on Franco di Santo. Take a bow, referee Stuart Atwell.
1500: We are up and running up and down the country...
1456: BREAKING NEWS Benjani has signed on a one-year deal for Portsmouth confirm the club - and he has just been introduced to a rather surprised Fratton Park faithful. Bosh.
1454: And just time for me to relay the answers to the 'just for fun' quiz from earlier. If you got them right, well done. Brag to your friends. Toast your success. And then settle down, it was only a silly quiz. 1. Brian Deane scored the first Premier League goal for Sheffield United against Manchester United on the opening day of the 1992/93 season. 2. Both Alan Shearer and Ledley King have recorded the fastest Premier League goal, timed at 10 seconds. 3. Manchester United's Ruud van Nistlerooy holds the record for scoring in the most consecutive games. He scored in eight in a row during a decade ago. 4. Alan Shearer is the only player to score 200 Premier League goals (he scored 260). 5. Everton hold the record for the longest run without scoring in the Premier League - they went seven consecutive games without a goal in the 1994/95 season.
1451: A so-nearly-kick-off-it-hurts reminder of how to get in touch today, folks. Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text in via 81111 (UK).
Marc via text: "I'm in Crete, using the hotel's internet to go on BBC Sport, who cares about 37 degrees heat, when the footie season is back on. BUZZING."
1448: LIVERPOOL v SUNDERLAND (1500) Alistair Magowan
reports: "Thoughts of resting Luis Suarez after his Copa America displays are booted into touch as Liverpool hand debuts to four new players with Jordan Henderson starting instead of Dirk Kuyt. Sunderland feature Wes Brown and Sebastian Larsson in the starting XI, while Craig Gardner, Conor Wickham, David Vaughan and Ji Dong-won will look to get on from the bench."
1446: FULHAM v ASTON VILLA (1500) Chris Bevan
reports: "Bobby Zamora gets the nod to play up front for Fulham despite his broken hand, but John Arne Riise is the only one of the Cottagers' five summer signings to make their starting XI. Aston Villa give debuts to both their new arrivals Shay Given and Charles N'Zogbia, while Darren Bent joins Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor in a three-pronged attack after recovering from injury."
1444: QPR v BOLTON (1500) Phil Dawkes
reports: "Four of QPR's new signings start for their first game back in the Premier League. Danny Gabbidon is in the heart of defence, Keiron Dyer is at right-back, and DJ Campbell and Jay Bothroyd form a front three with Tommy Smith. Bolton hand debuts to two of their summer signings, midfielders Chris Eagles and Nigel Reo-Coker, while Ivan Klasnic partners Kevin Davies in attack."
1442: WIGAN v NORWICH (1500) Saj Chowdhury
reports: "Wigan midfielder James McCarthy makes the starting XI after recovering from the twisted ankle he suffered in the friendly against Villarreal. Forward Hugo Rodallega starts from the bench having been on Copa America duty. Norwich pair Andrew Crofts [ankle] and Russell Martin [calf] have recovered from their respective injuries to take their places in the first team. New loan signing Ritchie de Laet also starts.
1440: BLACKBURN v WOLVES (1500) Ian Singleton
reports: "Blackburn name only one recognised centre back in 19-year-old Grant Hanley as Gael Givet, Ryan Nelsen and Chris Samba are all out. Steven Nzonzi could be emergency centre back. Kevin Doyle shakes off a knee injury to partner Stephen Fletcher up front for Wolves and Roger Johnson is captain on debut."
1425: LIVERPOOL v SUNDERLAND (1500) Liverpool: Reina, Flanagan, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Adam, Henderson, Suarez, Downing, Carroll. Subs: Doni, Meireles, Kuyt, Spearing, Ngog, Kelly, Robinson. Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Brown, Ferdinand, Richardson, Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, Elmohamady, Sessegnon, Gyan. Subs: Westwood, Gardner, Wickham, Vaughan, Ji, Bramble, Laing. Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
minimortz on Twitter:
"I'd rather be at ANY football ground in the country than stuck in the office today."
Matt via text: "The best day in football is about to get started. Hold on to your hats people because this is going to be an incredible journey!"
Ruts1 on Twitter:
"Genuinely excited about the upcoming season. Great to see QPR and Norwich back in the top flight. Can literally smell kick off."
1423: FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST "Doncaster, Millwall and Brighton aside, all of today's Championship sides have played in the Premier League at one point or another, and some even further. One-time Uefa cup finalists Middlesbrough make the journey to West Yorkshire to play 2001 Champions League semi-finalists Leeds. League cup holders Birmingham entertain Coventry in the west Midlands derby and there is a battle for south coast supremacy as Brighton travel to Portsmouth. Free spending Leicester City welcome Reading to the newly-named King Power Stadium."
1421: FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST "So, the destiny of the League One title will be decided today, well not quite, but the top two, Notts County and Charlton face-off at Meadow Lane after recording impressive 3-0 victories in their opening day fixtures. Promoted sides Chesterfield and Stevenage face each other whilst play-off finalists Huddersfield travel to Rochdale. Sheffield United begin life in the third tier at Bramall Lane against Brentford and Yeovil are at home to Oldham, with both sides looking for their first points of the season."
1419: FOOTBALL LEAGUE LATEST "In League Two, the holidaying is over for the seaside resort clubs Southend, Torquay and Morecambe who all have away fixtures at Accrington Stanley (Who are they?), Bristol Rovers and Hereford, respectively. Crawley Town play their first ever league match at home in the football league against Macclesfield and fellow promoted side AFC Wimbledon are at Dagenham and Redbridge. Cheltenham's fixture against Swindon goes ahead, despite being postponed earlier on in the week."
1417: And as we wait for full Premier League team news to drop, why don't we set up the Championship and lower leagues? I hand you over to
PaulaReading on Twitter:
"Thank god. The Premier League is back and will pry the boyfriend away from screaming at Call Of Duty."
Dave, Southampton via text: "I know it refreshes automatically, but I'm developing an F5 habit to get my Lyon fix quicker. I've missed this."
1414: BREAKING TEAM NEWS Kevin Doyle shakes off an injury worry to start for Wolves and Roger Johnson captains the side on his debut. Mauro Formica makes his first start for Blackburn, with David Goodwillie on the bench.
1413: BREAKING TEAM NEWS Talking of Liverpool, by the way, it is confirmed - Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Jose Enrique are all handed debuts against Sunderland, while Luis Suarez also starts alongside Andy Carroll.
1411: LIVERPOOL v SUNDERLAND (1500) Alistair Magowan
reports: "Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish says he is content with his summer signings and says he may yet hand a start to Luis Suarez against Sunderland despite his Copa America exertions. "He has trained and has no problem," said Dalglish. "We'll wait and see how he is on Saturday. We are delighted with who we have brought in, we had to improve the squad that we had."
1409: FULHAM v ASTON VILLA (1500) Chris Bevan
reports: "No shortage of ambition from new Fulham boss Martin Jol, who wants to kick off with a win against Aston Villa and "get more points, score more goals and concede less" than the club did last season, as well as doing well in the cups. Expectation levels at Villa are also high according to their new manager Alex Mcleish, but he says there has to be "realism" from fans. "A top 10 finish would be terrific," says Big Eck."
Spudmeister_Gen on Twitter:
"Sitting here in Australia, cable TV on the blink on the biggest day of the year. Thank god for the BBC updates!"
Neil at the Pool via text: "Looking at the league table as it stands i see the 3 W's are already in a relegation dog fight, some things never change."
1405: BLACKBURN v WOLVES (1500) Ian Singleton
reports: "If Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is renowned for his plain speaking, Blackburn manager Steve Kean has become known for his positivity. His take on last season: "We would be top six on our first-half results". He is hoping for more of the first 45 this season and a top-10 finish. McCarthy wants a first win at Ewood Park in 19 years - and general improvement. "I don't always want to keep saying 'we only want to survive'."
1403: WIGAN v NORWICH (1500) Saj Chowdhury
reports: "This week, Norwich manager Paul Lambert revealed he had a one-to-one with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson who advised him that the Premier League is "hard". Really? Meanwhile, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez gave his fans what they wanted to hear: 'There's nothing worse than playing a newly-promoted side at what is a really exciting time for them.'"
1401: QPR v BOLTON (1500) Phil Dawkes
reports: "Always a man to fly in the face of adversity, QPR boss Neil Warnock says he has always been driven by the desire to "prove people wrong" - i.e. to stabilise the Hoops in the Premier League. Bolton have long since achieved that and their manager Owen Coyle now wants his team to build on their success from last season, which saw them reach the FA Cup semi-final and finish 14th. "It is important we hit the ground running," said Coyle."
1358: And what have the managers been saying ahead of the season-openers I hear precisely none of you ask? Well...
1356: Early rumours doing the rounds at the moment that Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is starting with all four new boys in Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique against Sunderland today. Full team news when we get it, people.
Jack, Oundle via text: "I love football. And i love Sam Lyon for bringing it to me. Bring on another epic season."
1352: BLACKBURN v WOLVES (1500) Ian Singleton
reports: "It's the last day of last season all over again. That was a relegation decider and many pundits are predicting a struggle ahead for both sides again. Blackburn sold Phil Jones and Nikola Kalinic and bought three unproven players in David Goodwillie, Radosav Petrovic and Bruno Ribeiro. Wolves strengthened their defence with Roger Johnson but big things are expected upfront from Kevin Doyle and Steven Fletcher. It may not be pretty at Ewood Park, but both sides will already be desperate for a win."
1348: FULHAM v ASTON VILLA (1500) Chris Bevan
reports: "A new season and two new managers, equals a new start for both sides. Fulham boss Martin Jol returns to the Premier League almost four years since his ignominious exit from Tottenham, while Aston Villa's Alex McLeish makes a quick return having been relegated with Birmingham last year. The acrimonious manner of his arrival means he is the man most in need of three points today."
tomedmunds on Twitter:
"Very sorry to be missing QPR's 1st game back in the Prem. But #ibiza & #bbcfootball are helping ease the pain. Hoping for a big win..."
1345: QPR v BOLTON (1500) Phil Dawkes
reports: "It's been a decade-and-a-half since QPR got to play with the big boys, though boss Neil Warnock's been here more recently, with Sheffield United. And while he may not have had as productive summer on the transfer front as he'd like, he's still got playmaker Adel Taarabt and a groundswell of supporter positivity to rely on. However, Bolton are no soft-touch and won't be coy in the face of a bouncing Loftus Road. Owen Coyle has got them playing and after fading toward the end of last season, they'll want to begin this one with a bang."
nasdoug on Twitter:
"I've been a Liverpool fan since '94. Never have I anticipated the start of a season more eagerly."
1341: WIGAN v NORWICH (1500) Saj Chowdhury
reports: "After a six-year absence, Norwich make a return to the big time. Can the current side emulate the class of '93 and join the likes of Robert Fleck, Ruel Fox and Chris Sutton in the Canaries hall of fame? They begin their campaign at Wigan, who performed yet another miracle act last season. Manager Roberto Martinez was given the bumps for keeping the Latics up, but with no Charles N'Zogbia we may not see a repeat of those celebrations."
1338: LIVERPOOL v SUNDERLAND (1500) Alistair Magowan
reports: "'What a difference a year makes?' said Liverpool owner John Henry on Friday, and it's true the Reds have many reasons to be cheerful compared to a year ago. Bolstered by four big signings, boss Kenny Dalglish will aim to re-establish his team in the top four and improve on the poor start to last season. Sunderland boss Steve Bruce says he is delighted by his 10 summer acquisitions but may settle for a point as his side become familiar with each other."
1334: Answers to those to follow later, people, but in the mean time - what say we hear from our reporters? You know you want to...
1330: And before I get our match reporters involved, let me hit you with a 'just for fun' quiz. Think of it as a way to pass a few minutes as we count down to kick-off... with literally zero prizes on offer. 1. Who scored the first Premier League goal? 2. Who has scored the fastest Premier League goal? 3. Who holds the record for scoring in the most consecutive Premier League games? 4. Who is the only player to score 200 Premier League goals? 5. Which team holds the record for the longest run without scoring in the Premier League? Tweet the commentary via the hashtag
or text in via 81111 (UK). And no cheating.
Anon via text: "Biggest result/surprise/upset of the day already in... Sam Lyon is a male! Im already £10 down before the season kicks off. Cheers Lyon."
gozzles on Twitter:
"Counting down to kick-off. Nice to know as a Wolves fan, we can only move up the table."
Tommy H via text: "In Cardiff, why are people excited by egg chasing when the Premier League starts today! Priorities people!"
1315: Blimey, have you lot seen the time? It's now less than two hours until the 2011-12 Premier League season kicks off. Bonanza. I suppose I'd better fill you in on who's playing and when hadn't I...
George, Tooting via text: "Going to a wedding at 1500 BST (awful scheduling, I know) but have concealed two devices on my person: left leg vibrates if Fulham score, right leg vibrates if Villa score."
1305: Can't wait for live football action today, by the way? Well you've only got Inverness CT v Rangers to quench your soccerball thirst. Head on over to BBC Scotland's
if you like - but come back, won't you? Ace.
1300: An important Twitterer for you to follow this season, by the way, is our
Match of the Day EditorPaul Armstrong, who'll be Tweeting all sorts of brilliance from behind the scenes, running orders and the like. Plus, he's a thoroughly nice bloke. So get involved.
1258: Over on Football Focus, by the way, Patrick Vieira has just been subjected to a quick Q&A: Best player you've played with - Zidane and Bergkamp. Toughest opponents - Man United with Keane and Scholes. Best ground - Anfield. Balotelli: Sinner or saint? - Saint off the pitch. Surprinsingly, no-one thought to ask him "Longest in the shower" Soccer AM-style. Hhmm.
neelukhan on Twitter:
"Waiting for kick off is like waiting for Christmas! Forget about the last three months these last few hours are going to drag!"
1255: Just briefly, by the way - and worry ye not, we'll get to some actual football chat, team news and what not in a bit - have you seen the funky new graphic leading this page on our index pages? If not, click on 'football' and cast your eyes on the fine work of David Wilson. Expect a few more like that in the coming season, people.
SlizzelJnr on Twitter:
"Here in Africa we say 'Bafikile" i.e it has arrived. The day is here and can't wait for the drama."
1245: Did you lot just see that? Football Focus...
... with Samuel L. Jackson. No, I'm not kidding. And he struck down with great vengeance and furious anger on today's match predictions, so he did. Consider the bar set astronomically high for guest pundits this season. And if you missed it - you cheeky little scamps - you can catch it on
Go on. Do it. Now.
It's our year, Birkenhead via text: "Thoughts on the Fabregas saga? Yawn."
1236: Now then, it might be a brand spanking new Premier League season but the lines of communication between your good selves and me remain very much same ol' same ol'. Get involved - please - by Tweeting the commentary via the hashtag
or texting in via 81111 (UK). Boomtown.
mackocha on Twitter:
"Having the Premier League back is like going bald at 18, looking in the mirror on your 19th birthday, and seeing a full head of hair."
Mark Lawrenson on Football Focus: "Arsenal need some leadership. You look at the past, there was Adams, Keown, Winterburn, Vieira. You look at the moment, and Arsenal just haven't got leaders at the moment. That's the big worry."
1230: BREAKING NEWS Anyway, before I do the customary points of order, I bring you some breaking transfer news - and it concerns Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal and Barcelona. Whoddya thunk it? We've known for a few days that
the transfer of the Gunners skipper to the Catalan giants is on the cards
- and now Barca boss Pep Guardiola has clarified that the deal is "very close but he's not here, there's still small details left to complete". Thoughts?
notscientific on Twitter:
"Speak for yourself! Mauritius in the football final of the Indian Ocean Games against the Seychelles. Exotic!"
GP via text: "No Sam, you carry on. Don't you listen to them."
1220: I tell you what more you might want - how about a bit of Football Focus? Dan Walker and team are right here in Costa del Salford to preview today's matches, and you can watch them strut their stuff by giving this page a cheeky little refresh. Easy life.
1217: Whatever. I'm excited. Sue me. I'm
and I'll be taking you through the day via the medium of this here commentary. There will be goals, incident, thrills and spills aplenty - and a veritable bounty of chat to go with it. What more could you want?
1213: Erm... have I gone a bit overboard?
1210: Is it me or has this felt like the Longest. Summer. Ever? No World Cup football, no European Championship football, no... football of any real note at all. Like entering a dark post-apocolyptic world where all hope and reason has been lost. A barren wasteland of Premier League football-less devastation. Purgatory. Well step into the light my friends, for top flight action returns this very day. Rejoice. Shout for joy. Embrace one another. And then settle in for nine long months of grown men getting paid absolute shedloads to kick a leather bag of air around a field. Don't you just love it?
1205: Oh sweet mother of all that is good and pure. Premier League football, how I've missed you so.
By Phil Dawkes
1200: And that's all from me folks. I now hand over to Mr
to guide you into, through and beyond the business end of the day.
1155: Big day for Swansea Monday, who are back in the top flight for the first time since 1983 and are the first Welsh team in the Premier League. But how are they going to fare, you ask? Well, BBC Wales'
Dewi Hughes is here with a few thoughts...
Darren Porter on Twitter:
"Re Fantasy League. Tell me about it! Waiting for this morning to see late fitness tests on Samba & J.Collins. Stuck with crocks"
1145: This season, from the people who brought you Robbie Savage, comes Jason Roberts. That's right people, 606 has a new voice, that of Blackburn Rovers striker Roberts, who explained to us this week that he is
"ready for anything the fans can throw at me".
So when today's action is done and dusted feel free to grab your phone and give Jason both barrels about your waste of space left-back, that inept ref or maybe, just maybe, something nice about your team.
Peter O'Connor on Twitter:
"looking forward to today, hopefully Fulham won't be too distracted by the Europa this year- unless of course we win it!"
Anon, via text on 81111: "Can't believe the fantasy football website has been down all morning. Now I'm stuck with Fabregas in midfield!" Arsene Wenger must wish he could make reality crash until the transfer deadline has passed
1130: OK, we've chatted about who's gonna win this thing and who's gonna challenge 'em, but what about all those other positions that never get talked about? Like, who's going to win the race for 12th? Is it three-way or four-way tussle for 15th this season? And who will celebrating at the end of the season when they snatch 9th? Our chief football writer Phil McNulty tries to answer all these important questions and more
1123: For those of you messaging in on the subject, I too have had problems this morning trying to log into the official Premier League fantasy football website. It looks like we're all stuck with the teams we had prior to reading all this morning's preview material telling us that Luis Suarez is the man to watch. If he bags a treble today there'll be bother. These are the kind of pressures you're up against as a modern football manager though. Maybe this is karma for all the times we've snorted in derision at manager's making excuses on TV.
1116: As always, one of the men who will be gracing the MOTD sofa this evening will be Alan Hansen, who has also found time in his busy schedule to give us
a take on this Premier League season.
As you may have noticed from his predictions, Hansen can't see beyond Manchester United for top spot. He expects Manchester City and Chelsea to be the closest challengers for the title and his former club Liverpool to improve on their showing from last campaign.
1108: Having briefly mentioned them earlier, it is being reported in the papers this morning that new Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas will
quit football at the end of the season if he wins the quadruple with the club.
You sense that the 33-year-old has a cheek full of tongue, but he could also rue such a pledge. This is a man who won four trophies with Porto last season and has a pretty nifty squad at his disposal this campaign. With all that is going on at Arsenal and the obvious hype surrounding Manchester's United and City, Villas-Boas' side have stayed relatively under the radar in comparison to previous seasons.
1100: Of course, the BBC's football coverage isn't all about this website. There's this radio thing we've been doing for a while and also a radio with pictures called a TV which will have football-related programming on it throughout the day. From 1200-1800 BST today on
Radio 5 live
Mark Chapman presents from QPR on their return to the top flight and builds up to the day's 1500 kick offs. Liverpool v Sunderland gets the exclusive commentary treatment. From 1700 Sports Report will round up all the days action hearing from those involved. Tonight, at 2230 BST Gary Lineker hosts
Match of the Day
on BBC 1.
1054: I'm pleased to be able to bring you another piece of good news. Early this morning, newspapers and news agencies reached an eleventh-hour deal with the English football leagues over game coverage on Saturday. This means you'll actually have a load of reports to read in your papers tomorrow morning, instead of just a centre-page spread that read "Some football happened".
Wayne Rudd on Twitter:
"I reckon QPR will be top of the league today and will also be bottom at the end of the season!"
1047: Lest we forget though, there are three new teams to the top flight this season, all dreaming of taking the Premier League by storm... although they'll probably settle for 17th place to begin with. Paul Lambert, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Warnock bring Norwich, Swansea and QPR to the big time respectively. They've already ruffled one man's feathers as well. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is reported in the
Daily Express admitting he fears the new comers
. The Spaniard will get an early introduction to one of them today when Norwich visit the DW Stadium.
1039: Manchester United aren't the only team who have spent this summer though and come into the season with high aspirations. There's a certain well-funded club across the city from Old Trafford who have brought in this Argentine striker for a few quid, as well as a few others, and much to Sir Alex's chagrin they'll no doubt be noisier this season than last. Then there's Chelsea, with the Special One mark II in charge and Fernando Torres looking to ressurect himself, Liverpool hoping that the second half last season was merely the hors d'oeuvre to King Kenny's Anfield revolution proper and Tottenham (still with Modric) hoping to hit back after being shunted out of the top four last campaign.
Ben the Gooner, via text on 81111: "Let's not forget Arsenal were written off before the start of last season by most pundits and fans, and we ended up in the Champions League again and close to winning the title. Let's not be judging just yet."
1030: A safe bet it may be, but there's a clear reason Manchester United are favourites for the silver stuff. OK, so Scholes and Van der Sar have hung up their well-used boots, but Sir Alex has been busy this summer. Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea have all come in and the Glaswegian has
reportedly shelved his plans to bring in Wesley Sneijder from Inter
because of the rise of Tom Cleverley and others. Ominous for the rest of the division?
1025: Here at the BBC Sport website, we've been conducting a
amongst some big names in the world of football and football punditry about who they think will win the title this year and who will finish in the three places below them, all lovingly put together by Chris Bevan. You can see what the likes of Hansen, Dixon, Savage and Motson had to say. Only three brave men opted to fly in the face of Manchester United as champions.
1017: Also, today the Sun have smashed together two of the summer's big transfer sagas in glorious union. Apparently, Arsenal will ask Manchester City to give them want-away striker
Carlos Tevez in swap for Samir Nasri
. Now that is the kind of sensational chat we want on Premier League opening day. Fine work sirs. I salute you.
1008: The more observant of you may have noticed that the build-up to today's opening day has been a tad over-shadowed by a certain north London club seemingly in crisis, on the verge of losing two key players. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has done his best to repair the damage by suggesting firstly that not only will Samir Nasri or Cesc Fabregas not be leaving, but no-one will, and then, even if they did, it wouldn't stop the club challenging for the title. This morning's Daily Mirror suggests the Frenchman may be
losing the plot
Pete in Derby, via text on 81111: "Had a dream last night that Carlos Tevez got stuck in traffic on his way to Barnsley for a medical. Sami Hyypia was his chauffeur. Bizarre wasn't the word. Football on the brain it seems."
0958: As a few of you have already pointed out, it would be massively remiss of me not to make absolutely clear that we're already a week into the Football League season, and today sees 68 teams up and down the country either hoping to build on good starts or looking to make up for bad ones. Not just that, but the Blue Square Premier League also gets underway proper today as well. As always, you can see the full fixture lists on this website.
Sandeep Mander from Maidenhead, via text on 81111: "Spare a thought for Spurs and Everton fans! While everyone is excited about the start of the premiership, it's just another boring Saturday for us!"
0948: So what have we actually got in store for us today? Who's playing where on Premier League opening day? Here's a brief reminder: today we've got Blackburn v Wolverhampton, Fulham v Aston Villa, Liverpool v Sunderland, QPR v Bolton, Wigan v Norwich, Newcastle v Arsenal. Tomorrow sees Stoke v Chelsea and West Brom v Man Utd. Unfortunately, we've lost Tottenham v Everton on the advice of the police following this week's riots in London. Still a mouth-watering line-up though right?
Louis in Sussex, via text on 81111: "Best weekend of the year has finally come, I feel like a kid on Christmas morning"
0930: I'm sure you fine folks out there are as excited about this as we are. So why not get in touch and let us know via Twitter or text (see the top of this page for details). You'll all have theories on who's going to win the thing, who might finish in the top four and who's destined for the drop, but why not offer us some of your more obscure predictions for the season? Will Joey Barton re-grow his moustache? Who's going to be the first manager given the boot? Will, like Jimmy Mistry said, the neutrinos mutate and bring an end to the world in 2012 right in the middle of Jamie Redknapp's half-time summary of Wigan v Stoke?
0919: Since May, many of us here have been living out our days in hibernation, packed away in straw-filled boxes like the tortoise from Blue Peter. But having recently emerged blinking into the Salford sun (well, cloud) we've been working hard to bring you comprehensive preview coverage of the new season via the medium of this website. For starters, head over to our
to get you up to scratch on all 20 of the clubs competing in this, the 20th Premier League.
0912: There have been some dark days since then. Dark, football-free days with barely a mention of the beautiful game... well, apart from the Copa America, all the transfer stuff, pre-season friendlies, the Scottish Premier League starting early and the Football League kicking off last weekend. The point is though, the Premier League is back!
0905: Cast your minds way back, if you can, to 22 May 2011. Captain Jack Sparrow was lighting up our cinema screens for a fourth time, 3D TV was still in its infancy, a young crooner called Pitbull was at number one with his song Give Me Everything, featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer, and Manchester United had recently been crowned champions of England for a record 19th time.
0900: Hello, good morning and welcome. I'm not sure if you've heard, but the Premier League is back. Yes, that's right folks, the big boys are back in town.
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