LONDON — Six new things to watch out for in the new Premier League season, which begins on Friday:
The 25th season of the Premier League will be the first campaign to open on a Friday.
With broadcasters increasingly able to call the shots on scheduling, even the usual Saturday start is no longer set in stone.
A night match between Arsenal and Leicester at Emirates Stadium launches the new campaign.
Players who try to deceive referees to win a penalty or get an opposing player sent off will now face two-match bans.
A three-man panel will be convened by the Football Association, featuring a retired player, a former manager and ex-referee. They will assess incidents and must unanimously agree that a player was diving or feigning injury.
The Premier League has reined in the creativity of the ground staff.
Leicester didn’t just set the league alight with its astonishing title win in 2016 but also the elaborate patterns mowed into the field at the King Power Stadium.
Rules for the new season state that the markings on playing surfaces must only be traditional horizontal and white lines, in line with UEFA regulations.
The Premier League has held off from trialing video assistant referees, but doctors on the sidelines will be allowed to assess replays from this weekend when concussion is suspected.
“Many signs of concussion are subtle and only apparent in the first few seconds following injury,” the league said. “By the time the doctor arrives on the pitch the player may be feeling and looking fine.”
The Associated Press first revealed last year that soccer’s lawmakers would allow medics to assess head injuries on touchline monitors.
English soccer’s national stadium will stage Premier League matches for the first time, giving the competition its biggest-ever crowds.
Tottenham will be moving into the 90-000-capacity Wembley for the season while a new stadium is built at its White Hart Lane home 12 miles (19 kilometers) across north London.
Tottenham took up temporary residency at Wembley for its European matches last season, but Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping his team’s form at the stadium improves. Tottenham went out of the Champions League in the group stage after winning just one of its three home matches.
As well as the main sponsor emblazoned across the front of jerseys, clubs are now allowed to sell space on the left sleeves to commercial backers. Liverpool has secured 5 million pounds ($6.5 million) a season for the next five years from financial services firm Western Union. The right sleeve will feature the league’s logo.
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