Getting Ready for the 2023/24 European Football Season

The biggest and best soccer leagues are set to return this week as the 2023/24 European football season gets underway. After a two-month break, football from Europe’s top five leagues is set to return. The break certainly seems to have flown by! 

A busy summer has seen plenty of controversy impacting the new European football season. The rise of football in Saudi Arabia has raised some concerns, particularly by those in England. Some of the top English Premier League footballers have left the league. Names included are Fabinho, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Jordan Henderson and Allan Saint-Maximin. 

The rest of Europe has also seen some of its biggest stars head for the Middle East. The likes of Sadio Mane, Karim Benzema, Marcelo Brozovic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Moussa Dembele have all joined teams in the Saudi Pro League. 

Nevertheless, there is still an abundance of talent embedded within Europe’s top five leagues. Below, we take a look at the starting dates for the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A. We also consider what things to look out for, some bold predictions and give some important information for bettors. 

It’s time to get ready for the 2023/24 European football season!

2023/24 European football season – when do the leagues start? 

Three of Europe’s top five leagues get back to action this week. That includes the Premier League, Ligue 1 in France and La Liga in Spain. Last season’s schedule looked different due to the winter World Cup in Qatar. However, we are getting back to normality with the 2023/24 European football season. Check out the start dates for the three leagues below: 

English Premier League – Friday, August 11

Opening fixture – Burnley vs Manchester City 

Matchday One of the Premier League kicks off this Friday as champions Manchester City head to Turf Moor to face newly-promoted Burnley. City legend Vincent Kompany is the current Burnley boss so it will be interesting to see how he fares against his former club. The Cityzens are searching for their fourth consecutive league title and also won the treble last season. 

The opening weekend will see fixtures run from Friday, August 11 – Monday, August 14. Arsenal will host Nottingham Forest on Saturday, whilst we have a blockbuster this Sunday between Chelsea and Liverpool. Finally, we finish off the first week with Monday Night Football. Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Old Trafford. 

Ligue 1 – Friday, August 11

Opening fixture – Nice vs Lille 

2021 champions Lille will begin the new campaign with an away match against Nice on Matchday One. They finished in fifth last season under Paulo Fonseca but will be hoping of returning to the top four this season. As for the hosts, they were unable to replicate their 2022 fifth-placed finish under Christopher Galtier as they ended up in ninth last term. That wasn’t enough for Didier Digard to keep his job as caretaker manager. Instead Francesco Farioli will take over managerial duties for 2023/24. 

Champions Paris Saint-Germain will begin their new league campaign on Saturday at home to Lorient. However, they will have to do so without Lionel Messi who has joined Inter Miami this summer. The first week of the Ligue 1 season concludes with Strasbourg hosting 2008 champions Lyon. 

La Liga – Friday, August 11

Opening fixtures – Almeria vs Rayo Vallecano, Sevilla vs Valencia 

La Liga will see Almeria take on Rayo Vallecano in its opening fixture. The former just about survived the drop last season, whilst the latter finished in mid-table. Later on this Friday, Europa League champions Sevilla welcome Valencia to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. 

Heavyweights Real Madrid will begin their new league season on Saturday as they face Athletic Bilbao. They will be keen to bounce back after fierce rivals Barcelona were crowned champions last season. Barca will feature on Sunday away to Getafe as head coach Xavi Hernandez searches for back-to-back title triumphs. Matchday One will conclude with Atletico Madrid playing host to Granada on Monday. 

Later starts for Serie A & Bundesliga

German and Italian football fans will have to wait a week later for their leagues to start ahead of the new European football season. Take a look at the start dates below and the opening fixtures: 

Bundesliga – Friday, August 18

Opening fixture – Werder Bremen vs Bayern Munich 

Champions Bayern Munich open the 2023/24 campaign away to Werder Bremen. Bayern won the league last year by the skin of their teeth after Borussia Dortmund dropped points on the final day of the season. Bremen managed to return to the German top flight last term and ensured their safety with a 13th-placed finish. 

Dortmund will begin their season on Saturday, August 19 as they welcome Köln to Signal Iduna Park. They will be hoping to challenge for the title once again for the 2023/24 season but will have to do so without superstar Jude Bellingham who has joined Real Madrid. 

Serie A – Saturday, August 19

Opening fixtures – Empoli vs Verona, Frosinone vs Napoli 

There are four fixtures to open the 2023/24 Serie A season. The feature will be Scudetto winners Napoli as they face off against newly-promoted Frosinone. Many will be keen to see if the Partenopei can replicate their success from last season, especially after the departure of head coach Luciano Spalletti. 

Genoa vs Fiorentina and Inter vs Monza will also be shown on the Saturday. The Nerazzurri will be looking to build on their Champions League runners-up finish last season and hope to challenge for the title. The Sunday will see the likes of Juventus, Roma and Lazio all in action. Matchday One will finish on Monday, August 21 as Torino host Cagliari and Bologna welcome Milan to Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.

Things to look out for ahead of the new European Football Season

The beginning of the new European football season offers the opportunity for bettors to start raking in profits once more. However, there are plenty of things to look out for before deciding to place bets on the new campaign. 

Erling Haaland, the best scorer in the league
Erling Haaland, the best scorer in the league
Transfers & staffing changes

Although we are able to make predictions about how a team can perform ahead of the new season, it is still relatively unknown. Especially for teams that have seen a lot of transfers made over the summer and have had staffing changes. 

Some sides will field an eleven that is majorly different from the year before. Therefore, it becomes harder to use last season’s results for analysis and their prospects are relatively unknown. The same can be said about new head coaches. They will often look to implement their own style of play. Even if they have had success with another team, it may not work out for their new side. 

For teams that have seen plenty of changes to their side over the summer, it may be best to avoid betting on them until a few weeks into the season. That way we’ll have a better idea of how they will perform going forward.

The transfer window is still open!

The transfer window is still open across Europe and so plenty of teams are still yet to undergo a host of changes to their squads. Here is a list of when the transfer window will close for Europe’s top five leagues: 

  • Premier League – September 1 @ 11pm BST / 6pm ET
  • Ligue 1 – September 1 @ 10pm BST / 5pm ET
  • La Liga – September 1 @ 11pm BST / 6pm ET 
  • Bundesliga – September 1 @ 5pm BST / midday ET 
  • Serie A – September 1 @ 7pm BST / 2pm ET

Once the transfer window slams shut, we are able to get a clearer picture of how the squads will look for the rest of the season. That will also give the opportunity for teams to play a few games of the new campaign too. By September, we will know a lot more about the European football season.

The closure of transfer windows outside of Europe

Despite the fact that Europe’s top five leagues will all close on September 1, clubs from outside these leagues may still be able to purchase their players. That could leave the European teams in danger of losing key players without having the opportunity to buy replacements. 

The Saudi Pro League transfer window doesn’t close until September 20. That is three weeks after Europe’s top five leagues. With the huge sums of money on offer for players to head to the Middle East, many players could be tempted to make late moves. As a result, teams across Europe may be left with big holes in their squad. They won’t be able to sign new players again once the transfer window reopens in January. The Saudi league looks set to continue to make a huge impact on the European football season.

Team changes to Europe’s top five leagues

Due to promotion and relegation taking place every season across Europe’s top five leagues, new teams will enter each league every year. Below is a list of all of the promoted and relegated teams ahead of the new European football season:

Premier League

Promoted from Championship: Burnley, Sheffield United, Luton Town 

Relegated to Championship: Southampton, Leeds United, Leicester City 

Ligue 1

Promoted from Ligue 2: Le Havre, Metz 

Relegated to Ligue 2: Auxerre, Ajaccio, Troyes, Angers 

In 2021, it was decided that Ligue 1 would be reduced from 20 teams to 18 teams for the 2023/24 season. Therefore, the 2022/23 campaign saw two teams promoted from Ligue 2 and four teams relegated from Ligue 1. 

La Liga 

Promoted from Segunda Division: Granada, Las Palmas, Alaves

Relegated to Segunda Division: Valladolid, Espanyol, Elche 

Bundesliga 

Promoted from 2. Bundesliga: FC Heidenheim, Darmstadt 98

Relegated to 2. Bundesliga: Schalke 04, Hertha BSC 

Serie A 

Promoted from Serie B: Frosinone, Genoa, Cagliari 

Relegated to Serie B: Spezia, Cremonese, Sampdoria 

Manchester city, UEFA champions league winners
Manchester city, UEFA champions league winners. The team to beat.
Bold predictions for the 2023/24 European Football Season

So, now it’s time for our bold predictions ahead of the 2023/24 European football season. Each season, each league usually serves up a host of surprises. Below you can find our bold takes and predictions for each league: 

Premier League 

  • Arsenal to win the title and stop Man City’s dominance 

Everybody knows that City (-137) are the favorites to go on and win the Premier League title this season. However, the Gunners (+500) took some huge steps last season. Their experience and heartbreak of last term will fuel the fire for them to go one step further this year. The signing of Declan Rice will also give them the edge. 

Ligue 1 

  • Marseille to beat PSG to the Ligue 1 crown 

PSG (-500) have dominated the French top flight over the past decade and have won the league in nine out of their last 11 attempts. However, Lille were surprise champions back in 2021 and we are predicting France to have new champions again. Marseille (+900) are the second favorites to win the league and looked good for large parts of last season. 

With Messi leaving Paris, the controversy surrounding talisman Kylian Mbappe and news that fellow superstar Neymar reportedly wants to leave PSG, it could be a difficult campaign for the Parisians. 

La Liga 

  • Valencia will be relegated to Segunda Division 

Valencia are currently priced at +600 to be relegated to the Spanish second tier next season. Many other teams are favored to face the drop but they looked woeful last term and recorded their lowest finish since 1986. They managed to stay up by just two points last season too. There haven’t been many encouraging signs in the transfer market and are certainly worth a punt to go down at that price. 

Bundesliga 

  • RB Leipzig, not Dortmund, to knock Bayern off their perch 

Bayern (-333) almost lost their dominance last season as they narrowly claimed the title. However, the gap appears to be getting closer and closer. Dortmund (+500) will struggle next season to replicate their 2022/23 performance without Bellingham. However, we could see RB Leipzig (+700) going on and winning their first ever Bundesliga title. 

They were crowned DFB Cup winners and finished the season excellently, also beating Bayern at the Allianz Arena in the penultimate fixture. Head coach Marco Rose will now have a full season in charge and he could guide them to the title in 2023/24. 

Serie A 

  • Milan to win the Scudetto 

Milan (+500) had a lacklustre second half of their Serie A campaign last year. They have also lost star midfielder Sandro Tonali. However, their summer acquisitions look promising. The likes of Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tijjani Reijnders, Yunus Musah and Samuel Chukwueze could really help invigorate the side. 

They have managed to keep hold of their star player Rafael Leao and with Napoli’s (+250) huge loss of Kim Min-jae, the Rossoneri could go on and win Serie A next season. 

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Joe Berra
Joe Berra
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Joe takes care of the bits and pieces that sometimes slip through the cracks of the sports world. Efficiency and consistency is what makes SportsHub.com different. JB helps keep Sports Hub’s content fresh and exciting, managing its many authors. From the New York area, Joe knew he had a knack for sports betting when his uncle was always asking him which side he was on as a young boy. His meticulous approach to the numbers formed his career path as a professional handicapper. Joe is sometimes called Jimmy Bagpipes, JB or Mr. B.