Inter-division transfers always add a bit of spice to a league season, and the 2014/15 campaign will be no different.
Here’s the five returns to former employers we are most looking forward to seeing this season:
Colback and Newcastle to Sunderland
By no means the most glamorous transfer of the off-season so far, but Jack Colback’s decision to leave the club that nurtured him from youth level for their arch rivals certainly makes it the most spiky.
That Sunderland kicked up a stink about the deal after its announcement gives licence to the fans to get on the flame-haired midfielder’s back from the off.
Pochettino and Tottenham to Southampton
If you can’t beat them, join them. As Saints boss last season, Pochettino lost 3-2 to Tottenham both times he played them, yet the north London club saw enough to make him their Tim Sherwood replacement.
Given his departure was the start of a flurry of high-profile exits on the south coast, the reception he gets at the St Mary’s stadium on his return could be quite frosty.
Pulis and Crystal Palace to Stoke
Last season’s miracle worker has already faced his former club, but hasn’t been back to the Potteries with the Eagles yet.
Considering the fantastic job he did at Selhurst Park and Stoke’s continued improvement without the Welshman, this is a reunion where the sheer positivity surrounding it makes it one to look forward to.
Lallana/Lambert and Liverpool to Southampton
Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert signed, while Dejan Lovren wants to.
Perhaps only the extortionate prices the Saints prised out of Anfield can placate the south coast club, but they’ll be gunning for a win more than ever.
The opening day of the season will be a guide to the duo’s reception, with Southampton priced up at 7/1 to win on Merseyside.
Fabregas and Chelsea to Arsenal
It may not be an inter-division switch, but Fabregas swapping Arsenal for Chelsea, via Barcelona, is sure to be the big talking point when the Blues visit the Emirates.
Will he get a hero’s welcome or will he receive the Robin van Persie treatment?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.