After the international break the return of Premier League football is almost upon us, and those not involved in fixtures around the world will be champing at the bit to get going again.
But for two managers it’s a new start, rather than a return to the familiar that this weekend heralds.
Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Sam Allardyce at Sunderland will take their seat in the dugout for their new sides having been appointed in the past week.
Both managers have plenty of work to do at their new teams but for different reasons, with over a third of the season now gone.
Klopp’s arrival at Anfield has been lauded as a sublime bit of business for the Merseyside outfit, after masterminding Borussia Dortmund to back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The Kop faithful will be hoping he can instigate that sort of revival at Liverpool, with the Reds failing to break into the top five in all but one of the last six seasons.
Liverpool are 2/1 for a top four finish that would likely be the target for the board and the wishes for the fans in the German’s first year in charge.
First up is a trip to Tottenham, with the visitors priced up at 19/10 to begin Klopp’s rein in style.
Meanwhile, Allardyce has a whole different kind of job on his hands at Sunderland.
After narrowly avoiding relegation last term under Dick Advocaat, the Black Cats have found themselves embroiled in a scrap at the bottom of the table this time round.
Only rivals Newcastle sit below them, with the Stadium of Light outfit conceding more goals per game than any other team in the top four divisions.
Big Sam’s arrival in the north east was a blessing for many Mackems fans, especially one who embraced the manager’s history with their rivals up the road, to pen his very own ode to Allardyce.
Come May though, whether they finish above Newcastle or not is secondary, what will matter to the fans on Wearside is Premier League survival, which Ladbrokes makes a 11/4 chance.
Victory over West Brom on Saturday will be a fine way to begin his spell at the club, though in a match pitting Sam Allardyce against Tony Pulis, it might not be a pretty affair on the pitch.
Nevertheless the season is a marathon and not a sprint, and both Big Sam and Klopp will be looking to lift their new teams to higher positions in the Premier League.
That poses the question that we are asking you today, which new gaffer will improve their side the most? Have your say in today’s poll…
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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