Watching England on the box is not so much a chore these days – even taking into account that laborious performance against Denmark – but many fans will breathe a sigh of relief to know that the international break is now over and the Premier League is on its way back.
We are only a few games deep into the season but already it has thrown up plenty of drama, and against the backdrop of these strange and uncertain times it has proved to be a welcome distraction.
With a number of mouth-watering clashes between some of the big-hitters, all eyes will be glued to the Premier League action once again this weekend. Here, Sportsmail picks out 10 reasons to be excited for its return…
The Premier League will be back in full swing this weekend after the international break, and the last time we saw action Tottenham embarrassed Manchester United with a 6-1 win
The return of Bale
Tottenham fans will be drooling at the prospect of getting a glimpse at their prodigal son this Sunday.
After seven years away from the Premier League, Gareth Bale is in contention to make his long-awaited return against West Ham.
His second Spurs debut has been delayed due to a knee injury and while he is not yet back up to full fitness, Jose Mourinho will no doubt be itching to utilise him.
Bale has looked sharp in training all week too and would have done his chances of featuring no harm.
At his peak, Bale was an irrepressible force and after a few years of warming the bench in Madrid and persistent niggles, it will be interesting to see if he is still the same player which Spurs had such fond memories of.
Gareth Bale might grace the Premier League again for the first time in seven years this week
The Student takes on The Master
Pep Guardiola showed Mikel Arteta the ropes when he was his understudy at City and this weekend the two tacticians will pit their wits against each other.
It is not the first time these two have gone head to head, but this burgeoning new rivalry has so much intrigue.
Guardiola has got the stronger squad and is far more experienced but it is Arteta who will feel he has the edge having led Arsenal to a 2-0 victory over City last time they faced off.
Mikel Arteta will take on the man who helped develop him as a coach, Pep Guardiola
Ziyech can be Chelsea’s kick-starter
With all of Chelsea’s summer business, it’s easy to forget about how fine a signing Hakim Ziyech could turn out to be.
Ziyech was one of the early arrivals, for £38million from Ajax, and his name was soon drowned out by Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who both joined for larger fees.
But after a stuttering start to the season in his absence, Frank Lampard will be glad to be able to call on someone of Ziyech’s ilk to shake things up a bit.
The midfielder has so far missed all of Chelsea’s games due to an injury he picked up in pre-season, but is likely to feature against Southampton.
Ziyech can play in a number of different positions across the midfield and has bags of talent and…