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Hi, I'm Pat Nevin and I'm delighted to introduce you to Football Extra - a BBC newsletter that will keep you on top of all the latest news, insights and gossip from the English Premier League.

I'm a former footballer who played for Scotland, Chelsea and Everton among others. I was also chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association in England and chief executive of Scottish Premier League club Motherwell. Since then, over the past 25 years, I've worked mostly as an analyst.

I still love the highs and lows of the beautiful game, never having lost that passion for a moment.

Football Extra will arrive in your inbox every weekday, starting from Monday, 7 August.

On Mondays, I'll send you my biggest takeaways from the weekend action in the English Premier League. On other days, you'll receive essential reading from the wider BBC Sport squad.

I can't wait to share my thoughts on the Premier League with you - and please get in touch with my BBC Sport colleagues if you have any comments on our newsletter. I hope you enjoy it!

To kick things off - before Burnley and Manchester City open the 2023-24 season at Turf Moor on Friday, 11 August - I've picked five reasons to get excited for the coming campaign.

Manchester City players
Manchester City finished five points clear of Arsenal to win the 2022-23 Premier League title

It's not a one-horse race

Manchester City winning the league again is not a foregone conclusion. Arsenal went close last time, but they have an even better squad this season.

It is not beyond Liverpool or Newcastle United to mount a challenge too, even if this still feels like a season too soon for both as they build from a lower base. Manchester United are not the finished article either, even if they did squeeze into third place last season. They are still at least two big signings away from being credible challengers.

Pep Guardiola's City are clearly favourites, and having won five of the past six it might sound boring, but this could be their toughest battle for a while.

Another outlier could disrupt things

There could be a surprise outlier team again. This is a team that performs better than anyone expects, just as Brighton did under Roberto de Zerbi last season, when they exploded into the top six.

Brighton even managed to crash that super-wealthy private party with a style that was pleasing on the eye. But don't forget that in the two previous seasons, Davie Moyes' West Ham perplexed the pundits and bamboozled the data analysts by finishing sixth and seventh.

It is a few years back now, but in their one fine Premier League season this century, Sheffield United finished in the top half in 2020.

Surprises can still happen in the EPL. Could someone like Burnley be the latest disruptors?

Roberto De Zerbi
Roberto de Zerbi led Brighton into the Europa League as they finished sixth last season

Tactical battles will be fascinating

Last season, De Zerbi produced a style that would have been considered far too risky just a year ago. Brighton intricately played out of defence from almost unimaginably difficult and dangerous positions, while closing down up front at what appeared self-destructive levels. It all worked!

Pep went big with his most recent major tactical change - getting a full-back, sometimes two, to join in midfield when they had possession. But what will the major tactical surprises be this season?

Ange Postecoglou will certainly be interesting as he doesn't back down from his ideologies, so it is worth keeping an eye on Spurs in this department.

A great scrap at the bottom

The sack race will inevitably have its own ghoulish interest again. There were 16 Premier League managers sacked over the past 12 months.

This would be seen as totally bizarre in the business world, but in the mad, panicked Premier League it is considered acceptable behaviour when the spectre of relegation looms. However many are relieved of their posts before Christmas this time, one thing is sure - it will be another doozy of a battle against the drop.

Last season, the scrap at the bottom was as exciting as the title chase. Among the best atmospheres I experienced all year was at the City Ground in May, when Nottingham Forest saved themselves with a 1-0 win against Arsenal, and finally killed off the Gunners' title hopes into the bargain.

Taiwo Awoniyi
Taiwo Awoniyi's crucial strike against Arsenal helped Nottingham Forest avoid relegation

Will all the changes at Chelsea work out?

I would argue there are three total wildcards for 2023-24 - West Ham, Spurs and Chelsea. Anything could happen with these huge London clubs.

As I was a two-time Chelsea Player of the Year, the Blues are of special interest to me. Calling it merely a transitional season with this many changes in personnel is to understate their transformation massively.

One person's 'root and branch' change is another's 'slash and burn' policy. There is clearly a considered plan in place at Chelsea under the new American ownership, but whether it is a good plan is still open to debate.

In the short term it hasn't worked, but buying so many, so young, for so much money must be a long-term strategy. Being out of the Champions League for any length of time is not a good idea for Chelsea.

It will be an incredibly interesting campaign to follow at Stamford Bridge, successful or not.

Pat Nevin
Pat Nevin played for Chelsea for five seasons, scoring 36 league goals

Pat Nevin played for Clyde, Chelsea, Everton, Tranmere Rovers, Kilmarnock and Motherwell in a career that spanned 20 years, over 800 appearances and more than 140 goals.

He won 28 caps for Scotland between 1986 and 1996, scoring five international goals.