Saying football fans have been buzzing in the last two weeks is an understatement. That is why August is special in the football calendar. It marks the beginning of the new season in the major European leagues. After monitoring the transfer window activities of their favourite clubs, the start of the season provides the fans a glimpse of what kind of investment their clubs have made in the window.
The availability of matches on television feeds this ever-growing army of club football supporters in Nigeria. Watching the best players taking to the pitch every week, living football history as it unfolds, and bantering your rival fans is what makes a football fanatic.
The big Eglish clubs, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal command cult followership among Nigerian football lovers. No forgetting the die-hard fans of Laliga giants, Real Madrid, and Barcelona FC. These clubs parade the best of players from different countries of the world. Matches involving the big clubs are global showpieces that every fan wants to be part of.
MultiChoice through the DStv and GOtv platforms provides access to three of the major Europen league matches, and all of the UEFA club competitions this season. For the 2023/24 season, the company has extended full Premier League coverage to GOtv customers, to ensure that every football fan in Nigeria enjoys the best of Premier League, Serie A, and Laliga this season. The Tuesday and Wednesday Champions League nights, the Europa League encounters of Thursday night, and the giant-killing acts in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup will all be available to Nigerian football fans throughout the season on DStv and GOtv.
Football fans will surely have a lot to savour and banter on. Despite over a billion Pounds investment in new players at Stamford Bridge by the new club owner, Todd Boehly in the space of one year, the team still looks far from posing a league title challenge. Mourcio Pochetino will do a good job to take Chelsea back into the top four.
Like their rivals from West London, the Red Devils of Manchester have also invested heavily in new players since Ten Hag took over the reins at Old Trafford. Christian Eriksen, Anthony, Casemiro, Mason Mount, Lisandro Martínez, Tyrell Malacia were brought by the Dutchman who aims to return United back to their glory days at the top of the EPL. With the first three matches of the season, even the staunchest of United fans will agree that the team looks far from one capable of snatching the league title from Pep Guardiola’s men. United have not won the title since Sir Alex Ferguson Retired in 2013.
On the red side of North London are the Gunners who managed a league title push first time since 2016. Having led the league table for the majority of the season, Arsenal showed nerve frailties in the crucial stages to succumb to the eventual treble winners, Manchester City. The Gunners have had the biggest spending summer in their history with the acquisition of Kai Harvertz, Declan Rice and Jurien Timber. It is still too early to call, but their performances in the opening three matches suggest Arsenal’s wait for their first title since 2004 might have to linger for another season.
At Newcastle last weekend, Liverpool showed a glimpse of the spirit that made them champions in 2020. With a goal and a man down for over 68 minutes of the match, they rallied to defeat Newcastle 2-1. Darwin Nunez, the big signing from last summer, showed why the club invested £85m on him. The Uruguayan came off the bench to bag two classic goals. Last season, Liverpool were a shadow of the team that has been Mancher City’s major rival in recent years, can that victory be a springboard for revival?
Manchester City, unlike the other big clubs, has no cult followership in Nigeria but has been the nightmare of several football fans in the country. Since joining the Premier League seven years ago, Pep Guardiola has led the team to five league titles, including a remarkable FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League treble last season. The Citizens have started the new season where they left off, and look set to retain their league crown.
The season goes beyond the league title. There are trophies to be won in Europe and the fans will be cheering their teams for the biggest one. On Thursday, the draw for the UEFA Champions League group stage was held in Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. This is the galaxy that brings the biggest club stars together to compete for the biggest prize in club football. The competition group phase will kick off on September 19th after the international break and the fans are eager
The Europa League draw also created dreaded Thursday night trips for big teams like Liverpool, Roma, Atalanta, Brighton, Ajax, Villarreal, Real Betis and Leverkusen.
For the fans, the excitement of the new season continues, with DStv and GOtv sure to bring them all the action live as they unfold around Europe.