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Premier League returns: team news and more in our weekend football countdown – live!

Nottingham Forest have been charged by the FA over the unruly pitch invasion at the end of their playoff semi-final win over Sheffield United in May. Here’s PA Media’s story:

Nottingham Forest have been charged by the Football Association after their fans invaded the pitch following their Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final win over Sheffield United last season.

Forest beat the Blades on penalties after the two-legged tie ended 3-3 on aggregate to book their place at Wembley but there were unsavoury scenes as fans poured on to the pitch, with one of them headbutting United skipper Billy Sharp.

Forest season ticket holder Robert Biggs was sent to jail after his attack and other United players were involved in exchanges with Forest fans.

Oli McBurnie will stand trial in December after denying a charge of assault by beating after an alleged incident while Rhian Brewster had the same charge against him dropped last week.

The FA has now charged Forest with a breach of Rule E20.

An FA statement read: “Nottingham Forest has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20 following their EFL Championship fixture against Sheffield United FC on Tuesday 17 May 2022.

“It is alleged that Nottingham Forest FC failed to ensure that its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from using threatening and/or violent behaviour whilst encroaching onto the pitch area, following the completion of the fixture.”

Loan news: Fulham have signed Shane Duffy on a season-long loan from Brighton. Not all our writers are convinced:

Seems a bit odd for Fulham to use a loan slot up to sign a 30-year-old Shane Duffy in the final year of his contract. Surely there is a deal to be done to sign him permanently and leave a loan spot available for later in the window

— Will Unwin (@Will_Unwin) August 5, 2022

It’s a busy old morning for transfer news – would be interested to see how Brighton fans feel about the likely loss of Cucurella to Chelsea, and how it impacts their prospects after such an enjoyable 2021-22 campaign.

More transfer news: Amadou Onana is having a medical at Everton after a deal was agreed to sign the Lille midfielder, pipping West Ham, who’d also been keen on Onana. And Bourneouth have agreed a deal for the Barcelona goalkeeper Neto

On that subject, here’s a roundup of the latest transfer tittle-tattle, stuff and nonsense from the Rumour Mill:

Jürgen Klopp’s been talking about Liverpool’s trip to Fulham, whom he praises for the manner of their promotion last season. “Getting promoted through playing football is one of the hardest things to do,” he said, “and that’s what Fulham did, they’re a really good team … it’ll be tough, but I’m happy that we played the City game [in the Community Shield] to be honest it gave us a hint of where we are.” Klopp pours cold water on the idea of additional signings at the moment, adding: “We have too many injuries at the moment thats true but at the moment nothing changes.”

“You might have an article today with Sky Sports bigging themselves up in comparison to BT Sport,” writes Colin Stevens. “But that still doesn’t stop individuals in their team making horrendous gaffes. See this tweet from the supreme Ms Shelagh Fogarty

“Hillsborough and other hooligan related events” Martin Tyler @BBCr4today – please correct that.

— Shelagh Fogarty 💚 (@ShelaghFogarty) August 5, 2022

It would be great to get some response from Mr Tyler, Sky Sports & the Today programme.”

An insensitive gaffe indeed. One expects more from Tyler.

Our latest Premier League pre-season preview spotlights West Ham, looking to build on a season full of fun and frolics in 2021-22, even if there was a sense they were falling away towards the end of the season. It could be tough living up to raised expectations, reckons Jacob Steinberg, who asks whether David Moyes’s side might have gone a bit stale:

Newcastle haven’t been as free-spending in this transfer window as many predicted, but their search for new recruits continues. But Eddie Howe has insisted the club will operate under spending restrictions for “years” despite all that Saudi cash behind them.

“Financial Fair Play will impact us, will continue to impact us, I think, for a number of years,” said the Newastle manager. “We haven’t got the free rein, the free hand that maybe has been perceived in the media, that we can go and sign whoever we want and pay extortionate fees and wages.

“We’re not in that position and I don’t think we will be for some period of time. We’re having to be creative and smart and try to make the right additions with the financial restraints that we have.”

Chelsea are on the verge of securing the signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton, according to Sky Sports News. The full-back, one of the most impressive players in the top flight last season, has of course been gossiped about as a Manchester City target all summer.

In the WSL, champions Chelsea have signed the Sweden winger Johanna Rytting Kaneryd on a three-year deal.

Manchester City may have recruited a stunningly gifted and efficient robo-striker in Erling Haaland but might they be about to lose the artistic talents of Bernardo Silva? “What happens will happen,” said Pep Guardiola, “and if he stays it is perfect and in the end if he has to leave it is because football is like this; the player has a desire. I will not be a person to stop a desire for the people. When you are a football player it is so short, you don’t realise and it is nearly over. The player will have to talk to the club and I have never ever been involved in that.”

Jamie Jackson has the story:

And here’s a spot more eve-of-season reading, from Barney Ronay on the strangeness of a season to be abruptly interrupted by the most controversial of World Cups:

And here’s David Hills on some other things we’ll have to get used to, such as five subs, a new official ball and some out-there new kits:

Morning everyone. Yes, the great Premier League juggernaut is back, and though observations that the football season seems to start earlier each year – like those about police officers and football managers looking younger these days – have begun to seem weary and cliched, this season really has ambushed us early (EFL games in July, I ask you!).

England has at least had a week to bask in the unfamiliar sensation of Euro 2022 glory, before the more familiar sensations of the top flight’s big kick-off are upon us. And it starts, as last year’s did, with Arsenal facing a testing away game in London against opponents who can raise their game against them. Selhurst Park should be lively tonight as Patrick Vieira seeks to inflict another bruising defeat on his old club, who nonetheless go in to the new season with optimism (cautiously) higher than it has been for a while.

The defending champions, Manchester City, face a testing start at West Ham in one of the more intriguing fixtures of the weekend, while their closest challengers in 2021-22, Liverpool visit a Fulham side hoping to step off the alternating promotion/relegation merry-go-round.

We’ll have all the latest team news, media conference tidbits and random gossip and comment through the day. And to start us all off, here’s 10 things to look out for this weekend:

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