Mark Leech: Middlesbrough’s Fabrizio Ravanelli celebrates a goal on the opening day of the season against Liverpool.
Mark Leech: Stuart Houston and George Graham looking uncomfortable as Coventry win 3-0 at Highbury on the first day of the season.
Charlie Crowhurst: Chelsea fans take photos of the players during warm up on the first day of the season in 2010. They would go on to beat West Brom 6-0.
Mark Leech: Robbie Fowler looks on as Hinchcliffe tackles Redknapp at a sparsely populated Hillsborough on the opening day of the season.
Mark Leech: Tottenham goalkeeper Ian Walker is beaten but Paul Allen heads the ball off the goal line at The Dell, on the first day of the Premier League.
This is it: zero hour. T-minus nothing. The countdown to the start of a new Premier League season is over.
Soon, the stadiums of the English top flight will be full once more with fans, broadcasters and players, as Manchester City begin their campaign to retain their 2014 title against the other 19 clubs of the league, who must contend with their own issues and ambitions.
Having spent much of the summer sourcing new recruits, the opening day of the season can also be a competitive showcase of the league’s most recent arrivals. This year, strikers such as Diego Costa and Graziano Pelle will be looking to open their Premier League accounts at the first opportunity against Burnley and Liverpool respectively, while Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera and Emre Can will seek to make their presence known from midfield.
Paul Roberts: Goal line technology arrives in the Premier League on the opening day of the 2013-14 season.
Simon Stacpoole: Referee Martin Atkinson tests the new goal line technology in the goalmouth at Anfield.
Marc Atkins: A spirit level and plate used to adjust the goal line technology.
New managers, tactics and formations are also a focus on day one of a new season, as both fans and pundits pay close attention to how their team’s pre-season plans translate to the field during serious fixtures.
Going into the 2014-15 season, it looks as though the Premier League is about to be inundated with three-man defences and the 3-5-2 following the appointment of Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford and Ronald Koeman at Southampton.
David Davies: Chelsea host Oldham Athletic on the opening day of the season as Robert Fleck crosses the ball at a decrepit Stamford Bridge stadium.
David Davies: Graham Stuart on the ball for Chelsea against Oldham as fans watch from the Shed.
David Davies: Fleck and Redmond challenge for the ball as the Oldham fans watch from the uncovered North Stand at Stamford Bridge.
The newly promoted sides will also be looking to try and set down some early markers as they test their team against the higher quality opposition of the top flight. For the Premier League neutral, these games begin the process of getting to know the teams who leapt up to the big time from the Championship the season before.
Steve Bardens: The Players walk out at Craven Cottage for the first match of the 2011-2012 season.
Steve Bardens: Fans arrive at Craven Cottage on the opening day of the Premier League season. Fulham’s famous ground will not host topflight football in 2014-15.
Simon Stacpoole: Marouane Fellaini of Everton battles with Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal.
Simon Stacpoole: Eduardo celebrates after scoring the 6th goal for Arsenal.
Mark Leech: The Chelsea wall lines up against Liverpool, featuring some of the new arrivals of the Roman Abramovich era.
Mark Leech: Roman Abramovich applauds his Chelsea team with his wife Irina on the first day of the season after spending £100m on new players.
Steve Bardens: Chelsea’s new signing Deco celebrates his wonder strike with Frank Lampard.
Steve Bardens: Didier Drogba scores the winner in Carlo Ancelotti’s Premier League debut.
And of course, the first day of the season usually brings with it the first proper episode of Match Of The Day, unless of course the summer has already been filled by programmes covering a World Cup or European Championship.
But in even-numbered years following a major tournament, the hunger for a return to normality, and the regular delights of the Premier League only grows stronger until the action resumes.
Now it’s time to get back to the week-in, week-out fun of topflight football. Are you ready?
Offside is the UK’s leading independent sports photography agency, home to an extensive collection of classic First Division and Premier League pictures as well as other images from across the world of sport. Explore Offside’s unique library at www.welloffside.com.