Two former Barcelona players were appointed as Premier League managers over the course of the summer and they will both be making their debuts this afternoon. One of them is Frank De Boer over at Crystal Palace and the other is the new Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
The Argentine who was appointed to replace former boss Claude Puel takes charge of The Saints in an official capacity for the first time this afternoon as Southampton play host to Swansea with both sides seemingly close to losing their best players.
Southampton look like they are going to have to start the season without Virgil van Dijk who has handed in a transfer request, an action that makes a move to Liverpool all the more likely even after the Anfield outfit had the wrist slapped by the Premier League.
To be honest though whether the loss of the Dutch international has to much of a detrimental effect on the club remains to be seen. The former Celtic man has been out since January and although the club would prefer to keep him they have already shown that life goes on without him.
Not only that but his departure will no doubt be softened by the fact that they would be set to receive something in the region of £60m should the sale finally go ahead. Whether it does end up being Liverpool remains to be seen as Chelsea may also be patiently waiting in the wings.
Opponents Swansea also look to set to lose their key man to Merseyside but this time it will be the Blue half instead of the Red. With an move to Everton not quite complete but not a million miles away either it comes as no great surprise that Gylfi Sigurdsson will not feature today.
Whether that is because manager Paul Clement feels he is not in the right frame of mind or he wants to make sure his prized asset is not damaged before his departure and therefore knocking a sizeable portion of his value of the final transfer fee.
Whatever amount they do receive from Everton is arguably going to be not enough as they will struggle to replace the Icelandic international. So they may well have money in the proverbial pockets but may not be able to spend it how they so wish.
Although it looks an almost cert that this sale will take place, Paul Clement has gone on record and said that Fernando Llorente will be staying. That will come as some comfort to Swansea fans as if they were to both to depart then that would be the worst possible start to this campaign.
As for goings on along the South Coast this afternoon, when I did my predictions on Thursday I thought this would end up a draw but what with the news that has broken since I think Southampton will end up winning this and give new manager Mauricio Pellegrino a dream start.
Here is what social media thinks will happen at St Mary’s this afternoon as you can see not many people are backing Swansea this time around – maybe that just shows how much they will miss Sigurdsson not just today but over the course of the season
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) August 11, 2017