The release of the Premier League fixtures is always an exciting time as supporters pour over the calendar and make their initial preparations for the year ahead - but the whole thing is a lot more complicated in this most unique of seasons.
The World Cup takes place in Qatar from November 21 (that's nine days after the last Premier League game) to December 18, with the domestic football returning on Boxing Day. It's going to be both breathless and utterly discombobulating; a split season that will leave the table hanging precariously in a haze of international football.
That makes it particularly difficult to analyse the schedule given that we have no way of knowing whether the mid-season break will create two radically different halves. Nevertheless there are some compelling fixture lists that may alter our initial ideas regarding who will win the biggest prizes next year.
Before we get to that, it is worth pausing on the opening day. The first game sees Arsenal travel to Crystal Palace in the sort of banana-skin encounter we so often see the Gunners slip on, making Palace to win at 3.613/5 a good bet.
The other standout games are a test of summer progress for both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel in the Saturday evening kickoff - which one would anticipate a rejuventated Chelsea winning 1.758/11 - and Manchester City starting on Sunday at West Ham United.
Liverpool have a kinder draw than Man City
It is quite the opener for City, who lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in their first game of last season but still went on to win the title. We shouldn't draw too much from that, then, although overall they do appear to have a more difficult draw than their title rivals Liverpool.
Guardiola faces a rough October that could prove decisive in the title race. In the space of a month they face Man Utd (h), Southampton (h), Liverpool (a), Arsenal (a), Brighton (h), and Leicester City (a) - a run that needs to go well considering there are only two more games after this before everyone must stew on their league position during the World Cup.
It could be a decisive period, as could their January sequence of Chelsea (a), Man Utd (a), Wolves (h), and Spurs (a). So soon after the World Cup, tiredness may lead to some dropped points here. Finally, Man City host Chelsea on the last day.
As for Liverpool, there is no sequence of death quite like those two Man City must face. They have a relatively simple start - Fulham (a), Crystal Palace (h), Man Utd (a), Bournemouth (h), Newcastle (h) - and a clear run-in, with just one 'Big Six' team in the final eight matches.
In fact, the only challenging aspect for Jurgen Klopp is the number of tough games following their Champions League group stage matches, with games away at Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham among them. But Man City's is only marginally better, as they face trips to Leicester and Wolves as well as a home game against Spurs.
The advantage, in an exhausting and dizzying year, is Liverpool's.
Relegation candidates unlucky - except for Leeds
The newly promoted clubs have had rotten luck.
Nottingham Forest might just decide everyone's fate. Their very difficult opening game away at a reborn Newcastle is followed by West Ham (h), Everton (a), Spurs (h), and Man City (a) - before they play Bournemouth (h), Leeds (a), and Fulham (h) all in a row. Each of those three opponents will be desperate for points.
Bournemouth and Fulham are as bad off as Forest, the former facing Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal in their first four games and the latter facing four of the 'Big Six' in their seven matches prior to the meeting with Forest. In other words, everyone is in trouble and everyone will be looking to the newly-promoted six-pointers.
Southampton may or not be in danger this year and there is nothing of note to learn from an average set of openers. However, it is worth keeping in mind that they play all three promoted clubs in their final six of the campaign. As for Leeds, they might just get a crucial headstart over their rivals: only two of their first ten opponents finished in the top ten last year.
Ones to watch: Man Utd, Villa, Spurs
Tottenham have made some good early signings in the transfer window and Antonio Conte is probably hoping to challenge for the title. If there is any hope of that happening they will need to get out in front early, and unfortunately they are held back by playing away from home in five of their first six 'Big Six' matches of the campaign. They're still good for a top four finish, at 1.834/5.
All eyes are on Erik ten Hag at Man Utd, and there is little doubt he will need to hit the ground running or else face a toxic atmosphere. A deceptively tough start (Brighton at home, Brentford away) needs to go well before they play Liverpool in their third fixture and arguably the first major event of the 2022/23 Premier League season. But United have avoided strings of difficult games and in fact have a very simplistic run-in.
Aston Villa are the potential surprise package of the season and a nice early run - Bournemouth (a), Everton (h), Palace (a), West Ham (h) - could help build momentum. On the other hand, eight of their 12 'Big Six' games take place after the World Cup, so it is vital Steven Gerrard gets his side in a good position before the break.