Since the national teams fantastic run in the 2018 World Cup in Russia – which was potentially the best World Cup ever – no supports around the world have been more eager to what their clubs kick their seasons than the ones in England.
It was another crazy summer of spending in the best league in the world with multiple records being broken each day.
Fulham and Wolverhampton both made huge splashes in the transfer marketing in the hope that they can survive in the top division following their promotions from the championship. The teams at the top, to nobodies surprise, splashed the cash as they all look to get their hands on some silverware this season. All teams besides Tottenham of course who strangely enough chose not to spend a penny. A bold move in today’s football world.
Matchday one has many great fixtured lined up to kick off the 2018-19 campaign. Friday night saw two former champions collide in Manchester United and Leicester City – we’ll have a review of that game for you. Then on Saturday, the three newly promoted teams are in action with Fulham and Wolves hosting Crystal Palace and Everton while Cardiff City makes the south to Vitality Stadium to play Bournemouth. Also on Saturday’s card is Huddersfield Town taking on Chelsea, Watford plays Brighton, and Tottenham travels way up north to play Newcastle United. Sunday we’ll have three title contenders in action with Liverpool and West Ham United starting off the day, followed by Southampton hosting Burnley, and finally, the big match of the weekend, the Wenger-less Arsenal challenge the English champions – Manchester City.
Should be an exciting weekend for all football fans around the world!
Manchester United 2 – 1 Leicester City
Despite a weak showing in the first half, Manchester United got their 2018/19 campaign off to a positive start with three points over the Foxes.
Before the majority of fans had even made it to their seats, the referee Andre Marriner awarded United a penalty after a handball in the Leicester 18-yard box. Luckily for all those fans rushing to their seats, Paul Pogba had possibly the slowest run up to ball ever in the history of football – extremely nice of him to be looking out for home fans like that. Nevertheless, the World Cup win slotted the ball past a diving Kasper Schmeichel to give his team a 1-0 lead.
GOOOOAL Paul Pogba penalty kick!! pic.twitter.com/sSGvSJO1vO
— Nicolás Valdebenito (@Nikorgoroth) August 10, 2018
Leicester didn’t let that goal discourage them, however, and piled on the pressure themselves. Unfortunately for them, they were not able to get anything by David De Gea in the United goal and went into the half-time break still down 1-0.
There really wasn’t too much to report on until late in the second half.
Lukaku missed a great opportunity after coming in off the bench. If it wasn’t for a phenomenal leg save from Schmeichel, United would’ve found themselves up by two. Shortly after, an unlikely hero did give United two-goal lead. After some nice build-up play, Juan Mata found a galloping Luke Shaw on the top left of the Leicester box. A sloppy first touch over the defender made it seem like the opportunity was over, however, Shaw stuck with it and buried his first career goal.
Luke Shaw scores his first ever goal for Man United. I love this.
— Devils of United (@DevilsOfUnited) August 10, 2018
Leicester would pull one back with two minutes left when Jamie Vardy headed in the rebound of the post.
Overall, it was a strange summer for United due to all the complaining Jose Mourinho did to the media. However, at the end of the day, they got the job done on the field. Maybe Mourinho will let his team do the talking on the field now rather than him doing it to the press…
Arsenal vs. Manchester City
In potentially the match of the weekend, Arsenal welcome the defending Premier League champions, Manchester City, to the Emirates Stadium.
Last season, Arsenal were no match for the dominant City lineup and were defeated on both occasions while scoring only once and conceding six. However, Arsenal is looking a little different this season, especially in the technical area. Arsene Wenger is no longer the man in charge after retiring at the end of last season which left the door open for the Gunners to get their guy in Unai Emery. Emery hasn’t wasted any time in bringing in new personal; making nine signings and allowing 22 players to leave the club including England midfielder Jack Wilshere.
As for City, their only significant addition of the summer was former Leicester attacker Riyad Mahrez for £60million. Bringing Mahrez into the squad makes City even more vicious in the final third with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane, and Kevin De Bruyne already at the club.
The Gunners really couldn’t have asked for a more difficult start to the season. It’ll be interesting to see if they’re up for the task.
What you need to know:
Manchester City looks to repeat last season with a target on their backs.
Unai Emery takes charge of his first competitive game as the Arsenal manager.
Wolves vs. Everton
There’s a lot of hype around both Wolves and Everton after the amount of money they spent this summers to bring in top quality players. Wolves have just as many Portuguese players on their squad as the national team does now while Everton bulked up all over the field bringing in the likes of Andre Gomes on loan from Barcelona, World Cup star Yerry Mina, and Richarlison from Watford – to name a few. It’ll be important for the two of them to get off to a good start to the season, especially wolves who won’t want to drop down into the championship.
What you need to know:
- Everton is heading into the season after a poor showing winning on one preseason game. That one win, however, was 22-0 against Irdning which is an outrageous result preseason or not. Be interesting to see if their offence shows up.
- Mario Silva will manage his first competitive game as Everton manager.
- This match will be Wolves first Premier League game since 2012. Their last match in the EPL came against Wigan Atheltic in 3-2 loss on the final day of the season.
What else to watch for around the league:
Kepa who is now the record fee for a goaltender will look to get off to a good start with Chelsea
Alisson already having his record fee broken will hope to have stability in the Liverpool net
Salah will look to repeat last season and cement his star status
Sarri takes charge for his first Premier League match with Chelsea
Fulham was the first team to spend £100 million as a team coming up from Championship.
Tottenham have a lot to prove as they were the first team not to sign any new players
Everton looked to have made some good moves in the market, but the same was said the season before.
Matchday One Predictions
|Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur||Tottenham||Tottenham|
|AFC Bournemouth vs Cardiff City||Bournemouth||Draw|
|Fulham vs Crystal Palace||Fulham||Fulham|
|Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea||Chelsea||Chelsea|
|Watford vs Brighton & Hove Albion||Watford||Brighton|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Everton||Wolves||Everton|
|Liverpool vs West Ham United||Liverpool||Liverpool|
|Southampton vs Burnley||Draw||Burnley|
|Arsenal vs Manchester City||Manchester City||Draw|