EPL: Matchweek 1

And we are back, the greatest league in world football returns on Friday evening and I cannot wait to get caught up in the hype, drama and emotion that is an English Premier League campaign. 

Wondering how I did last year? Read my outright tips and predictions for the 2018/19 season here, I’ve also provided my twitter handle so let me know your thoughts and don’t be shy to shout at me directly when you don’t agree! 

Liverpool v Norwich 

Naturally Jurgen Klopp’s men will be gunning for the lift the title this season – I mean they’ve been doing it for the greater part of two decades – and they open their campaign to a relatively unknown entity in Norwich. 

Norwich were fantastic last season, but Friday night will provide the ultimate test. This will be an incredibly tough fixture for the newcomers, but I suppose they’ll be happy to have it over with in the first week. 

Liverpool are coming off the back of a poor preseason, the northern summer months proved tiresome for their big names and a penalty shootout defeat to City in the shield last week will do little for confidence. Nevertheless, I think the Reds get off to a winning start here. 

Prediction: 3 – 1 

West Ham v Manchester City 

City have only signed one major signing this transfer window, Atheltico Madrid’s Rodri, who comes in as a long-term successor to Fernandinho. It’s clear Pep has opted for stability, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an almost identical starting lineup to the one we became accustom to last season line up against the Hammers.

City have won their last seven consecutive competitive games with West Ham by an aggregate score line of 23 – 3, couple this with the fact that they’ve won seven of their last ten by either two or more goals I think City to get off to a flying start is well worth a nibble if you’re a betting man. 

Prediction: 0 – 2 

Burnley v Southampton 

European football did Burnley no favours last season, going from finish 7thin the league to then finishing 15ththe following year. Sean Dyche will be pleased his side would have enjoyed a rest in the summer and hungry to get going come Saturday afternoon. 

Southampton will also be hoping for a more optimistic season, Ralph Hasenhuttle would have got stuck in to a holistic tactical approach to their football for this season and, being the highly rated manager he is, I’m sure the Saints will enjoy an approach full of attacking flair. 

Prediction: 1 – 1 

Bournemouth v Sheffield United 

I’m very interested to see whether Eddie Howe approaches this season, his gung-ho approach last year saw the Cherries lose just twice in their first ten games but was arguably also the reason they found themselves flirting with the relegation scrap. 

Sheffield boss Chris Wilder also seems like a manager who will look to attack and open the game up so this could turn out to be quite the spectacle for the neutral. 

Prediction: 2 – 1 

Watford v Brighton 

Watford are a really young, fresh and vibrant team, Javi Garcia had a good first season in charge finishing 11thon the table but just seven points adrift of 7thplaced Wolves. A top half finish this year isn’t too far-fetched and I really think they could be a team to watch. 

Brighton will be a little more modest in their approach to the season, after narrowly avoiding the drop the Seagulls will be looking to get off to the right start. The only issue is they are absolutely terrible on the road winning just five times away from home in last two years. 

Prediction: 2 – 0 

C Palace v Everton 

I’m a little worried for Palace if I’m honest, they are yet to bring in any adequate replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the frustrations of the fans is at the very best understood. 

Everton are a talented bunch and I think they are the side to disrupt the current ‘top 6’ of the school. The only issue they’ll be dealing with coming into this game is confidence considering their preseason performances. 

Prediction: 0 – 0 

Spurs v Aston Villa 

What an incredible season for Spurs last season, despite failing to list a trophy the Coys clinched a top four finish and made it all the way to Champions League final. 

Aston Villa remind me a little of Fulham, they look to be spending big (in comparison to the size of the club) and even with a tough preseason they’ll be looking to get off to a positive start. 

Prediction: 2 – 0 

Leicester v Wolves 

Leicester seem to be in a positive position despite losing their centre back Harry Maguire during the windo to Man United – the club held out for their price which just shows that gone are the days where a club like United could bully a Leicester City. 

Wolves will have European duty this week and I’ll be very intrigued to see how they fair this season. I’m not sure the Pack has the squad for a rotational season and so I think their League campaign could end up suffering. 

Prediction: 2 – 0 

Newcastle v Arsenal 

Wow, Newcastle United what a situation to be in. Universally disliked Mike Ashley once again invited the hatred by the fans by seemingly allowing Rafa to leave without trying to keep the manager at all.

They’ve also sold Ayoze Perez and Steve Bruce doesn’t seem to get the fans going either. 

Arsenal have an incredible squad, but I still think their defensive line is the weak point in an otherwise solid squad. Aubameyang is my pick for the Golden Boot and I think he starts his tally come Sunday afternoon. 

Prediction: 0 – 3

Manchester United v Chelsea

United line up this weekend with many changes to their squad, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will look to get his side off to the best possible start and what better way to do that than with a win over their rivals from London. 

Lampard and company will know that the Blues have failed to win at Old Trafford since 2013 and a win on Sunday would do wonders for their season. This will be a close competitive game but United come into it the game stronger and brimming with confidence while Chelsea look significantly weaker without Eden Hazard dictating the game from midfield.

United to win looks to be offering some decent value at your local bookmaker but I do think their line of defence will get seriously tested. 

Prediction 2 -1 

OUTRIGHT PREDICTION 2019/20:

League Table:

  1. Manchester City
  2. Tottenham Hotspur
  3. Liverpool
  4. Arsenal
  5. Manchester United
  6. Everton

Relegation Table:

18. Newcastle

19. Norwich

20. Sheffield United

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