English Premier League – Weekend Preview
Match Previews: Opening day!
Everton vs Southampton
Saturday, 14th August
There are strange times down at Everton with the arrival of Rafael Benitez as the new manager, but looking at his credentials and beyond how he’s managed Liverpool, it is a good appointment. He’s a great coach that knows what way he wants to play, and he’s brought in the players for that. Adding Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend will help this squad get balls into the box, and they’re going to be a threat. They have a side full of quality, and they should be one of the teams that can impress this season.
For Southampton, losing Danny Ings seemed inevitable, but they do still have a good overall side. The striker has been replaced by Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong who brings a similar presence to Ings and he will fit in perfectly with this team. They have quality among them all over the pitch, but they did underperform last season and improvements on the pitch must quickly change as this team should be challenging the likes of Everton for league positions in the top half of the table.
Norwich City vs Liverpool
Saturday, 14th August
The later kick-off on Saturday comes from Carrow Road as Norwich once again take on Liverpool in their opening game of the Premier League.
Norwich will no doubt come into this one with an attacking mindset and try to take the game to Liverpool, which could work. The home side has added Billy Gilmour on loan from Chelsea, along with a number of other signings including Josh Sargent from Werder Bremen, and these are players that can only improve the side. It’s an interesting matchup as there will likely be a couple missing from Liverpool’s starting lineup, but Norwich knows all too well the danger that Liverpool possesses.
The signing of a quality centre-back was needed last season, and Liverpool has gone out and got that this season as they added RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate who should boost the side. Another boost will be Virgil van Dijk getting minutes in pre-season and although he may not start here, he’ll be back soon enough playing full time. Andrew Robertson suffered an injury a few days ago and won’t make this one, but Liverpool should have enough to win the game, especially going forward.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City
Sunday, 15th August
The last game of the opening fixtures on Sunday evening is a huge one. Spurs host the current champions in what is an exciting game that simply can’t disappoint.
There’s a new man in charge at Tottenham as Nuno Espirito Santo takes charge of his first competitive game for the club. The headlines though will revolve around Harry Kane as he’s scheduled to start against the team that he wanted to sign for, with the speculation still there that he will leave. He wants to win titles and trophies, and that doesn’t seem viable at Tottenham at the minute, but a good start here could go a long way in their season. Tough opener.
Man City have already spent heavily this season after the £100 million signing of Jack Grealish, but they are still interested in Harry Kane. Some would argue that they even need the striker. The way City play means they don’t rely on a striker bagging all the goals, but Harry Kane would offer such a different threat up top. There’s likely to be key players missing for City and that could give Spurs an opening on opening day.