Wednesday, 5 August 2015

PREVIEW: EPL Week 1

It only seems like yesterday that Chelsea lifted the league title but the Barclay's Premier League is back and back in a big way with several key match-ups across the opening weekend; none bigger than the opening fixture of the season between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.

Newysports welcomes local football and a knowledgeable Englishman Alex Evans onto the site and his knowledge of the Premier League is a lot better than mine so it's great to have him on board and hopefully he can have some luck with his predictions.

By the way, I'll be doing quick tips for the English Football League Championship, League One and League Two. More on that tomorrow or Friday. Also my Zone Football league preview is a tad late this week but will be up within the next 48 hours. Cheers.

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Well. The wait is over. English Football is back and this game is my game of the round. Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur kick us off this year at Old Trafford and I can see this being a strong game.

United have been the talk during the off season with some top signings but some heavy losses as well. United have lost Falcao, Van Persie and most certainly the biggest omission Angel Di Maria to Paris Saint Germain. However, the signings of Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger are good ones in my eyes and Morgan Schneiderlin should do well also.

I think Tottenham will have a decent season. Spurs have done well in holding onto Harry Kane. We all know how well he went last year and for me I can only see him getting better. Tottenham haven't done too much buying or selling this year which could work in their favour. Mauricio Pochettino is a very skilled manager who develops his players very well and with talent such as Hugo Lloris, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane again and Jan Vertonghen I can see them being a real threat.

As far as this match goes I'm going to call it a draw. Selling Di Maria right before the start of the season has been timed poorly by United and I can see this affecting them for the opening round as Tottenham will come prepared after a successful off season.

Prediction: Man United 1-1 Spurs

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This game is the game I'm going to be watching for the midnight kick offs this Saturday night.

Villa have had a rough off season in losing Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph, I like the Lions but I can't see them really doing anything this season and they could potentially be going down for me.

As I am a Leeds United fan I got to watch this small club called Bournemouth grow and grow last year. Tipped to go down, the Cherries ended up finishing top of the Championship. Eddie Howe has done wonders to this club and I can see them being successful in staying up this year.

With this being a historic day for Bournemouth I can see them getting up in this one. Bournemouth have very passionate fans and with their stadium only being a size of 11,700 I think the noise that the fans will make will scare Villa.

Prediction: Bournemouth 2-1 Villa

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Everton looked poor to me after losing 2-0 to Leeds on the weekend, I watched the match and Leeds played them off the park. I was surprised and expected a lot more. There was no enthusiasm from the players which could be a worrying sign.

Newly Promoted Watford will be looking to do well after they returned to the top flight after an 8 year stint. The Hornets have had a successful off season but I'm looking forward to see how they handle the pressure this year.

Providing they wake up this week, I think Everton will be too strong for Watford.

Prediction: Everton 2-0 Watford.

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I'll start off by saying this. I think it is an absolute disgrace that Leicester sacked Nigel Pearson after what he did for the club last year. I'll admit the start of the season wasn't the great but if you saw the back end of last season, Leicester were outstanding and because of that avoided the drop. However after losing a few key players such as Chris Wood I think the Foxes will had a case of 'Second Season Syndrome' and get relegated.


Sunderland were very lucky last season and just stayed up by the skin of their teeth. I think Jermaine Defoe is going to have a strong season at the Black Cats and potentially be the man to keep them up.

This game has potential to be a good one and because it's the opening day of the season I think we will see it.

Prediction: Leicester 2-2 Sunderland

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Two clubs I haven't heard much about this season, however I believe Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has organised his team well.

Norwich seem like a see saw to me. They are always up and down and don't have any consistency in whichever league they are in. I can see them struggling this year.

I think Palace will edge this game due to the fact that they are organised and that's what you need to be a successful Premier league team.

Prediction: Norwich 1-2 Palace

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Chelsea start off their title reign against Swansea.

I'm not why they were so eager in signing Falcao after the season he had at United however you can't argue with Mourinho. He really is a world class coach and you can't write Chelsea off on winning the title again back to back. 

You just have to look at their squad and it screams out world class all over the place. 

For me Swansea will have a successful season and should finish around mid-table after making some pretty nice signings over the off season however Chelsea will be too strong in this contest

Prediction: Chelsea 4-0 Swansea.

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I'll start off with West Ham in this one. West Ham have made one very good signing this year and he goes by the name of Dimitri Payet. The centre attacking midfielder scored 7 goals last season and a massive 18 assists last season. He is an incredible passer of the ball and some are labeling him as the future Xavi. The Hammers have also done well in holding onto Enner Valencia, Angelo Ogbonna and even Andy Carroll as he had a promising finish to end of last season.

The standout and only major signing for Arsenal this season is of course Petr Cech but after watching there Charity Shield win over Chelsea the other day, could this be Arsenal's season. In previous seasons Arsenal have been their own worst enemy, beating the top ranked sides but then blow it away by losing to lower classed sides however this season I sense a change and this could very well be Arsenal's year to go all the way

I can only see one winner in this game and that'll be the hosts.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

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This game is going to be a good one I can tell you that. Newcastle will be looking to put last season behind them and aim for a top 10 finish which they are more than capable of.

Southampton however will be looking to continue their impressive form and try and push for a Europa spot or maybe just maybe a Champions league spot. They are certainly capable of it with players such as Elijero Elia, Graziano Pellè, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mané.

For me this game will finish as a draw but I'm sensing goals and lots of them.

Prediction: Newcastle 3-3 Southampton

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Liverpool have certainly put their hands in there pockets this season after signing players such as Roberto Firmino, Christian Benteke and Nathaniel Clyne. 

However there's one player who I think is going to be a huge impact this season. James Milner. The 29 year old is in the form of his life at the moment and had an absolutely outstanding off season after an impressive season at Manchester City last year after playing regular first team football. Trust me, he is one to watch Liverpool fans and I'd go as far as saying that he could be Raheem Sterling's perfect replacement.

Stoke have also had an impressive off season after signing Glen Johnson from Liverpool and holding onto some key players such as Mame Diouf, Marko Arnautović and Peter Crouch who all had an impressive season last year.

All in all I think Liverpool will be too strong on the day

Prediction: Stoke 1-3 Liverpool

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For me, West Brom will struggle this year. They have made the odd one or two signings here and there but I can't see them matching the potential of most other teams this year. Darren Flecther and Joleon Lescott will do well but again I think the Baggies will have a rough season and even potentially go down.

Manchester City will once again have another good season in my eyes. Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph will provide even more talent to the Sky Blues line up. At the start of June there were rumours Sergio Agüero might have been out of City but he remains at the club. Along with Agüero, City still have enormous talent in Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure etc.

This game is easy to pick for me and will wrap up an exciting round of the Barclays Premier League.

Prediction: West Brom 0-3 Man City


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