The most historical football season of all times is already underway in England France and Scotland. For the first time we are entering an uncharted territory in modern game where all the European leagues come to a standstill in November to make way for the World Cup in Qatar and then resume post conclusion of the elite event. Whether this break will cause any major upsets as far as title contenders are concerned needs to be seen. Here is our review of game day 1 of Premier league:
- West Ham vs Manchester City
City have definitely hit the ground running. Playing an away game like the home team with lion’s share of possession and complete control of the game leading to a routine 2-0 win. The Belgian magician De Bruyne covered every blade of grass and showed a midfield masterclass yet again. West Ham seemed to be playing with memories of the previous 5-0 drubbing at the hands of their opponents. They seemed content to contain City’s never ending attack machine and looked relieved at losing only 2-0. City plays newly promoted Bournemouth next at Etihad and I predict a 5-0 win for city. Hammers are off to Forest next and it will be a massive occasion for Forest back in the premier league after decades of exile. I predict that game to end 2-2.
- Manchester United vs Brighton
Where do you even start when it comes to woes of the great Manchester United? New manager, same optimism and yet same lame and limp performance. Every time the opponent move in to United’s final third, you expect United to concede. Maguire’s horror continues and Martinez fails to impress. On top of all that the Ronaldo saga is casting a shadow on United’s season as well. Brighton had a plan and they were quick out of the blocks and enjoyed the absence of Dalot on right and Shaw on left. Wellbeck seemed like a new signing and Caicedo ran the midfield making Fred and McTominay look like spectators. All credit to Potter and his tactics. Brighton won 2-1 but should have been a bigger margin and United were lucky to avoid a big battering in first game of the season. They now face Brentford away next week who are playing their first home game at the back of a decent first result. I predict 1-1. Brighton on the other hand are hosting Newcastle and I have a feeling that magpies will win that one so I predict 2-1 to Newcastle.
- Leicester vs Brentford
This might be the season when Brendon loses his job at Leicester. No notable incomings and a squad full of players looking at the exit door. Based on the lack of investment the game against Brentford was important to gain 3 points for any hopes of a top ten finish but they failed at that and once again let a 2 goal lead slip. Brentford can count themselves lucky and must be over joyed with a draw that seemed unlikely at half time. Leicester go to Arsenal next and I can’t see them winning at Emirates. I predict 2-0 Arsenal and Brentford shall draw 1-1 against United.
- Everton vs Chelsea
Chelsea seem to be waiting for the season to start. However, lacking pace and fitness means they need to shape up soon especially with bigger games coming up. They were slow and limp and devoid of ideas in their first game of the season and lack presence of a true number 9. Everton gave a fair account of themselves and probably deserved a point out of the game. Tough season ahead for Everton and Frank Lampard while Chelsea needs a rapid improvement or they will be lagging behind. Chelsea are hosting Spurs next and despite the Spurs being hot in form and Chelsea looking ill prepared for the start of the season, there is a mental block in the Spurs team when it comes to Chelsea. Chelsea to win 2-1. Everton on the other hand play the early kick off against Villa and Villa should win 2-0.
- Bournemouth v Villa
Good win for Parker in the first game of the season and a lot for Gerrard to get right before Everton’s visit. Bournemouth have 3 points in the bag but no chance of beating City next week, while Villa has a chance to redeem themselves against an Everton team that lacks goal scoring threats.
- Leeds v Wolves
Wolves continue to slide after poor season finishing form. Yet another defeat and no obvious answers. Leeds are flourishing and coming out of Bielsa’s shadow. It will prove to be a tough season for both teams with Wolves losing Cody and Leeds bidding farewell to Raphina. Leeds are up against Southampton next who looked dire in their first game and I predict Leeds to at least get a point. 2-2. Wolves host Fullham who were mighty impressive against Liverpool but Wolves should do their traditional 1-0 over Fulham.
- Fulham V Liverpool
What a game! Attacking display and many twists and turns. In the end Fulham probably deserved to win it but we are talking about a Liverpool side that has not lost a single game in 2022. Klopp would feel 2 points dropped and Fulham would resent not taking all 3. Mitrovic finally proved himself in the big league and Salah as always came for the rescue. Nunez impressed and is likely to cement his place ahead of Firminho and Jota. Liverpool will host Palace next and you don’t want to go to Anfield after a bad result for Liverpool and I expect a 4-0 win for Liverpool. Fulham will struggle to score against Wolves and lose 1-0
- Tottenham v Southampton
This might be the season for Spurs. The midseason break is probably a blessing in disguise for them. A better than average team with a world class manager and they absolutely trampled Southampton. Not much from Kane or Son and still it was all Spurs. Southampton are looking bad this season and might be an early candidate for relegation. Spurs won’t beat Chelsea though and Southampton will do well to nick a draw against Leeds at home.
- Newcastle V Forrest
Forrest are finally back after being away for decades. Gigantic club with a very rich history and European honors. They have bought a lot of players and it will be hard to stitch a team together to stay up. Newcastle on the other hand are looking forward to their best season for many a year. They managed an easy day 1 win and they move on. Forrest need to get their act together quickly or this league can be very cruel if you lag behind. The next game is tough for Forrest but as first home game of the season they might manage a draw. Newcastle are likely to make it 2 wins in 2.
- C Palace v Arsenal
Another Friday night away fixture for Arsenal but a different result. Saliba looks one hell of a player and my candidate for the young player of the season. The front 3 have improved with Jesus and Zinchencko is an upgrade as well. Arsenal will struggle to finish top 4 with a midfield on injury prone Partey and Xhaka. Crystal Palace were unlucky with preseason visas and looked under prepared. They still improved in second half but life doesn’t get any easy when you are heading to Anfield next. Arsenal should continue the winning streak at home by beating Leicester.