After a long wait, the Premier League is back. Manchester United host Chelsea, Liverpool welcome newcomers Norwich and champions Manchester City kick it off away at West Ham. Here are some of the Things to look out for in match Day 1. Bet on the Premier League here.
Baptism of fire for Norwich City
After coming agonisingly close to winning the Premier League title last season, Liverpool are on a mission to win it this time as they kick off their campaign against newcomers Norwich City. The Reds have had a poor pre-season and lost the Community Shield on Sunday to Manchester City. However, Jurgen Klopp’s side have been a thorn in Norwich City’s side. They have beaten them in five out of their last six meetings in the league. Therefore, the Canaries will need something extra special to beat the European champions at Anfield. Although they were excellent as they triumphed in the Championship last season, Friday night’s result will not necessarily be a true indication of whether they have what it takes to compete at this level.
Difficult start for Frank Lampard and Chelsea
Frank Lampard’s reign at his former club begins on Sunday evening with a mouth-watering clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Lampard’s managerial career is limited to one season at Derby County, where he guided the Rams to the Championship play-off final before they lost to Aston Villa at Wembley. As a manager, he is unproven. On Sunday, he will be thrown in the murky waters of the Premier League when his team faces the Red Devils. Although his opposite number at United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, is also relatively inexperienced, the Norweigian has already faced the ups and downs of the league. The Blues have also made zero signings due to the transfer ban. The last time Chelsea won at Old Trafford was in 2013; therefore, they’ll need some magic to emerge victorious on Sunday.
Aston Villa’s new signings
Aston Villa are back in the Premier League for the first time in four seasons and so far have been on a spending spree, signing 12 players. As the 2019/2020 season edges closer, scrutiny will be on them for the entire season. Just like Fulham, last season, Villa have spent over 100 million and some have pointed out that Villa have been overzealous and repeating mistakes that Fulham made last season. However, unlike the Cottagers, most of Villa’s signings have been out of necessity rather than desperation. Some of the signings are a big risk; for instance, 22-year-old Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes, who will be severely tested on Saturday evening against Spurs. All in all, Villa’s new signings will be on the radar this season.
Champions Manchester City to kick off with a bang
Premier League champions Manchester City kicked off their season with another piece of silverware, this time the Community Shield when they defeated Liverpool on penalties. They begin the defence of their league title on Saturday when they face West Ham at the London Stadium. Man City have won their last eight fixtures on the opening weekend, conceding just three times, and will be aiming to extend their current winning run to 15 matches to get their title defence off to a perfect start. They have beaten the Hammers in their last six meetings and that might not change on Saturday given the difference in quality and pedigree.
New era at Newcastle United
Following the departure of manager Rafa Benitez on June 30th, Newcastle appointed Steve Bruce as their manager on a three-year deal last month. Fan favourite Benitez had secured safety for the Magpies in the previous two seasons in the top flight. Fans are now sceptical of what the future holds with Bruce, who hasn’t had much success in the top flight. Bruce has suffered relegation from the Premier League twice, in 2005/2006 with Birmingham City and 2014/2015 with Hull City. They’ve also lost three of their top players in Salomon Rondon, Ayoze Perez and Mohamed Diame. For the happenings on and off the pitch at Newcastle, this will be a new era at St James’ Park.