English Premiership

SIX things learnt from Week 1

2014-08-19 10:16
English Premiership logo (File)

Cape Town - The English Premiership is back and it is already setting up to be a classic with Manchester City and Chelsea starting in impressive fashion.

Here are six things to be learnt from Week 1:

1. Chelsea will be (very) hard to beat

This is not the same Chelsea we saw last season. This Chelsea has Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa in place of waning stars Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres. Chelsea have done incredibly well in the transfer window over the past two seasons, they have an abundance of attacking quality but now have Costa to lead them as Jose Mourinho plots EPL success.

2. Arsenal may be up for the fight

Last season, Arsenal would’ve drawn against Crystal Palace but things are different at the Emirates this year and this was proven in Week 1. Aaron Ramsey snatching an extra-time winner will inspire himself and his team-mates for the long season ahead. Arsenal will continue to play attractive football but could their first match be a sign of added “ruggedness” to their game?

3. Same old City

Manchester City are a phenomenal side, with quality in every single position. Even on a day when Yaya Toure struggled to dominate, his team-mates rallied to produce enough to see off a much improved Newcastle United. It’s a case of job done for Manuel Pellegrini. Only 37 more games to go for the defending champions.

4. Manchester United have fallen far behind the pace of the EPL title contenders

Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City all won on the opening day, but United didn't. The Red Devils display reminded me of exactly the type of football played under David Moyes. It was slow and without any purpose. Gone are the days of this side just needing to arrive to gain all three points especially when this team arrives with Hernandez, Fellaini and Nani. Juan Mata was awful on Saturday and it seems Mourinho was right to let the Spaniard leave Stamford Bridge. A nightmare start for Van Gaal where he would've learnt more about his squad than in any of his pre-season friendlies.

5. Suarez who?

Daniel Sturridge is ready to step up for Liverpool into the shoes of the departed Luis Suarez and aided by Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho, this Liverpool side will be as dangerous as ever. Liverpool fans will be eager to see how Adam Lallana fits into the side but the one player that is really starting to shine under Brendan Rodgers is Jordan Henderson. What a tremendous player he is turning into and with more performances like his on Sunday, he could yet be another Steven Gerrard.

6. The relegation battle won’t be decided until (very late in) May 2015

Leicester fought back to earn a point against Everton, Sunderland drew with West Brom, Aston Villa beat Stoke away while managerless Crystal Palace were five minutes from a point away at Arsenal. Who's going down this season? I have no idea. This season watching the bottom of the table clashes might be as exciting as watching the those who are challenging for the title.


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Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
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