Sunday, October 21, 2018

Premier League Preview: Matchday 1

Deke Hardman in Editorial, English Premier League 10 Aug 2018

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The Premier League returns this weekend and Manchester United and Leicester City get the action underway at Old Trafford on Friday evening.

Harry Maguire could well play for the visitors after they managed to fend off interest from the Red Devils by slapping what would have been a world record fee for a defender on his head.

Fred could make his debut for the hosts though their business in the transfer window was entirely underwhelming while Leicester have added a whole host of new faces, many of whom could be involved in this, their season opener.

Another deal that crossed the line for the Foxes was a new contract for striker Jamie Vardy, who now looks set to finish his career with the side he helped to Premier League success in 2016.


Saturday’s early kick-off sees Newcastle United host the only side to have less interested transfer window than Jose Mourinho’s side – Tottenham Hotspur.

The North Londoners, who finished third in the table last term failed to bring in a single player the summer becoming the first top flight side to do so since the window was introduced fifteen years ago.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley shelled out a reported £90m this week but sadly for the Toon Army, that was to secure the signing of department store House of Fraser.

However, forwards Solomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto are among the players to have come in and manager Rafael Benitez will be looking towards them to get the goals.


Elsewhere on Saturday, Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City travel to Bournemouth while fellow new boys Fulham who have shelled out over £100m on new signings will fancy their chances against Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage.

Between 2009 and 2012 Fulham finished in the top ten in the Premier League on three occasions and like myself, you may be tempted to back them at 9/2 to do so this time around.

Two sides tipped to struggle this season – Watford and Brighton and Hove Albion meet at Vicarage Road while Huddersfield Town welcome Chelsea to the John Smith’s Stadium.

The day’s action concludes at Molinuex where two sides who have added a whole host of new players to their squads in the close season meet each other.


Everton stole the headlines on transfer deadline day after concluding deals for Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and Bernard while Wolverhampton Wanders did late business themselves bringing in Leander Dendoncker while Adama Traore’s move from Middlesbrough was completed on Wednesday.

Sunday’s early kick-off’s sees Burnley, fresh from their Europa League exploits travel to Southampton while Liverpool vs West Ham United is an attractive prospect with both sides arguably improving with several big money buys.

Finally, matchday one’s final game sees Unai Emery begin his Arsenal tenure with the visit of champions Manchester City who remain the team to beat after storming to the title to the tune of one hundred points last term.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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