Good news football fans, the summer break is over and the 2019/2020 Premier League kicks off tomorrow evening!
And this also means the return of the Steem Fantasy Premier League for its 3rd season in which the prize pool has the potential to be the largest ever. More details on the #sfpl can be found in this post:
Friday 9th August
Liverpool V Norwich
Liverpool look to be the only team capable of denying Manchester City a Premier League hat-trick and they kick-off the start of the premier league by hosting Norwich at Anfield. With only one league defeat last season, Liverpool are strong favourites to start their campaign with a win, but this may have to be done without Sadio Mane who finished as second top goalscorer for Liverpool last season with 26.
Norwich, returning to the premier league for the first time since 2015/16, have taken a low-key approach, spending less than £4m on new players - the most expensive of which was the £750,000 purchase of Sam Byram from West Ham. This is also Norwich manager Daniel Farke's first taste of top-flight football in any country during his career, and with the Canaries having won just one of their last 16 opening games, regardless of the division they have been in, they face the toughest of tasks.
Saturday 10th August
West Ham V Man City
Last years champions start their hat-trick bid away at West Ham in what could be a tough test with former manager Manuel Pellegrini building a strong Hammers squad with some solid pre-season work in the transfer market. City are likely to be without Leroy Sane, and Mark Noble (thigh) and Lukasz Fabianski (groin) are doubts for West Ham.
Last years premier league was won by just a single point and City will need to carry on where they left off to make it three in a row. West Ham have the potential to cause problems but the champions should open with a win.
Bournemouth V Sheffield United
Newly-promoted Sheff Utd make the long trip down to the South Coast on their return to the Premier League after a 12-year absence and have a poor record against Bournemouth, losing their last six against the club. Bournemouth beat newly-promoted Cardiff on the opening day last year, and should be upbeat by the news that star striker Wilson has signed a new deal.
Burnley V Southampton
These teams share a fairly even head-to-head record and will both be looking to clear 40 points to reach safety. Burnley will be pinning hopes on Jay Rodriguez to provide the goals and are without the distraction of European football which hampered their Premier League form last season. Southampton have signed Danny Ings following a loan spell in the previous campaign and have the potential to cause an upset in this opener at Turf Moor.
Crystal Palace V Everton
Everton have won 3 of the last 6 games against Crystal Palace and the eagles have faced a tough close season in the transfer market losing star man Wan-Bissaka. Everton finished strongly last season and have been strengthening their squad over the summer by bringing in players such as Moise Kean, André Gomes, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, and Fabian Delph, who total around 80 million pounds. If the Toffees can sure up the defense and build on the promise shown at the end of the last campaign they could go well this year, starting at the expense of Palace.
Watford V Brighton
Watford start the new season with injuries to Penaranda, Pereyra, Chalobah, and Deulofeu who look set to miss out. The team finished last season poorly with four defeats and have not been very active in the transfer market over the summer. Brighton have a new manager in Graham Potter and will be looking to their new signing, 24-year-old Belgian striker Trossard, to keep them away from the drop this year.
Spurs V Aston Villa
Tottenham start their new season at a new stadium following last seasons defeat in the UEFA Champions League final against newly promoted Villa, who have been fairly busy in the transfer market this summer. Spurs have an outstanding record against Aston Villa, losing only one of their last 17, and Harry Kane has scored 4 in his last 5 games against the club. New signings for Villa, Wesley and Mahmoud Hasan look set to start in what could be a difficult opener for the Black Country club.
Sunday 11th August
Leicester V Wolves
Both teams will be looking towards a top half finish this season in what should be a highly competitive affair. Leicester finished last season with five wins from ten and Rogers will look to continue this solid form. Wolves have the additional complexities of a European campaign this year following last seasons effort, in which they would have finished higher were it not for poor performances against the clubs at the bottom. Leicester are without Harry Maguire after his world-record move to Manchester United and this hole could be difficult to fill.
Newcastle V Arsenal
Steve Bruce takes over from Rafa Benitez as manager at St James’ Park this season as Newcastle face a tough opener against last years 5th placed team, Arsenal. The gunners look to have plenty of options up front including new signing Pepe but could well miss Aaron Ramsey until a replacement settles in. Newcastle, never without a chance at home, look to new signings Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin to replace Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez who scored 23 of the Toon’s 42 league goals last year.
Man United V Chelsea
Potentially the biggest game of the opening weekend as two of the 'big six' meet at Old Trafford on Sunday. The Red Devils haven't lost in their last three against the Londoners who are now under new coach and ex-player, Frank Lampard. For the reds, Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, and Romelu Lukaku could well miss out with Pogba the likeliest to make an appearance.
Chelsea look to have more injury worries though as Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Callum Hudson-Odoi are very unlikely to play, and there are also doubts over the fitness of African stars Kante and Willian.
Don't forget to enter the Steem Fantasy Premier League by completing all the task in the link. Good luck!
This Review was written by @abh12345, follow him for more Football, Sports and other Steem content!