clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

5 Questions for EPL Week 1: Is "King Troll" a good pick against Watford?

New, comments

We all eagerly await the start of Game Week 1 of the 2015/16 English Premier League season. What surprises will it bring, what teams will rise to the occasion, what players will be hailed as heroes and villains? It is a general rule that starting out well, i.e., not falling behind other managers by a substantial number of points in the opening weeks, is one of the keys to a good fantasy season. Here are 5 questions to start a discussion in anticipation of the new season and to further whet the appetite of the things to come on Saturday…

Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

Question 1: Is "King Troll" at home to the league newcomer, Watford, a good pick?

Roberto Martinez confirmed that the big Belgian will be fit for Saturday's home clash with Watford.  Everton underperformed during the 2014-15 season and will be looking to start strong amidst a very difficult opening schedule (Southampton, Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea following the home opener), making the first game that much more important. Taking into consideration just how unreliable and frustrating Lukaku has been when picked by the managers for those seemingly "easy" home games (hence, earning the nickname of "King Troll"), is there any chance he can restore faith and have a good game on Saturday?

Question 2: How will Wayne Rooney fare as the Manchester United's main striker?

Since arriving at Old Trafford, Rooney has reached double figures in each and every Premier League campaign, but scored over 20 goals only twice, in 2009/10 (26) and 2011/12 (27).  With Van Gaal revealing that Rooney will be United's main center-forward this season and with the additions of Depay and Schweinsteiger, the expectations are very high. Will the United striker fulfill them and be a goal scoring machine or will he have a season similar to the last one, with streaky performances?

Question 3: Does it make sense to load up on Arsenal players at home to West Ham United?

The Gunners have looked outstanding this pre-season and had plenty of opportunities to score more goals in the Community Shield game if not for Thibaut Courtois' performance.  Slaven Bilic's men, on the other hand, have struggled during the early start to the season playing in the Europa League.  Stewart Downing is no longer at the club, Andy Carroll is not ready yet and Enner Valencia is expected to be out up to 12 weeks.  This game could be the whipping match-up of the weekend.  How many Gunners will be in your line-up come Saturday?

Question 4: Is Manchester City's subpar pre-season performance a reason for concern going into Game Week 1 away game to West Bromwich Albion?

Other than the predictable thrashing of the Vietnam XI, Manchester City has not looked like the team that finished second last season.  With Stevan Jovetic out on loan to Inter Milan, Edin Dzeko moving to Roma, Sergio Aguero participating in light training after a strenuous Copa America duty and Wilfried Bony proving thus far to be an expensive bust, who score the goals?!  The midfield is undoubtedly strong with David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Samir Nasri, and Yaya Toure, but will they be able to break down Tony Pulis' defense in the opening game of the season?

Question 5: Which, if any, of the three promoted teams will end up victorious in Game Week 1?

The three promoted teams all play on Saturday.  The Championship winner Bournemouth is hosting a nearly relegated Aston Villa team without Liverpool-bound Christian Benteke and injured Gabriel Agbonlahor.  Norwich City is at home to the surging Crystal Palace team with Yohan Cabaye and Connor Wickham looking to make debuts.  Finally, Watford is away to an Everton team that must win its first game of the season after a dismal 2014/15 season and with arduous upcoming fixtures, as previously discussed.  My hunch is that Bournemouth will beat Villa behind Matthew Ritchie (15 goals and 17 assists last season), Callum Wilson, a 23 goal scorer who was on Arsenal's radar before agreeing to a 4 year extension to stay at Bournemouth, and Tyrone Mings, a record signing left back who likes to join the attack.  What are your thoughts?

Sani.