The Community Shield between Liverpool v Man City was just a taste of what’s coming in the new season of the Premier League. This is shaping up to be one of the finest campaigns to witness — intense and yet strange – the World Cup giving us a month-long break this autumn.
The English top-flight presents us some of the great managerial masterminds in Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and City’s Pep Guardiola, each set to make life difficult for the other. London sees its first full season of Antonio Conte at Tottenham, plus Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal to prove his transfer spendings and Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel solving the issues in his squad. And Pep isn’t alone in Manchester either; there’s a new guy in the town named Erik ten Hag at Man United.
Here are the first fixtures that are taking place in GW-1:
Friday 5th August 2022
- Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Saturday 6th August 2022
- Fulham v Liverpool
- Bournemouth v Aston Villa
- Leeds v Wolves
- Newcastle v Nottingham Forest
- Tottenham v Southampton
- Everton v Chelsea
Sunday 7th August 2022
The whole season is going to be fascinating to watch, but let’s talk GW-1 and what can we expect/predict:
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Crystal Palace opens the new campaign on home soil against fellow Londoners Arsenal. The Eagles surpassed expectations last season and looked like a proper football team under Patrick Vieira, finishing 12th in their first season under the Frenchman.
With Arsenal’s All Or Nothing Amazon Prime documentary out, fans can remind themselves of the Gunners’ forgettable performance at Selhurst Park for Mikel Arteta with a 3-0 loss. However, this team has tweaked up the squad during the summer transfer window and looks tough to beat... in the pre-season at least. So they’ll look too strong for Palace, but it’s the first game. Will history repeat? Let’s see.
Prediction: 1 – 1
Fulham v Liverpool
Fulham is back in the Premier League once again, welcoming almighty Liverpool to Craven Cottage. The home side will face a taste of a title-challenging team that really looks extremely solid at every department after defeating Manchester City in the Community Sheild.
The Cottagers did defeat Liverpool 1-0 in March 2021, but they’ve failed to win a single game against them at home since 2011. The Reds will want to start the league in a strong fashion, so let the two-horse title race begin.
Prediction: 0 – 3
Bournemouth v Aston Villa
Another newly-promoted side Bournemouth is also back after one season away. The Cherries welcome Steven Gerrad’s Aston Villa, and interestingly, have a favourable record against the Villans. With three consecutive wins H2H, they’ll hope to showcase their skills with home advantage.
However, Aston Villa has better quality players, and the two teams’ styles are different, so each may need time to adjust and find a groove.
Prediction: 0 – 0
Leeds v Wolves
Leeds narrowly avoided the drop last season, and their best players of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha departed for new clubs, so many are already predicting Leeds to battle relegation. However, this can be a blessing in disguise too, as Leeds boss Jesse Marsch has Patrick Bamford and the majority of his players fully fit and healthy, so he will hope to nick a winning start.
Wolves’ new center-back Nathan Collins from Burnley will be essential for them throughout the season, but their attacking threat may need adjusting again after a difficult season last term. Elland Road fans may turn out to be a little too overwhelming for them and give the Whites the edge for the opening three points.
Prediction: 2 – 0
Newcastle v Nottingham Forest
Surprisingly, Newcastle has not been as busy in the transfer market as some would have thought after so much winter activity, but the window is still open, and the Magpies have a solid squad that ended last season on a brilliant run. Their quest for Europe begins properly with Eddie Howe set to lead, but they face an exciting Forest team back in the Premier League after a phenomenal performance in the Championship.
The visitors have been busy this summer window. All eyes are on former United player Jesse Lingard and some other exciting players (e.g. 4.0m FPL favourite Neco Williams) so one can expect a thrilling game to watch with a few goals here and there.
Prediction: 3 — 2
Tottenham v Southampton
Tottenham looks to be in a great spot under Antonio Conte. Spurs have depth across the pitch to compete in both Premier League and Champions League. Signing Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma can help Spurs achieve their dreams. They can begin their journey with three points against Southampton.
Southampton did have a taste of the relegation zone towards the end of last season, and with little investment the summer transfer window, the Saints may struggle when traveling to the capital to face Tottenham.
Prediction: 3 – 0
Everton v Chelsea
Everton narrowly avoided relegation last season, and manager Frank Lampard will want to avoid that scrap this time around. Despite issues in the Chelsea world, Tuchel will look to close the gap on Liverpool and Man City. Signings like Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly will go a long way to making that happen.
Interestingly, Everton has won its previous four games against the London side, and with former captain Frank Lampard in the dugout, the Toffees will need no extra motivation against Thomas Tuchel’s men.
Prediction: 0 – 1
Leicester v Brentford
The Foxes never really found consistency last season despite finishing eighth in the table with a multitude of injuries. However, Brendan Rodgers’ men have no European campaign this term, so with most of their important players fit and healthy, they can begin their season strongly.
On other side, Brentford defied the odds last season to avoid relegation, but Leicester has won the previous five meetings between the two sides. Plus, the Foxes also have home advantage.
Prediction: 1 – 0
Man United v Brighton
Man United was anything but impressive in pre-season, and new boss Erik ten Hag faces an uphill task during the campaign. All eyes will be on Cristiano Ronaldo, whether he starts or sits on bench after the recent controversial exit during a friendly at half-time against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday. We will also be looking out for new signings such as Christian Eriksen, and surely the Dutch coach will be aiming to impress the Old Trafford fans with his style of football.
While the Seagulls are eager to claim a major scalp on the opening weekend, they will have to do it without key midfielder Yves Bissouma. However, United have never lost a competitive home fixture against Brighton, and surely the Red Devils can’t be worse than last season.
Prediction: 3 – 1
West Ham v Man City
The Hammers are hoping to show they belong among Europe’s elite. And they could spring a surprise on the opening day, having not lost at home to City since 2019. The home advantage could be the key to unlocking a result against the English champions, and with hardly any injury worry, David Moyes is going to field his best possible side.
Man City begins its title defence without Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, and Oleksandr Zinchenko who are no longer on the team. Filling their shoes, Pep has signed Europe’s hottest young superstar, Erling Haaland. Forget the summer debut he had against Liverpool; the Norway international will surely make life difficult for every opponent’s back line. Who knows? The lethal striker may show up with a hattrick to provide Pep Guardiola with his first three points of the season.
Prediction: 1 – 4
And don’t forget to follow us at www.nevermanagealone.com.
What are your predictions? Which team will surprise and upset over the weekend? Any player you think will shine above the rest? Any differentials? What does your team look like? And what games will you be watching as a fan? Please log in and join us in the comments below.