|| July 14th 2016 | Next >|
The New Season Beckons…
As the ‘excitement’ of the European Championships dies down, the new season is rapidly approaching, kicking off in just under a month’s time.
We face a tough opening game, Jurgen Klopp’s first full season in charge kicks off at The Emirates on the Sunday at 4pm. In terms of signings, we are still to make a big striker sized splash in the transfer market, with Xhaka our only signing of note… ahem. The Swiss midfielder won over the plaudits in the Euro’s with some impressive Man of the Match performances. Him and Aaron Ramsey both played some amazing football and us Arsenal fans will be hoping they can carry this form into the new season with their club sides, i.e. us.
With Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott all set to return, it’s only the long term absence of Danny Welbeck which blights a very strong squad to try and win our first league title for years. Any more additions to come – who knows, Arsene Wenger is cagey as always, but if Ramsey, Sanchez, Ozil, Oli G and Koscielny are given longer to rest than the other players, we could be looking at the same of story, bare bones for the visit of Liverpool. Hopefully this summer, we’ll see sense and get the final pieces of the jigsaw and challenge for the title.
Other highlights of the opening weekend are Chelsea v West Ham on the Monday night, and Spurs beginning their defence of their top 3 slot, which they so hilariously achieved on the last day of last season with a 5-1 defeat at 10-man, already relegated Newcastle – you can see the odds on the Geordies coming straight back up to the Premier League over at Tom Waterhouse.
Leicester begin their title defence away at Hull (where a season ticket still costs just £250!), we are still yet to see if Claudio Ranieri can keep his title winning squad together, of course. Rumours this week that N’Golo Kante could be off to Chelsea, however, Vardy has already turned down Arsenal and signed a new deal, so this will have been an amazing close season for Leicester if The Tinkerman can keep his Champions united and working for each other like he so famously did last season.
Man City have a new manager in charge, with Pep Guardiola at the helm for their opening game at home to Sunderland. Sunderland pulled off yet another great escape towards the end of last season and face City in the late Saturday night game.
Manchester United sadly welcome back Jose Mourinho back to the Premier League, and face a tricky tie away to Bournemouth as the other Sunday game kicking off at 1:30pm. His new signings, including the glamour signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be keen to get off to a winning start.
The Monday night game, is Chelsea, who also have a new manager, the passionate Italian Antonio Conte, who’s side will face West Ham, always a tasty encounter. Bitter London rivals, with Chelsea keen to prove last season’s disastrous campaign, spear headed by the aforementioned Mourinho was just a blip.
Newly promoted Burnley kick off at home to Swansea, while Middlesbrough take on Stoke at home. Southampton host Watford at St. Marys in what promises to be an amazing weekend to introduce the new season.
Published: 14th July 2016
|Author: Ian H.
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