Hi guys, Glen Johnson here. What a start to the new Premier League season. Liverpool v Norwich kick off the season on Friday and then it’s the small matter of Man U v Chelsea on Sunday. I preview both matches alongside my weekly accumulator recommendation.
Looks a perfect start for Liverpool
As first games go, Norwich at home looks a perfect start for Liverpool. They are pretty much unbeatable at home anyway and given they’re taking on a newly-promoted side, it looks an ideal opportunity to start the season on a positive note.
If Jurgen Klopp can get his players to repeat last season they’ve got a fantastic chance of winning the title, but in Manchester City they are up against one of the best teams in Premier League history. Liverpool only lost one game last season and still came up short, so it’s going to be very hard to surpass City this season.
As for Norwich, as with any promoted side, it’s going to be a real struggle to stay up. There is such a big difference between the Championship and the Premier League and clubs don’t realise until they are in the top flight just how hard it is.
The intensity and quality in the Premier League are so much higher than the Championship. So many players can bang in 20 plus goals in the Championship and then come up and really struggle. It’s a totally different beast.
Manchester United v Chelsea
I think Frank might have wanted an easier game to start his career at Chelsea, but in some ways it might be a good thing he’s playing a top-six side like United so early on. When you play the big teams, it can be a bit of a shot to nothing, so if they lose he won’t get anywhere near the criticism he might have got had he failed to get a result against a newly-promoted team.
I never really minded when we played a big side, though it’s always nice to play one of your major rivals after a few games when you’re in full-throttle. The first game of the season can quite often be a bit scrappy as everyone isn’t quite up to speed. You want to play the better sides when you’re at full fitness with a few games under your belt.
The transfer ban doesn’t make life easy for Lamps at Chelsea, but given his affiliation with the club, he was surely the best candidate to take the job. When playing with him, he always gave the impression he’d do a good job as a manager. He did everything to detail and always took note of what the manager and coaches were doing. He’s been managed by some of the best around, so will have picked up plenty of traits which should really help him this season, especially when it gets tough.
If he can somehow get them into the Champions League, I think it will be an amazing season. However, I think a Europa League spot is much more realistic, though if they finish worse than sixth, it’s got to go down as a disaster. They’ve got still got fantastic players and even though they’ve lost their best, they should still have enough quality to be competing with the better teams in the division.
Man Utd have obviously spent a fair amount of money this season, but I’m not sure it will guarantee them a spot in the top-four. Themselves, Chelsea and Arsenal look pretty well-matched and I think it will be a close race for that final Champions League spot.
They’ve spent £80million on Harry Maguire, which is a lot of money and probably a bit too much in my opinion. He’s a good player no doubt, but playing for a club of United’s size is a different ball game to play for Leicester. You have the ball so much more as teams sit off and respect you. At Leicester, his game would have revolved around defending, but he’ll have the ball so much more now and he’ll have to show he’s more than just a defender.
My weekly accumulator
Here are my selections for this week’s acca. Fingers crossed I’ve found the winning formula!
⚽ Liverpool (to beat Norwich)
⚽ Watford (to beat Brighton)
⚽ Tottenham (to beat Aston Villa)
⚽ Leicester (to beat Wolves)
⚽ United Chelsea (draw)
Good luck !!!
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