“Summer – picnics, long walks and warm weather wishing; It’s nice enough but it always kind of feels like somethings missing.”
Sky Sports advertising campaign for the upcoming season really has hit the nail on the head. Whilst Wimbledon, The Ashes and Le Tour De France have engrossed the nation this summer, that 3 month period between the end of one season and the beginning of another really is quite eerie. It is safe to say that there certainly is a different feel to a Saturday afternoon without Premier League football. Whilst Sky are masters at dramatizing anything and everything, their advert bears a lot of truth.
Anyhow, far from being a true gambler, I always have a tradition of placing an accumulator on the first weekend of the Premier League season. You can see what I have gone for below with some short explanations below to back up my choices!
Liverpool vs Stoke – Savundra says “Liverpool Win“
I’m backing Liverpool to have a successful season. Needless to say, a lot will boil down to Luis Suarez, who misses out on the first 6 games. I think they will sneak a win here on the opening day of the season; something which they have failed to do for over 10 years I believe. Stoke are in a season of transition and I can see them struggling to pick up anything at Anfield, even if Liverpool are likely to be under strength.
Arsenal vs Aston Villa – Savundra says “Arsenal Win”
There’s no two ways about it – Arsene Wenger has had a shocker this summer! Failing to acquire any players of note before the beginning of the season has left the fans scratching their heads. Whilst it appears they are finally willing to spend big money, following the failed bids for Suarez and Higuan, they have yet to make a marquee signing. However, I believe they will have too much for Aston Villa at the Emirates. Villa have done well to hold on to Benteke and I am backing them to have a strong season.
Norwich vs Everton – Savundra says “DRAW”
Norwich have done some great business over the summer, picking up Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel. I am looking forward to seeing how they cope with the rigors of the Premier League. I am also interested to see how Everton are going to get on this year under Roberto Martinez. The former Wigan manager hasn’t been overly busy in the transfer window, but he’ll be delighted that he’s managed to hold on to Leighton Baines and Maroune Fellaini (until now!). I think this will be an entertaining score draw as both sides look to get their feet under the table quickly in this 2013/14 season.
Sunderland vs Fulham – Savundra says “DRAW”
Paulo Di Canio has made some interesting signings this summer and really has stamped his authority on the squad with some wholesale changes. I’ll be keeping a close eye on how Jozy Altidore and Emanuele Giaccherini get on. With Adel Taarabt, Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent, Fulham stand a very good chance of perhaps a Top 8 finish. However, I don’t have enough confidence to back them away from home so I’m going for a 1-1 draw.
West Brom vs Southampton – Savundra says “West Brom win”
West Brom are a very difficult side to beat at home. I think Nicolas Anelka will either be a massive hit or a big flop for them, rather than somewhere in between. Steve Clarke has bedded in well at the Hawthorns and I think he’ll get the ball rolling with a comfortable home win. They tore apart Liverpool on the opening day of last season and that’s my only real explanation for backing them this time around.
West Ham vs Cardiff – Savundra says “West Ham win”
Downing. Cole. Jarvis. Nolan. There will be a great atmosphere at Upton Park and I think Cardiff will be a little overawed. The four players mentioned above could be too much for the Welsh side and this is one of my bankers for the weekend! My only concern with West Ham is that their reliance on Andy Carroll. If he gets injured then it could all fall apart. Not 100% he’s starting tomorrow, but I reckon West Ham have got enough creativity about them to open Cardiff up regardless!
Swansea vs Manchester United – Savundra says “DRAW”
As a United fan I am slightly pessimistic about this season. We have a very tough opening 6 fixtures and I believe tomorrow’s game in Swansea will be very tricky. Hopefully Robin van Persie can pull something out of the bag, but I think it will be a very tense evening for David Moyes. Swansea have got some very good ball players and I believe Jonjo Shelvey is a brilliant signing! I think this one will be a cracker!
Chelsea vs Hull – Savundra says “Chelsea Win”
Don’t think this one needs explaining.
Manchester City vs Newcastle – Savundra says “Manchester City Win”
City always beat Newcastle. I think they have bought well over the summer and importantly they have done the business early. Whilst this has meant they appear to have payed a premium on players, they have had time to integrate the squad in enough time before the beginning of the season.
Crystal Palace vs Tottenham – Savundra says “Tottenham Win”
This game has goals written all over it. I think Palace will struggle this season and I can’t see them staying up. Even without Bale, Spurs should have enough in the tank. I have been extremely impressed by AVB since he’s been at the club and he’s made some great signings. Soldado to bag a brace on his debut and Defoe to nip in with one too!