The first matchweek of the 2020/21 Premier League campaign has been concluded and there were a few shocks in the matches that did take place.
Whilst Manchester United, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Burnley were able to sit with their feet up at home in front of the television, there were some extraordinary encounters that made for excellent viewing.
Indeed, Liverpool and Leeds United’s meeting at Anfield was a paritcular highlight, as the high-octane performances certainly made for great viewing, whereas Tottenham Hotspur’s poor performance against Everton provided a few talking points about Jose Mourinho’s side.
West Ham United and Fulham both looked poor, whereas Chelsea’s new star-studded line-up failed to set the pitch alight down in Brighton on Monday night. Bettors may have had more fun at the best online casino available to them, in truth.
However, matchweek 2 provides another chance for clubs to impress and set out their stalls to mount their respective challenges:
Everton vs West Bromwich Albion
As mentioned, The Toffees got off to a great start with their victory against Spurs, as the newly-shaped midfield trio of James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure looked hugely impressive.
West Brom started off with a disappointing defeat to Leicester City at home and Slaven Bilic will want to see more. Unfortunately, it would not be a surprise if Carlo Ancelotti’s side took all three points in this one.
Leeds United vs Fulham
Two of the sides to have won promotion from the Championship last season, Leeds United will host Fulham at Elland Road once again. Marcelo Bielsa’s provided the Premier League with an impressive introduction, although the number of goals they conceded will need to be addressed.
The latter could be said of Scott Parker’s Fulham as well, as they struggled against Arsenal and looked a Championship side still. Leeds should win this one.
Manchester United vs Crystal Palace
The Red Devils will kick things off against Crystal Palace after being given an extended period of rest following their exploits in the Europa League. Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek will likely want to start quickly as they will want to replicate the form United had at the end of last season.
Palace managed to record a solid win against Southampton, as they took their chances when they had them, however the trip to Old Trafford could be a long afternoon, as they will likely have to set-up the barricades if they are to have a chance of obtaining anything from this one.
Arsenal vs West Ham United
Two teams in completely contrasting form; Arsenal look as though they have the confidence to win every game whereas West Ham United look as though they are scared to play at times.
Mikel Arteta’s side were emphatic against Fulham last weekend and will want to continue that form, whereas the David Moyes’ side looked frightened against Newcastle United. Expect much more of the same this weekend.
Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur
Two sides who would have been frustrated with their defeats last weekend, both will be seeking blood. It would not be a surprise to see this game remain close and, potentially, end in a bore-draw. Let’s hope not.
Newcastle vs Brighton
Newcastle will be on a high after beating West Ham, whereas Brighton will want to move past their defeat to Chelsea with a win on Sunday. Both sides will be set up to win the game and we could be in for a great spectacle, or one where they both cancel each other out, annoyingly.
Liverpool vs Chelsea
Perhaps the contest of the matchweek, Liverpool vs Chelsea has all the ability to grab the headlines as it did a few months ago when played at Anfield. It is unlikely that a scoreline as large as 5-3 will be replicated, however Jurgen Klopp and Frank Lampard will want their players to go out and attack from the off. Could Timo Werner make the Reds regret not moving for him? Chelsea will certainly hope he does.
Leicester vs Burnley
Brendan Rodgers will have been happy with what he saw from his side against WBA last weekend and will want them to continue in the same vein. Burnley will get their season underway with the trip and Sean Dyche will want his side to carry on from their impressive showing last year. However, Jamie Vardy and co. could prove to be too much for the Clarets.
Aston Villa vs Sheffield United
The Villans have managed to secure Emi Martinez to improve their goalkeeper options significantly, whilst securing the future of Jack Grealish with a new deal will have significantly improved the mood around the camp. Sheffield United will have been pleased with last season’s efforts, although Chris Wilder will know that counts for nothing this year.
The Blades were beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers last Monday and will want to get back to winning ways in a tie that looks evenly-poised.
Wolves vs Manchester City
Manchester City’s 2020/21 Premier League campaign starts with a tough contest away to Wolves on Monday night, as Pep Guardiola will demand immediate improvements. Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake have both been signed to improve the team and will likely get their chance at Molineux.
Indeed, Wolves will have been delighted with their start as they defeated Sheffield United in their opener, whilst Nuno Espirito Santo’s decision to sign an extension will likely have the club even more optimistic about their future under the Portuguese manager.