Is that a collective sigh we hear? Yes, we know. You are reading your very first Premier League preview on CrossAndNod, albeit for matchday 1. Why is that? Because the Premier League is back.
It has been 89 days of absolute frustration, boredom and mind-numbing restlessness. However, every tunnel has daylight in sight. Today is that tunnel.
Ladies and gentlemen, the wild ride that is the Premier League is back. 380 matches that are guaranteed to knock your socks off.
The good news is that the CrossAndNod team is going to be here for every second of it. With our Premier League previews, match reports, news and other features, we are going to make sure that you enjoy the best season of your life.
Our Premier League previews are mostly going to focus on the top 6 teams from last season. We should do all teams? No dears, you can’t kill us.
Let’s get right into it!
Liverpool vs Norwich City
Liverpool’s 18/19 Premier League campaign ended with a feeling of something missing. They ended up with 97 points and still managed not to win the league.
Well, the top bosses at Liverpool certainly don’t feel like the “something missing” is a marquee signing. 32-year old keeper Adrian was brought in to replace the departing Mignolet and that was it.
However, you can be sure that Liverpool are definitely gunning for the title this season. Who better to open the season against than premier league new boys, Norwich City?
Norwich City gained promotion to the premier league last season after finishing first in the Championship. They will certainly be looking to make an impression in the Premier League.
The Canaries will be without crucial defenders Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann. However, you can certainly expect them to push for a draw with top goal scorer Teemu Pukki.
Pukki scored 29 goals in 43 appearances as his team cruised to a Championship title.
All in all, you can expect the pressure of a curtain-raiser at Anfield to get to Norwich City. Expect Liverpool’s rampant frontline to put a couple past Norwich.
Liverpool’s star man Mohammed Salah will certainly be looking to get on the scoresheet after squandering big chances against Manchester City in the Community Shield match played last week.
The Egyptian is on our list of best midfielders to pick in FPL and many will be looking to him to shine.
Jurgen Klopp is certainly showing no pity to Norwich City. The German boss said,
“What’s very important is that as the team that won the Champions League last year, we have to stay the team nobody wants to play against”.
“We have to be angry again, we have to be greedy again, we have to be all these things. That’s what I will ask the boys for and that’s what we have to show (against Norwich)”.
- Liverpool have not lost against Norwich in the past 12 meetings. W10, D2.
- Norwich’s last victory against Liverpool at Anfield was in 1994.
- The last 4 meetings between these sides have produced 22 goals. Expect a goal-fest.
- Norwich have conceded 45 goals against Liverpool in the Premier League, more when compared to any other side.
David: Them go too lash Norwich
Ademidun: Make Salah sha score hat trick. My FPL team has to gbe body.
West Ham vs Manchester City
Last season’s champions had the perfect season, domestically. Their dominance in England reminded us of a certain Spanish team’s dominance under Pep Guardiola.
Their maiden appearance in this Premier League preview series is against West Ham and they will be raring to go in this matchday 1 fixture. Barring an injured Sane, Pep has a full squad to select from.
City new boys Joao Cancelo and Rodri might start at the London Stadium. Sergio Aguero who has scored a total of 6 goals on opening weekend will be looking to add to his tally. The Argentine is on our list of top FPL forwards for this season.
West Ham will be looking to make things hard for City. New signings Sebastian Haller and Pablo Fornals will be looking to start and make an impression.
Top FPL goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has also overcome a groin problem and is available for selection. The Hammers will definitely be looking to give an exciting City side a run for their money.
- Manchester City have 7 successive victories against West Ham. They won 4-0 at the London Stadium last season.
- City are the only team to have won 4 times at the London Stadium.
- West Ham have just one Premier League defeat at home in 2019. That was back in March against Everton.
- If City win on Saturday, they will equal the record of nine successive opening day wins.
Ademidun: As Liverpool dey fire Norwich, na so City go dey give West Ham.
David: No reason am, West Ham fit drag am.
Ademidun: Them drag am reach na 3-0. Aguero hat trick.
David: Him dey your FPL team?
Newcastle vs Arsenal
Nicolas Pépé. Dani Ceballos. Kieran Tierney. David Luiz. Gabriel Martinelli. William Saliba. Arsenal’s Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi was able to mastermind a spectacular transfer window at the Emirates.
Granted, the Gunners lost Laurent Kolscieny to Bordeaux but there is certainly a buzz of excitement in the Arsenal dressing room. The Gunners will be travelling to Tyneside looking to make a statement of intent.
It will be interesting to see how the gunners line up in a fixture they lost last season. Unfortunately our Naija boy, Iwobi will not be a part of this fixture.
Our Naija boy 🇳🇬, Alex Iwobi is now an Evertonian!
— CrossAndNod (@CrossAndNod) August 8, 2019
Newcastle will want to punish an Arsenal backline that is without regular right-back Bellerin. New man Andy Carroll will certainly be looking to bully both Mustafi and David Luiz (both of whom are error-prone).
Carroll joins Newcastle’s record signing Joelinton to boost the club’s attack. The Magpies also have new winger Allan Saint-Maximin to call upon.
Lowkey, this game may be poised for fireworks.
- Arsenal have won 3 out of their last 4 visits to St. James Park. They have lost 1.
- There have only been 10 draws between these two sides.
- In 12 appearances against the Gunners, Carrol has scored 5 times.
Ademidun: Expect a surprise
David: Eh? Arsenal to win 0-2.
Ademidun: Away clean sheet? That’s a surprise too, my guy.
Manchester United vs Chelsea
This is arguably the biggest game of our matchday 1 Premier League preview.
2019/2020 is the first season in a long while that both Man United and Chelsea fans are approaching not brimming with excitement.
Chelsea might have ended last season on a high by lifting the Europa League. But, the arrival of Dutch striker “Trans Fer Ban” later in June has long since replaced any potential excitement with “we go dey alright.”
At Man United, the fanbase are well and truly over the unbeaten fairytale run that their team had at the beginning of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s reign. After their final 10 games last season, they now have a clarity of expectations!
When the fixtures computer rolled out Manchester United vs Chelsea back in June, neither set of fans were too impressed. However, they can draw confidence from the fact that their teams have the best Matchday 1 records in the entire Premier League.
If preseason games are anything to judge by, both of these teams are evenly matched in almost every aspect except maybe in defence.
Having spent north of £100 million to shore up a leaky defence that shipped 54 goals last season, Man United will be harder to score against this term.
Our preview for this Premier League matchday 1 fixture? It will be less exciting than in the past. Expect a cagey affair where both sides will be cautious and look to gain an advantage.
Chelsea will be depending on inspiration from new boy, Christian Pulisic and their “exciting” new number 10, Willian to survive these HAZARDous times.
Man United have Paul Pogba, but they can’t be too sure which Paul will show up on Sunday. He is still the subject of transfer speculations to a certain team in Spain.
Apart from Eric Bailey and of course, Romelu Lukaku, Solksjaer has a full squad to pick from for this matchup. New boss, Lampard, on the other hand, will be without long-term absentees RLC, CHO, and Antonio Rüdiger.
Key midfielder Ngolo Kanté is in a race against time to make the journey to Old Trafford.
- These two have been victorious in more opening Premier League fixtures than any other side in the top flight. Man United (18), Chelsea (17).
- In their last 13 meetings against Man United in the Premier League, Chelsea have won 5 and drawn 6.
- As a manager, Lampard has a 100 per cent record at Old Trafford. His Derby team beat United on penalties in last year’s Carabao Cup.
- When Man United play at home on opening weekend, they don’t lose. 19 victories and 6 draws in their last 26. The loss to Swansea in 2014/2015 being the solitary defeat.
David: Looks like a stalemate.
Ademidun: I agree. This match go dey boring.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Aston Villa
This season marks the first time in 10 years Tottenham will be playing at home for the opening fixture of their Premier League campaign. They will be looking to start strong ahead of their away game at Manchester City next weekend.
Without making any signings last summer, Spurs fell just short of Champions League glory last term. Little wonder Daniel Levy has opted to splash the cash this summer.
The club has brought in top performer, Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon. Dynamic midfielders Ryan Sessegnon and Giovanni Lo Celso also joined the club late on transfer deadline day.
Tottenham will be without a couple of big hitters on Saturday. Son, Dele Alli, Dier and Aurier are all unavailable. However, they still have enough firepower in their locker to see off the threat of newly-promoted Villa.
Top FPL forwards pick, Harry Kane has looked very sharp in preseason. He’ll be looking to break his famous August hoodoo earlier than he did last year.
Villa will come to London looking for a big scalp on Saturday. They have spent about £100million to bolster their squad which is reflective of their intent this season.
Aston Villa are splashing the cash
Jota | £4m
El Ghazi | £8m
Hause | £3m
Wesley | £22.5m
Targett | £14m
Mings | £20m
Konsa | £12m
Engels | £7m
Trezeguet | £8m
Luiz | £15m
Heaton | £8m
Nakamba | £11m
— CrossAndNod (@CrossAndNod) August 1, 2019
Naturally, that level of investment has raised expectations in the West Midlands. Playing top-flight football next year has to be the minimum achievement.
Cult heroes, Jack Grealish and John McGinn, together with new signings Trezeguet and 22 million quid striker, Wesley will be looking to stand up to the might of Spurs on Saturday. An upset on the cards, maybe?
- This fixture doesn’t normally end well for Villa. Spurs have won 9 of the last 10 meetings between the two with Villa scoring just thrice in that stretch.
- Villa have been victorious in their last three Premier League opening fixtures with those three wins coming away from home (Arsenal 13/14, Stoke 14/15, Bournemouth 15/16).
- Kane loves a Villa game. He has scored 4 in 5 Premier League meetings against them.
David: Nothing for Villa. Kane hat trick!
Ademidun: Dem go too chop am actually.
That’s the end of our matchday 1 Premier League preview. Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Adiós amigos!