Credits: Aman Bhardwaj
Come August 8th, the coveted English premier league, or the EPL kicks off as Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspurs. Each club will be raring to start the campaign on a positive note by making their opponents bleed. As the anticipation and delirium around the fateful Saturday grows, we at ED conducted a survey to find out how football enthusiasts expect the top teams to fare on the opening day.
1. Chelsea Vs Swansea City- A bloodbath at ‘Sea’?
The reigning champions were unstoppable when on the offensive in the first half of the season and impenetrable in defense in the second. The blues went out on the pitch, executed Mourinho’s plan (to park the bus) to perfection. Right now, they’re the team to beat and despite Costa’s fitness issues (Costa be Hazarad’ous for ya all), look set to win against Swansea if fans and critics are to be believed.
The swans enjoyed a good last season and Andre Ayew may well prove to be the cheapest steal of the summer. If the swans are on their best, they can very well manage to eke out a draw, if not a win. (Or will the swans be drownin’?)
I say, 65-15, in favor of the Blues.
2. Liverpool Vs Stoke city
Liverpool endured a tough last season, due to the transfer of their star striker Luis Suarez, the imminent departure of their Talismanic captain Steven Gerrard and a host of other problems. Stoke took full advantage of their opposition’s shortcomings, trouncing them 6-1. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that history will repeat itself. Liverpool have spent heavily in the transfer market to sign proven performers like Firmino, Benteke and Milner and are a vastly improved side, at least on paper.
On the other hand, Stoke have signed two consistent bench warmers in EL Ouriachi and Ibrahim Affellay, while the injury to their captain Ryan Shawcross could deal a deadly blow to the side’s prospects against Liverpool.
Thus, we can see why football buffs tip Liverpool to vanquish Stoke in their upcoming encounter (Stoke may as well have a stroke afterwards).
I call it 70-25, in favor of the Reds.
3. Arsenal Vs West Ham
Arsenal ended last season on a high, despite a disastrous first half of the season, all thanks to a second half resurgence that has of late become one of the defining characteristics of Wenger’s Arsenal.
On the contrary, West ham lost the last 3 league games, finishing a dismal 12, a result that saw manager Sam Allardyce kicked out of the club. Coming straight from a community shield win over league Champions Chelsea, Arsenal, playing at home are expected by the football community to win and win big over west ham, given they don’t choke in what has become the traditional Wenger style!
Gunners, all the way. No need to call it. In any case, there is only one right call, and this is it.
4. Manchester City Vs West brom
City flattered to deceive early on in the last season, finishing 2nd, a result, which if repeated this season that will see Pelligerini share Allardyce’s fate. After all, City bosses have broken the bank to sign Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling and will sign other targets, if available. Money is not a constraint; therefore the expectations of city bosses are sky-high.
West Brom, on the other hand have signed Lambert from Liverpool and Darren Fletcher from Manchester Utd, smart signings that will help improve the club’s performances. But isn’t beating Man City a tall order for West brom? Well, that’s one of the salient characteristics of the premier league; any team can thump another on its day. However, City are expected to overwhelm West Brom by flexing their financial muscle on the pitch.
I call this match 60-20, in favor of Manchester City.
5. The Rumble in the jungle- Manchester United Vs Tottenham
Will Rooney and co. wreak havoc or will the new wonder kid around the block, Harry Kane have his say? That’s the question which has been doing the rounds lately. United, after a slew of summer arrivals, boast of an upgraded team while Tottenham are relatively unchanged. However, United’s central defense seems as leaky and disorganized as last season, as the manager Louis van Gaal remains unaware of his best defense.(#vanGaal is so confused that he called Chris Smalling, Mike in the USA!)
Be that as it may, fans and critics from around the world argue that Manchester United have a better midfield and an all around better team as compared to the Totties. Whoever wins, this contest will definitely be a nail biting encounter!
As close as this match sounds, I’ll have to give a slight edge to the Red Devils. 40-35 to Manchester United. Although, it is equally likely that the match will end in a listless draw.
So folks, don’t forget to tune into your television sets to catch all the action!