Manchester United vs Swansea—Its the start of a new era at Old Trafford. Louis Van Gaal’s new 3-4-1-2 formation has been designed to get the best out of the best attacking players at Manchester United, but the squad looks short to genuinely challenge for the title. United will have lots of injury problems to deal with as Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Johny Evans are injured or doubtful. Its a travesty that United haven’t really kicked on in the transfer market. Swansea have made lots of changes in the summer, and Garry Monk is the full time manager now. But it will be a tough start for the visitors as United will look to set the pace early.
West Ham vs Tottenham—West Ham are reeling under the injury of Andy Carroll and their other strikers. To be without a fit striker before the first game is not a good start for Sam Allardyce at all. West Ham beat Spurs three times last season, and it wont be an easy game for Spurs. Spurs are still in the market for new players and I think both sides will be happy with a draw.
Arsenal vs Crystal Palace—Tony Pulis departing Palace just 2 days before the season must be a terrible blow after the miracle he achieved last season. Lack of transfers was the reason Pulis departed, and having spent only 2.5m on 4 players the Eagles must splash the cash. Arsenal have had a very good summer window and still want to sign a player or two, but this is a game they will win even though it wont be straight forward. After last season’s opener vs Villa, Arsenal will take any win
Newcastle United vs Manchester City— This is a tough start for City. Their manager claimed after the Community Shield game that they weren’t ready for the season, and I don’t see their Argentine players starting which can see Edin Dzeko and Stefan Jovetic leading the line. Newcastle will be at home cheered by the vociferous Toon Army, and after spending money on lots of internationals the expectations must be high at St.James Park. However I can see a narrow close City win, unlike the thrashing last season
Liverpool vs Southampton—Southampton’s 3 former stars will have an early re-union, however Adam Lallana will miss the game. Liverpool will be looking to continue the fast starts they had last season and I can see Phillipe Coutinho becoming their new spearhead now. However they face a fight to replace Luis Suarez. Southampton will find it hard to repeat last season’s heroics but they wont be in relegation dogfight either as they have signed good players.
Burnley vs Chelsea— Turf Moore under lights will be a fanastic atmosphere and the memories of beating Manchester United will be fresh. Burnley will give everything and I think Chelsea will relish that, as their extra quality will be tested and that may enable them to express themselves. This is a game tailor made for someone like Diego Costa who looks like a typical Mourinho signing and if he can pass the Turf Moore on a Monday night test he will get better.
-Ricky Jana [Ricky is a Football Analyst with Sportz Cosmos. You can reach him at the gmail id: sportzcosmos]