English Premier League 2019 / 2020
The English Premier League is back, and as we are getting into the season, it is important to take a look back at the first weeks of this unique competition. The champions Manchester City and their title rivals were both dominant in the opening games. And with deadline day signings that took spending by clubs up to £1.41bn, the ultimate question is how some of the teams will fare at the start of the new season. Therefore, in this article, we will take a look at the first weeks of the English Premier League.
The Main Title Contenders
Manchester City started their title defense off with a dominant winning performance at West Ham. Moreover, the attacking trio of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Sergio Aguero continued with their impressive performance by scoring five against the Hammers at the Olympic stadium in London.
In the same time, the Citizens showed a dominant defensive performance on opening day. And that is something that they will build on as they will need to compete with the European champions, Liverpool.
As for the Enfield Road-based team, the start of the season continued in the same fashion as last season. Liverpool got to a valuable 4-1 victory against the returning Norwich in Friday night’s top-flight season-opening game. Mohamed Salah, Virgil Van Dijk and Divock Origi were the goal scorers for the European Champions. It was a performance that sent the message that Jurgen Klopp’s side will be the City’s closest challengers.
The Battle for North London
Both North London teams Arsenal and Tottenham will aim to challenge Liverpool and Man City for the title this season. However, the realistic expectation is that both sides will be aiming to earn the bragging rights for the capital and to secure a top 4 finish.
On one side, the Spurs are strongly reliant on Harry Keane. And he showed his worth as he pulled two late clinical finishes to rescue all three points for his side against Aston Villa on opening day. And despite the departure of Tripier and Dembele, the core of the Spurs team is still here. And with Pochetino starting his 6th season in charge, the team has a great base to build on.
On the other side, Arsenal is still integrating its £125million worth of summer signings. But they have last season’s top goalscorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who proved the difference with a fine finish on against a resilient Newcastle team on opening day.
Manchester United managed to pull out a great win to prove many pundits wrong as they enjoyed a good 4-0 home win against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. Both of these two teams are not considered serious title challengers. But both sides have great players and have talented young managers. Therefore, there is more to come from them.
VAR still divides opinion
Video Assistant Referee system, or also known as the VAR, was the highlight of the day in the opening games. The VAR played a key role in City’s game at the London Stadium after its first introduction to the English Premier League. At the same time, Gabriel Jesus goal was ruled out for offside. Additionally, Sergio Aguero’s penalty was ordered to be retaken. Both decisions were right, but there is an argument that VAR is clearly affecting the flow of games in which it was called.
All in all, the English Premier League has brought a lot of excitement in the opening weeks as expected. And it seems that the race for the title will once again be between Manchester City and Liverpool. As for the battle for North London will once again be exciting as both Arsenal and Tottenham will aim to get a top 4 spot. And possibly to break the dominance of Liverpool and Man.City. On top of that, Chelsea and Manchester United will aim to get their chance for surprise. Therefore, it is safe to say that there will be a lot of excitement in the English Premier League this season. As for their rivals, Inter Milan seems to be enjoying a good start of the season after two impressive wins in the first two games of the season. With Lukaku joining and Conte on the helm, combined with serious investments in the team, the Neroazuri are expected to be right up there challenging for the top.
All in all, the Serie A brings a lot more excitement this season. And with the likes of Maurizio Sarri, Lukaku and Antonio Conte back in the league, the level of competitiveness is high as ever.
It has been a long summer for many Bundesliga fans as the season started. And it seems that this might be one of the most exciting seasons in recent history.
There are several reasons for that, and that is why we will review the first week of the Bundesliga this season.
The title race is back on
The eternal rivalry between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund continues where it stopped at the end of last season. And it seems to get even better now after the events in the final day of the 2018/19 season. Bayern Munich pipped Borussia Dortmund by two points on the last day for a seventh consecutive Meisterschale.
And this season, Kovac, 47, will have the opportunity to build his own team. However, the Bavarians were held at the 2-2 draw on opening day against Hertha at home.
But on the other side, Dortmund was convincing with a 5-1 win against Augsburg.
Dortmund captain Marco Reus, scorer of 11 goals this season with seven assists.
Furthermore, it seems that the tandem of Paco Alcacer and Marco Reus will optimize this Dortmund team to be able to win the league. In addition to that, Jadon Sancho is still developing, and there is a lot more to come from the English talent.
As for Bayern Munich, the additions of Phillipe Coutinho, Lucas Hernadez, and Ivan Perisic should have a galvanizing effect on the team. And these new faces should also compensate for the departures of Renato Sanchez, Franck Ribery and the retirement of Arjen Robben.
Leipzig - The Dark Horse
One other team that needs to be considered is RB Leipzig. Moreover, Julian Nagelsmann team was able to secure a champions league spot last season. His team’s record was a total of 66 points. And that was good enough for the surprising 3rd place in the Bundes Liga season 2018-19. Therefore, the Red Bulls managed to secure a Champions League spot for the upcoming season.
Nevertheless, the quality of this team is on the constant rise as they are at the top of the table in the Bundesliga. Therefore, it is safe to say that RB Leipzig may be a dark horse in the Bundesliga title race.
All in all, the Bundesliga is showing some early signs that it will be even more competitive this season.
Though some major names departed the Bundesliga, the reinforcements such as Phillipe Coutinho, Lucas Hernadez, etc., can also have a significant impact on the quality of the league. Also, Dortmund will aim to build on the excellent performance of last season to mount a serious title challenge. And perhaps, the dark horse in the title will have some more surprises. All in all, there is a high season ahead of us.