Time to start the new thread, since the Community Shield kicks off imminently, and the Premiership starts Friday.

I don't see much change at the top this year with City and Liverpool to renew their battle for the title. Early points will be important, as there are many first-choice players in both squads not quite fit after summer exertions. City likely with the stronger squad to weather the storm until the first international break.

Spurs to finish third, and the usual hokey-cokey of Arsenal, Chelsea, and United challenging for the final CL spot. Maybe one will actually want it this year. Will be interesting to see how Chelsea cope with losing Hazard and having a two window transfer ban. Sure, they've got Pulisic, but Lamps is going to need to play some of the kids and hope for the best. Arsenal are a complete shambles at the back, especially with Koscielny downing tools (even though he has aged and had a number of serious injuries last year). They'll be heavily reliant on Auba and Laca, and will need to try to win every game 4-3 at this rate.

Relegation ... I'm expecting Brighton to go down after last season's escape. Sheffield United and Villa to go down with them. Although Newcastle may be in serious trouble and drop into the Championship after losing Benitez and their goals from Perez and Rondon. Also: Steve Bruce.

Predictions:

1. Man City

2. Liverpool

3. Spurs

4. Arsenal

5. Man United

6. Chelsea

----

Relegation:

18. Aston Villa

19. Brighton Hove & Albion

20. Sheffield United

Original Post

ManUre continue to be the biggest spenders in the EPL. The only positive aspect of that is most of their purchases turn out to be very poor value for the money and the Maguire deal should continue that tradition. In fact that deal makes the Wan-Bissaka look like a screaming deal, which it wasn't.

As for the new season, I don't see any reasons why the top 2 from last season won't be there again, but I think it will be reversed. City's defensive backs are more of a question mark for me. Of course they could spend their way out of that problem although they showed restraint in the bidding for Maguire.

It's very hard to predict what Chelsea will look like this season, other than younger, which is good afaic. The hole Hazard has left is a big one and I doubt Pulisic will fill it so soon, if ever. Their defense is also a big question mark. Christensen and Zouma are going to have to be solid. I do like what I'm reading about the attitude at the club and that counts.

Attitude is something Spurs don't have unless you're talking bad. Out of the top 4 this year. Unfortunately that opens the door for either United or Arsenal. As Fut said, the latter have unaddressed defensive holes, yet they keep signing forwards and big money ones at that. I'd much rather see a dark horse finish above both of them. Leicester City? Everton? They should both be pretty good this year.

1) Liverpool

2) Manchester City

3) Chelsea

4) Arsenal

Relegation is the future for Sheffield United, Brighton and Norwich City.

First manager to get sacked. So much hate for Steve Bruce. I'm going with Solskjaer.

Now that I've picked myself up off the floor from laughing so hard about Arsenal signing David Luiz I have to ask, is Harry Maguire worth £72 million more than Luiz? My feelings about Luiz's defending abilities are well known here, but there is no way Maguire is that much better.

Speaking of ManUre and their continuing financial misadventures, they are set to lose £20 million on Lukaku. Yes, I realize the above mentioned Luiz was not exactly Chelsea's finest financial dealing either, but they do that less frequently than United and are improving. United otoh seems to take a loss on just about every player they sell these days.

Season (EPL) starts tomorrow and transfer window closes tonight.

I'm actually waiting for Luiz to play before I say what a great pick up he is (or isn't).  Crazy.

Luckily Aubemayang saved Arsenal on Sunday.  I'm actually quite excited to see how this season turns out.  Losing Ramsey sucked, but Ceballos is a quality player and while not as gifted offensively as Ozil, he may provide the tracking and defensive work rate that Emery is looking for (and that Arsenal need).  I like the front three of Aubemayang, Lacazzete and Pepe. Hopefully the Gunners get enough out of Torreira/Xhaka/Guendozi to support their still crap back line, in which Luiz is the leader...

Any comments on the disallowed City goal against Spurs? I think it was ridiculous. VAR out of control. Not a fan.

It looks like this could be a long season for Chelsea, although there are some positive signs. I'm willing to wait for the future with a younger team.

Ha ha. Barcelona paid something in the order of €125 million for Coutinho 18 months ago and now they loan him to Bayern Munich for €8 million. Well done.

I'm thinking my pick of Norwich City to be relegated may have been a bad one.

Steve - IFAB changed the rules on handballs to whenever it hit someone's arm or hand, even accidentally, it's a foul. City got screwed by the rule change. VAR, which I think should only be used for goals, showed the arm getting hit. I don't like City (anyone who buys trophies I'm against), but they should have won.

I realize the IFAB changed the rule as of June 1 to read

‘It is an offence if a player gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then scores in the opponents’ goal or creates a goal-scoring opportunity.’

What I didn't realize was the word "their" doesn't only apply to the goal scorer (Jesus in this case). It inadvertently hits Laporte's arm on the way by so it's handball. However, it could have inadvertently hit a defenders arm and not be a penalty. Poor rule change imo and then add VAR of which I am not a fan on top of it and I think City got screwed. That said, I like the 2-2 draw better than 3 points for City.

steve8 posted:

I realize the IFAB changed the rule as of June 1 to read

‘It is an offence if a player gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then scores in the opponents’ goal or creates a goal-scoring opportunity.’

What I didn't realize was the word "their" doesn't only apply to the goal scorer (Jesus in this case). It inadvertently hits Laporte's arm on the way by so it's handball. However, it could have inadvertently hit a defenders arm and not be a penalty. Poor rule change imo and then add VAR of which I am not a fan on top of it and I think City got screwed. That said, I like the 2-2 draw better than 3 points for City.

Exactly - and if it worked the other way and Man C avoided a loss with a similar call, I would have been yelling bloody murder so . . . 

steve8 posted:

I realize the IFAB changed the rule as of June 1 to read

‘It is an offence if a player gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm and then scores in the opponents’ goal or creates a goal-scoring opportunity.’

What I didn't realize was the word "their" doesn't only apply to the goal scorer (Jesus in this case). It inadvertently hits Laporte's arm on the way by so it's handball. However, it could have inadvertently hit a defenders arm and not be a penalty. Poor rule change imo and then add VAR of which I am not a fan on top of it and I think City got screwed. That said, I like the 2-2 draw better than 3 points for City.

Far from intentional.  Should have allowed the goal.  New rule requires better definition.

Intentional handball isn't the rule anymore. Any handball is the rule. I agree that it's ridiculous. They tried to make the rule cut-and-dry, and swung the pendulum in the complete opposite direction. Watch Lloris talking to the ref during the VAR decision. Lloris just shakes his head in disbelief - and the decision went in their favour! He even said that the goal should have stood in an interview after the game.

They'll need to adjust the rule again next year.

futronic posted:

Intentional handball isn't the rule anymore. Any handball is the rule.

So am I misunderstanding what I read about the rule? There can still be unintentional for a defender. The new rule applies to the attacking team. So had the ball hit the defending players arm instead of Laporte's, the goal would have stood.

I was planning to post something this morning about your new central defender but you beat me to it Azwiese. So far it looks like £8 million for Luiz wasn't such a bad price after all...for us!

Definitely enjoyed watching ManUre lose to Palace and Rashford missing the penalty just added to the enjoyment. Knives are already out in the red side of Manchester.

As for Chelsea, I didn't see the game but glad to see Abraham and Mount played well. It may take some time, but the kids will be alright.

Speaking of kids, it's good to see most of the EPL teams giving their youth a chance so far this season. City seems to be the exception.

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