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Chelsea signed Chilwell for £50 million which doesn't do much for me. I am unconvinced. OTOH I did like them grabbing Sarr (and Silva) for free.

Maguire goes drinking in Greece and comes back to no England place and a silent ManU.

Where will Messi go? He earns £500,000 a week. That's an obscene amount of money so PSG and either team in Manchester are the most likely to.

 EPL starts in 2 weeks. Working on my predictions.

Last edited by steve8
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Chelsea continue to splash the cash around with the signing of Kai Havertz. Competition for attacking midfielders and forwards is going to be tough. They need to get rid of a few and hopefully get some money...hello Jorginho and Batshuayi.

Yet still no move for a goalkeeper. Does Lampard want to give Kepa another chance? Is he being told he has to?

Well, the season kicks off tomorrow, so it's prediction time:

Top 4:

  1. Liverpool
  2. Man City
  3. Chelsea
  4. Man Utd

 

Relegation:

18. Brighton

19. Fulham

20. West Brom

I've been going back and forth on the top two, since Liverpool cakewalked to the title after the restart, I'm not sure if they'll be able to keep up the pace of the previous three seasons (CL final, CL winners, league winners). That said, they had a little more time off than City and played fewer games after their early exit against Atletico Madrid. 

Pep will have City pushing to regain their crown, but I still think they're suspect at the back and that may dent their chances once again. Ake as their main defensive signing seems more like a backup for Laporte instead of someone to play with, as they are both left-footed.

Chelsea busted open the piggy bank after the transfer ban and brought in a lot of big players. Will be interesting to see how everyone settles. Thiago Silva on a free will help organize the defence, but he's 35 now and isn't a long term solution. The keeper situation is a mess, as Lampard obviously doesn't trust Kepa, and the attempts to sign Mendy from Marseille haven't been fruitful as of yet. They'll continue to leak goals from set pieces until it's sorted.

United also need to sort out their keeper situation, as De Gea had a really suspect season, and there's no way Henderson came back from Sheffield to sit on the bench. They also need a dominating centre back, defensive midfielder, and a true number 9. Martial is not that, and regardless of how well Greenwood played after the restart, he's still young.

I think West Brom and Fulham will really struggle and drop straight back down. Potter has Brighton playing more fluid football, but I don't see where the goals are coming from.

Leeds back in the big time for the first time in many, many years. Plenty of huge rivalries reignited and it will be interesting to see how Bielsa operates. The other Prem teams better put extra padlocks and tall barriers around their training facilities to protect against prying (binocular) eyes!

My predictions

1) Manchester City

2) Liverpool

3) Chelsea

4) Arsenal

I think ManUre are going to have defensive problems as well as in goal so I'm picking Arsenal ahead of them. I'm assuming of course they will sign Aubameyang and make him a happy player.

I do not think Liverpool will repeat their performances of the first half of last season and they lost some momentum in the latter stages. Agree that City hasn't done much to reinforce their back line but the window is still open and I will not be surprised if they end up paying the asking price for Koulibaly.

I'm now of the opinion that Chelsea should wait on the goalkeeper front. The options in this window do not look great. Give Kepa another chance as he is still young. Come January there may be more keepers available.

I'm finding the relegation picks to be more difficult but I'm going to go with West Brom, Brighton and Burnley. The latter is probably a surprise to some but they've let several players leave and only brought in a keeper who will not displace Pope. Furthermore they're very likely to lose Tarkowski who is the anchor to the defence and since they have little offence, the team. 

First manager to get sacked...Sean Dyche, but he won't be unemployed for long.

Gunners looked pretty decent. Unfortunately it was against a recently promoted side. But hopefully it’s a confidence builder. Willian looked spry and Aubameyang was solid as per usual. Crazy part is that Arteta’s starting squad left out a #10, their most expensive  transfer (Pepe), their breakout player from last year (Saka), and their best player from the end of last season who they just got back from Real (Ceballos). It’s early obviously, but things are pointing up for Arsenal.

@azwiese posted:

Gunners looked pretty decent. Unfortunately it was against a recently promoted side. But hopefully it’s a confidence builder. Willian looked spry and Aubameyang was solid as per usual. Crazy part is that Arteta’s starting squad left out a #10, their most expensive  transfer (Pepe), their breakout player from last year (Saka), and their best player from the end of last season who they just got back from Real (Ceballos). It’s early obviously, but things are pointing up for Arsenal.

I didn't see the game but saw highlights and read the reports afterwards. Willian playing for Arsenal in blue... Was also surprised that Saka sat on the bench.

Could Everton be a sleeper this year? It's hard to gauge from a victory over the current Spurs team.

And could there actually be a race in the French Ligue 1 this year? PSG drop their first 2 games and their gloves against Marseille.

Last edited by steve8

Every year it seems I root in futility for newly promoted Fulham or Norwich, and every year they just stumble.  Regardless, I hope Fulham can turn it around.

Everton looked solid yesterday.  There new signings looked sharp esp James.  They'll compete for Europe if they continue to play like that.

The LFC/Leeds match was a cracker.  Leeds should inject some energy into the league.

Would've loved to see a full squad 2nd half in that Chelsea-Liverpool game. Chelsea has a lot of potential, but also a few question marks.  Liverpool looked good though.  I'm a bit nervous for Monday's matchup between them and the Gunners.  Arsenal didn't look as good this weekend, but good teams find ways to pull it out when they aren't playing well.  Ironic that the two guys involved in a shoving match before last week's game ended up connecting for the winner this week.  

I would have loved to see a full squad second half too. Not sure what to say anymore about Kepa. Goodbye? It will be interesting to see who Lampard starts on defence and goalkeeper today in the Carabao Cup.

Fire sale continues at Barcelona. Suarez to Atletico for nothing (looks like you dodged a bullet there Futronic) and Vidal and Rakitic for songs.

We're only 2 games into the season but I'm thinking my pick of Brighton for relegation might be a poor one. They looked decent in defeat against Chelsea and then beat Newcastle (and Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup). Tariq Lamptey looks like he could be a really good player. Which dumb ass club sold him to Brighton for a song? I'd take him over Reece James.

@steve8 posted:

Fire sale continues at Barcelona. Suarez to Atletico for nothing (looks like you dodged a bullet there Futronic) and Vidal and Rakitic for songs.

 

Bitey McBiterson in the same team as Chiellini? That would have been interesting in the changing room/on the training ground.

It's also ridiculous to hear about the attempted rigged language test in Perugia. Corruption in Italy? Never!

Anyway, glad the transfer didn't go through. More youth and pace is required in the squad to refresh it. There will be strong challenges from Inter, Atalanta, and maybe even Milan this year, so Pirlo needs to get the team ticking over. A much better performance in their first game compared to the side-to-side, lack of penetration play under Sarri (I know it was a favourite of Steve's at Chelsea - you can still keep Jorginho).

I saw a report that Arsenal might be in the mix for Jorginho...which I don't understand. Arsenal has strengthened their back line, Xhaka hasn't made a costly defensive lapse in quite some time (knock on wood before the Liverpool match), and if anything, Arsenal already has several guys like him (Elneny, Torreira, Guendozi).  

I really hope that Arteta figures out a way to get Ozil back in the squad.  I know Ozil is a defensive liability, but unless Ceballos is on his game, there are times now where Arsenal doesn't have much creativity in the middle of the field, and has no other plan than getting it out wide to Auba or Willian.  For all his flaws, there aren't too many players in the world that can see the field and place perfectly timed/paced balls the way Ozil can. 

@flwino posted:

MC sucks!  Three penalties

I thought Chelsea's defence was grim on Saturday until I watched the City-Leicester game. I picked City to win the league??

The new handball rule is a joke imho. What the hell was Dier supposed to do when Carroll headed the ball down at his arm? Similar situation for Joel Ward of Palace. This is an aspect of the game which should be left to the referees discretion.

Suarez made some impression in his first 20 minutes of play for Atletico Madrid.

Good CL draw yesterday for haters of ManUre.

I shouldn't be too smug though as Chelsea may not have it that easy. Sevilla are always tough and Rennes is off to a flying start in Ligue 1 this season.

On a different note, I have to say the Gunners have an excellent keeper in Bernd Leno. He played really well last year before getting injured and has picked up right where he left off.

Crazy weekend of results.  Liverpool result was definitely unexpected.  I've never seen so many deflected goals in one game.  Unlucky, to say the least.  The ManU score was to be expected after Martial got sent off, but they showed no spine after the red card. 

Stoked about Arsenal getting Partey from Atletico.  Definite upgrade over Elneny, and really like the central mid combo of Xhaka (who has turned his Arsenal career right around after that implosion last year), Partey, and Ceballos.  

The EPL table does look pretty funny. Four of the supposed big 6 are in the bottom half and Chelsea is only above that on goal difference.

ManUre's revenues may have dropped by 20% in the past year but they are still apparently lining the pockets of the referees. How else to explain that non-call of Maguire's all-arms tackle of Azpilcueta in the box? How could the VAR official not call that?  You can bet that if it occurred at the other end it would have been called for the team which always leads in number of penalties awarded in their favour.

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