EPL 2015-16: Gameweek 1 Preview – Part 2
The world’s most popular and loved football league is back. Players and fans are all set for a re-union this weekend as football season comes to life again. After pre-season friendlies, promotional tours and sponsor campaigns, it is time for the action to finally shift on the pitch.
Though the transfer window has not yet official shut, clubs have already signed and shipped player in order to build the perfect squad. Though champions Chelsea did not show much interest in summer window, their challengers were busy cracking deal to mount a serious transfer challenge.
With 10 tantalizing matches to look forward to, here is our preview guide to Gameweek 1 of the Premier League.
Arsenal launch their 2015-16 campaign in a London Derby at home against West Ham United. Having beaten defending champions Chelsea to win the Community Shield on Sunday, the Gunners appear to be in fine form this season. Having secured Petr Cech from the Blues had helped solve their goalkeeping problems. But Wenger’s real challenge will be to sustain his team’s form right throughout the season. West Ham have a new manager in Salven Bilic and have made some key signing like Dimitri Payet. Last season, they lost their way after a strong first half. The Hammer will be hoping to secure European football qualification this year.
Newcastle United host Southampton at St. James’ Park in their first match of the new season. New manager Steve McClaren has a tough rebuilding job to do and will know this season could be another tough battle. Having signed Aleksandar Mitrovic, the club will have more teeth up front in attack. But their inconsistency has left Magpies fans fuming of late. Southampton performed beyond expectations last season. Despite exodus of player, Ronal Koeman’s team was in the top 4 for major part of season. They have again lost an influential player in the form of Morgan Schneiderlin this season. It remains to be seen whether the Dutchman can weave his magic once again at St. Mary’s.
Liverpool perhaps are faced with the most daunting challenge in their league opener as they travel to Stoke City. Britannia Staidum is a tough place to play and Brendan Rodgers will be hoping his side emerges out of the battle relatively unscathed. Having signed some quality players, Liverpool’s attack now boasts of Ings, Benteke, Sturridge and Firmino and is good enough to cope without Sterling. Most fans will remember these two sides played on the final day of last season. It was Steven Gerrard’s last Liverpool game and Stoke played party spoilers with a 6-1 drubbing.
Having relinquished their throne to Chelsea, Manchester City will be looking to wrestle back their title this season. Manuel Pellegrini’s men will be looking to a make a statement of their intent with a win away at West Bromwich Albion. City have sold Jovetiv and signed Sterling this season. Tony Pulis’ side have a tough task at hand in the opening game as the Citizens will want to take home nothing less than three points. Their last battle at the Hawthorns ended 3-1 in the favor of the visitors.