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Thread: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

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    Default 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    I have no dog in this fight since my temporary support of Everton failed to grow legs enough to last what's now going on three years of Villa's exile in the Championship.

    The season starts this weekend. NBC is sending the full US crew over to the UK for their opening weekend full court press, so the TV schedule is packed like your middle school bag lunch. While Arsenal starts a new era, it's the usual suspects who are the betting favorites for this season. Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Man United seem to be pretty much the consensus picks for top four, with Chelsea in the mix as well. But that's about it this year, as Arsenal get mentioned but not as frequently as in the past. Chelsea usually reacts well to a manager change, but that's all but unknown territory at Arsenal, where Wenger has ruled since 1996. Talk about a trip into the unknown.

    Speaking of the unknown, pre season predictions of relegation candidates are notoriously full of crap. But the early "favorites" to be in play come relegation Sunday in the spring of 2019 are Cardiff, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, and Southampton. Wolverhampton and Fulham seem to be getting a pass from the usual skepticism of promoted clubs, but fair enough ... they're built for the journey more than Cardiff are. Look for Watford, Brighton and Crystal Palace to take some heat this season as well. I think the league is once again pretty stratified and the bottom layer is pretty thick, while the middle layer is wafer thin. Everton, Burnley, Leicester (and probably West Ham, provided they settle into that stadium at some point) all look likely to bubble around between the haves and the have-nots.

    Should be a pretty good mix at the top, and hopefully Tottenham, Liverpool and United can keep City from running away and hiding this season. There was precious little drama last year and for us neutrals, that's no good.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    I hate to say it, but I like what Liverpool did this summer. Spurs haven’t signed anyone yet, their summer seemed consumed with an on again, off again pursuit of Jack Grealish. Man U is still a mess, with Mourinho grumpier than usual with players missing because of their World Cup Break or injured. At one point on their US tour, he had 5 or 6 senior players fit enough for training. Paul Pogba’s agent is reportedly in England to negotiate his exit, with Barca and Juventus reportedly on the top of his list. Arsenal brought in a new keeper, a couple of defenders and a DM, shoring up their glaring weak spots. Chelsea have only brought in Jorginho and the ancient Rob Green. And Thibaut Courtois wants out; he didn’t show up for training today.

    I think Man City and Liverpool will battle for the top with the others sorting themselves out for 3-6. If Arsenal aren’t in the mix for a top 4, Emery will probably prioritize the Europa League as a way back to the Champions League. At the foot, I think Cardiff will replicate their last trip to the Prem and go 1 and done. I think Fulham and Wolves have done enough to avoid the drop. Joining Cardiff? Throw a blanket over Huddersfield, Watford, Brighton, Southampton and Crystal Palace.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    I also liked Liverpool's summer activity. They SEEM to be on a good, level cruise, but looks can be deceiving and they got a ton of mileage last season out of Saleh, who I think is unlikely to play the caped crusader role two seasons in a row. I like them for 2nd though. Looks often ARE deceiving when it comes to Mourinho's teams. He likes a little chaos and discontent. I'm not marking them down as trouble until at least Christmas. And I think Tottenham needed a nice quiet summer after the last couple of years and playing weirdly disconnected football last season. I think they'll find their sea legs late, but they'll find them. Chelsea and Arsenal are too transitional to predict in my book.

    Bottom line ... City might well run away and hide while that lot sort out their many and varied issues. I don't want to see that happen again, but I suspect it will. I just hope that if they jet away out of the gate, that they take Liverpool with them in their wake so we get at least a two horse race.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    the transfer window is closed, let's play. The season kicks off on Friday. NBC is still using the NBC Sports Gold subscription service for most matches. This week, they're only broadcasting 1 of the Saturday 10:00 matches.

    Friday:
    Man U v. Leicester 3:00 NBCSN

    Saturday:
    Newcastle v. Spurs 7:30 NBCSN
    Huddersfield v. Chelsea 10:00 NBCSN
    Bournemouth v. Cardiff
    Fulham v. Crystal Palace
    Watford v. Brighton
    Wolves v. Everton 12:30 NBC

    Sunday:
    Liverpool v. West Ham 8:30 NBCSN
    Southampton v. Burnley
    Arsenal v. Man City 11:00 NBCSN

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Man U 2-1 Leicester

    After all the sturm und drang for Man U and Mourinho, he handed the captain’s armband to Pogba. He converted a 3rd minute penalty to get them going. Vardy started on the bench, having only returned to the club this week. Luke Shaw broke his duck after 141 senior level games in the 83rd minute to put Man U up 2 but Vardy nodded home a cross that came off the post in stoppage time. The Foxes had a couple of other looks in stoppage time, including a corner at the death but couldn’t equalize.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Wrapping up the weekend.

    Newcastle 1-2 Spurs
    Bournemouth 2-0 Cardiff
    Fulham 0-2 Crystal Palace
    Huddersfield 0-3 Chelsea
    Watford 2-0 Brighton
    Wolves 2-2 Everton
    Liverpool 4-0 West Ham
    Southampton 0-0 Burnley
    Arsenal 0-2 Man City

    The Rafa Benitez watch on Tyneside is underway. He spent the summer bemoaning the lack of transfer activity, he got his goal scorer in Rondon but had to sacrifice Gayle. Mike Ashley wasn’t at St. James’s Park on Saturday.

    Everton played the last 50 minutes without Phil Jagielka, sent off in the 40th minute for denial of a goal scoring opportunity. The pundit consensus was that the card was correct, the reason was not. Neves converted the resulting free kick to level. Richarlison had a brace for,Everton, providing an early return on the huge fee. Neves assisted on Jimenez’ equalizer too.

    Mo Salah picked up where he left off last season, staking Liverpool to an early 1-0 lead. Mane had a brace and Sturridfe also scored, about 20 seconds after coming onto the field as a sub.

    Man City manhandled Arsenal in the Gunners first match since thr Clinton Administration without Arsene Wenger. Arsenal started in a 4-3-3 and City controlled the midfield. It could have been worse, Cech had 6 saves. Arsenal is holding open auditions at left back; Kolasinac was injured in pre-season, Monreal isn’t fit, Maitland-Niles was injured in the match. It’s so bad that Danny Welbeck is training at left back.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    The Rafa Benitez watch on Tyneside is underway. He spent the summer bemoaning the lack of transfer activity, he got his goal scorer in Rondon but had to sacrifice Gayle. Mike Ashley wasn’t at St. James’s Park on Saturday.
    I've seen increasing speculation Stateside that Rafa might bite on the USMNT job if they offered. He's terrifically unhappy at Newcastle and is getting to the age where it's assumed a National Team job might have more appeal. I would NOT be opposed, frankly.

    As for the Prem ... I thought it was about as good an opening weekend as you could expect after a World Cup summer. Some sizzling performances, some controversy, some sweeping changes that clearly still need time to soak in and overall a lot of pretty good football.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Kevin DeBruyne was injured in training today, he could be out about 2 months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Kevin DeBruyne was injured in training today, he could be out about 2 months.
    If any roster is built to take the injury of a player of that calibre in stride it's City's ... but still. Maybe that will put the governor on their start and open up the competition a bit.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbear View Post
    If any roster is built to take the injury of a player of that calibre in stride it's City's ... but still. Maybe that will put the governor on their start and open up the competition a bit.
    True. But he only played 30 minutes against Arsenal and their upcoming schedule isn’t exactly daunting either. Over the next 6 match days, they play the 3 promoted clubs, Huddersfield, Brighton and Newcastle. But over the next 4 they play Liverpool, Burnley, Spurs and Man U. His absence will be felt most in the 3 UCL group stage matches that he’s likely to miss.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Man City said that De Bruyne could be out up to 3 months. That means probably 4 UCL Group Stage matches.

    Saturday:
    Cardiff v. Newcastle 7:30 NBCSN
    Spurs v. Fulham 10:00 NBCSN
    Everton v. Southampton
    Leicester v. Wolves
    West Ham v. Bournemouth
    Chelsea v. Arsenal 12:30 NBC

    Sunday:
    Man City v. Huddersfield 8:30 NBCSN
    Burnley v. Watford
    Brighton v. Man U 11:00 NBCSN

    Monday:
    Crystal Palace v. Liverpool 3:00 NBCSN

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Man City said that De Bruyne could be out up to 3 months. That means probably 4 UCL Group Stage matches.
    And being out that long, it'll probably take him until the Christmas rush to get his legs back.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Meh. Mahrez isn't KDB, but they'll manage. That turned out to be a good pickup.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Cardiff 0-0 Newcastle

    It looked like a Championship match. Newcastle finished with 10 men after Hayden was sent off in the 66th minute. Kenedy missed a penalty for Newcastle at the death but it was poetic justice since he should have been sent off in the first half.

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    Everton 2-1 Southampton
    Leicester 2-0 Wolves
    Spurs 3-1 Fulham
    West Ham 1-2 Bournemouth
    Chelsea 3-2 Arsenal

    Spurs get 2 in 3 minutes to ease past Fulham. Kane records his first ever league goal in the month of August so the hand wringing can stop. He has 90 goals in his last 94 games for club and country. West Ham blew a 1-0 home lead and fall to 0-2 with a -5 goal differential. Chelsea built a quick 2-0 lead but saw Arsenal level before the half. A boneheaded back pass set Chelsea off on a counter to get the winner in the 81st minute. Arsenal are 0-2 for for the first time since 92-93. Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan missed sitters in the first half. Arsenal’s defense is a shambles. Czech was forced to make 8 saves.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Vardy was sent off on a straight red in the 66th minute. Leicester was already up 2-0 and held on.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Didn’t see a minute of soccer today but here are the scores.

    Burnley 1-3 Watford
    Man City 6-1 Huddersfield. A hat trick for Aguero. Huddersfield already has a -8 goal differential. For a club that struggled to score last year, that’s not a good sign.
    Brighton 3-2 Man U. Brighton built a 3-1 lead in the first half, Pogba scored on a penalty at 90+5 to make it close.

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    Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool. Reds get a penalty at the end of the 1st half and their other goal at 90+3 on a breakaway after clearing a Palace corner, with Salah releasing Mane. Palace played the last 15 minutes with 10 men after fullback Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Man City keeper Caudio Bravo ruptured his Achilles in training today, an injury that could keep him out 6 months. That’s going to increase Ederson’s workload dramatically. After selling Joe Hart this summer, City only have 20 year old Daniel Grimshaw with the senior team. Last year’s 3rd choice keeper, Aro Muric, was sent to Dutch club Breda on loan but could be recalled.

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    Default Re: 2018-19 Premiere League Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Man City keeper Caudio Bravo ruptured his Achilles in training today, an injury that could keep him out 6 months. That’s going to increase Ederson’s workload dramatically. After selling Joe Hart this summer, City only have 20 year old Daniel Grimshaw with the senior team. Last year’s 3rd choice keeper, Aro Muric, was sent to Dutch club Breda on loan but could be recalled.
    Might be cheaper to find an old grunt hanging around without a contract, since season long loans are expensive as heck to buy out for a recall. No way they go too long without doing something though. You don't want to be playing for those stakes and be one freak injury away from having a child in net.

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