The English Premier League resumes today, Saturday, 12th September, after just two weeks of pre-season.
The Premier League normally starts in August, but this time, it was pushed forward due to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the world.
Liverpool Football Club won last season’s showpiece, after a three decade hiatus, and deservedly so, as they ran away with the title. However, the English champions have struggled in the transfer market, even as their top 6 rivals strengthened their ranks going into the new season.
So far, they have brought in only a left back cover, Kostas Tsimikas. As a result, many fear they will struggle to defend the title.
Chelsea have brought in the most reinforcements, adding Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen, Ziyech from Ajax, Timo Werner from Leipzig, and Thiago Silva from Paris Saint Germain to a squad that finished fourth last time out.
Ben Chiwell and Malang Sarr were also added. Many believe Chelsea will unsettle the big two of Liverpool and Manchester City. However, blending six new players into a team sometimes takes time.
Arsenal has also sought to build on last season’s FA Cup triumph by extending the loan deal of Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos. They have also brought in Brazilians Gabriel, a defender, from French side Lille and former Chelsea winger, Willian on a Bosman deal.
Others include Pablo Mari from Flamengo and Cedric Soares from Southampton, amongst other youth players.
Manchester United have also brought in a few new faces, extending Odion Ighalo’s loan term from Shanghai Shenhua and adding Dutch defender,
Donny van de Beek from Ajax, especially as Harry Maguire got himself into a fracas with the law.
The former English champions have been in a long transfer saga involving Borussia Dortmund winger, Jadon Sancho. Pundits already rate United high going into the new season.
There is no season City doesn’t recruit new players, and after a season where they won nothing, adding to the departure of club legend David Silva, they needed new faces more than ever.
And as usual, the oil billionaires at the Etihad didn’t disappoint as they have brought in Pablo Moreno from Juventus,
Ferran Torres from Valencia and defender
Nathan Ake from AFC Bournemouth. Many reckon City will stage a comeback this time around.
Even after the London side brought in Jose Mourinho to help revive the clubs fortunes on the pitch, after the downward spiral the club was on at the beginning of last season, Tottenham still struggled and there were clear signs they needed reinforcements.
They have done well by recruiting Southampton midfielder, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton,
Joe Hart from Burnley on a free and
Matt Doherty from Wolverhampton Wanderers. Hopes are high in North London going into the new season and they are desperate to rediscover the form that took them all the way to the Champions League Final two seasons ago.
Leicester City spent the best part of last season in second place and then third place, but in the end, they missed out on Champions League qualification, as they finished 5th. They have let Ben Chiwell, their starting left fullback, join Chelsea. Meanwhile, they have made just one signing, bringing in Timothy Castagne from Atalanta.
Others like Wolves also did very well last season, completing a league double against Manchester City, while playing high tempo football. As the new season is starting, they have brought in Matija Sarkic from Aston Villa on a free,
Fabio Silva from Porto,
Fernando Marcal from Lyon, and
Vitinha from Porto on Loan. Wolves will again push forward to try to break into the top four.
Opening day fixtures include:
Fulham vs Arsenal
Crystal Palace vs Southampton
Liverpool vs Leeds
West Ham vs Newcastle United
West Bromwich Albion vs Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton