Premier League Weekend Preview – Week 1

The Premier League is back after its summer break on Friday, with Arsenal taking on Leicester City in the 2017-18 season opener.

Premier League

This Fridays fixture will be the first time in Premier League history that a game has kicked off on a Friday evening.

Chelsea will attempt to retain the title after success in manager Antonio Conte’s first season in charge. The champions welcome Burnley in their opening fixture at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with the Blues desperate to get off to a perfect start.

New boys Brighton & Hove Albion host Manchester City in their first game in the top flight, and Manchester United open up against West Ham United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Liverpool travel to Watford for their first encounter of the season, and neighbours Everton will battle Stoke City.

Below are the main games of all the top teams reviewed.

Chelsea vs. Burnley

Conte’s men face a tricky first match in the Premier League, with Burnley making the trip south from Lancashire.

The Turf Moor club have established themselves in the top division, but they remain a much more dangerous prospect at home than on the road.

Chelsea have added the talents of Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko to their squad, but Conte has not expanded on his flair options, instead opting to strengthen his core.

Morata will be expected to lead the goal count after arriving from Real Madrid, and the move to the Bridge is a huge opportunity to prove himself as a world-class striker.

Manchester United vs. West Ham

The Red Devils finished last term on a high as they captured the UEFA Europa League, giving them a path to UEFA Champions League football.

However, United were underwhelming in the English league during manager Jose Mourinho’s first season at Old Trafford, but the Portuguese boss made his side difficult to beat.

The self-proclaimed Special One has added Romelu Lukaku from Everton, and United have appeared fluid in attack during pre-season.

The signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea could be Mourinho’s shrewdest buy, allowing United a defensive presence in midfield that will benefit Paul Pogba.

Arsenal vs. Leicester

The Gunners have strengthened and added Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon and Sead Kolašinac from Schalke to the ranks.

Key players such as Mezut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are still at the club, but doubts still remain if the later will be a Gunner’s player by the end of the transfer window.

Leicester welcome new signing’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Harry Mcguire to their squad.  Both signings are expected to slot straight into the first team.

The Foxes have still managed to hold onto Riyad Mahrez, but doubts are still remaining whether he will stay with Roma already having two bids for the player turned down.  Opponents Arsenal are also showing an interest in the Algerian international.

Watford vs. Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp takes his men to Vicarage Road in the early afternoon kick-0ff on Saturday, with the Red’s looking in great shape after an unbeaten pre-season.

Liverpool have added the likes of Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson to the squad this summer.  Klopp is still keen to add another centre-back, with Virgil Van Dijk still his main target.

Marco Silva will be making his debut as Watford manager this weekend, after spending a successful second half of the season with Hull City and almost guiding them away from an impossible relegation.

The Hornets will be boosted by a handful of new signings, including the recent addition of striker Andy Gray from Burnley.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City

What a game to make your Premier League debut.  Brighton welcome the Premier League favourites Manchester City to the Amex, which will undoubtably have a party atmosphere no matter what the result.

City have been the biggest spenders this summer, spending over £200 million on signings such as Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Danilo and Douglas Luiz.

Brighton can pull off one of the shocks of the Premier League if they can beat Pepe Guardiola’s men in the late afternoon kick-0ff on Saturday.

Newcastle United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

The Geordies make their return to the Premier League with Rafa Benitez in charge.  They will be coming up against last seasons runners up Tottenham who have not added to the team, but have a team who know each other inside out and played together for the last two years.

Pochettino will be hoping for all three points against the newly promoted side, and even though no signings have been made they still have the quality in their squad to compete for the title again.

Rafa Benitez on the other hand has had a tough summer of frustration at Newcastle.  Promised large funds by owner Mike Ashley after winning promotion, not many signings have come in which has left the manager considering his future at the club.