Saturday Preview

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It feels like the 2019/20 Premier League season only just finished but 2020/21 begins in earnest this weekend, and we can hardly contain our excitement.

Game of the weekend 💪

Liverpool v Leeds

It’s the Premier League champions against the Championship winners. Jürgen Klopp vs Marcelo Bielsa. It has all the hallmarks of a classic, it’s just a shame the new season won’t be greeted by the famous Anfield roar this time.

The big questions hanging over Liverpool at the moment is whether they can maintain their outstanding level of the past two seasons in 2020/21, and whether their lack of significant summer strengthening will come back to bite them.

A good win on the opening day would help allay those concerns but Leeds will be buzzing to be back in the big time and this won’t be an easy opener for the champions.

📊 Fun fact: Leeds have played more Premier League matches on MD1 without losing than any other team in the competitions history (P12 W5 D7), while Liverpool have won six of their last seven games on the opening day (D1), scoring 15 goals in their four under Jürgen Klopp.

Potential upset 😨

Fulham v Arsenal

After finishing last season by winning the FA Cup and beginning the new one by winning the Community Shield, Arsenal fans have plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

A little too cheerful, perhaps, and we have a feeling they could come crashing back to earth with a thud in the opening day’s early kick-off.

With their disastrous last stint in the Premier League still fresh in everyone’s minds, many are tipping newly promoted Fulham for the drop again this year.

But manager Scott Parker is a promising young coach who’s made a couple of shrewd acquisitions in the transfer market this summer and we fancy him to get one over on Mikel Arteta at Craven Cottage.

📊 Fun fact: Arsenal have lost just one of their last 13 Premier League matches against Fulham – a 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage in January 2012.

Easiest 3️⃣ points

West Ham v Newcastle

The sale of Grady Diangana to West Brom appears to have plunged West Ham into a state of disarray, with captain Mark Noble going public with his disappointment and manager David Moyes reportedly clashing with the club’s senior figures behind the scenes.

But then again, when are the Hammers not in a state of disarray?

Newcastle, meanwhile, have had a serene summer by their standards. They may not have billions in the bank, Mauricio Pochettino in the dugout and Edinson Cavani up front, but they have made some solid signings and we’re backing them to capitalise on the current chaos at the London Stadium on Saturday.

📊 Fun fact: West Ham have scored two or more goals in each of their last five league matches against Newcastle.

Too close to call 🤔

Tottenham v Everton

Fans of both of these clubs have cause for optimism heading into the new campaign. The summer transfer business has been decent, the new kits are nice, and surely this season will be better than last.

But this season simply has to be better than last for both Spurs and Everton or heads will roll, and the pressure of expectation could weigh heavy on both teams.

Those who’ve been watching Tottenham’s All or Nothing documentary will be familiar with José Mourinho’s X-rated team talks, and he’ll no doubt be warning his players that James Rodríguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré will “fuck them up” if they’re not careful.

Mourinho’s teams traditionally hit their peak in his second season and they should give Carlo Ancelotti’s side plenty to worry about in this game.

📊 Fun fact: Everton have won just one of their last 19 Premier League games in London – a 2-0 victory at West Ham in March 2019.

🔥 Your Fantasy Football team’s captain should be …

Sadio Mané

The Liverpool striker was one of the very best players in the league last season and we think he will pick up where he left off, with a goal and an assist against Leeds on Saturday.

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