The fever of the Premier League is finally returning after three months. Without a shadow of a doubt this season will be different. How big can a change get when you realise that there will be no Sir Alex to lead out the Manchester United side, and also, the inevitable return of the Special One – Jose Mourinho. With massive changes at Chelsea, United, City etc. It will be a feisty encounter and fascinating no doubt, to see who takes the glory this time around.
Lets talk a bit about who will be facing who on the opening day of the Premier League 2013-14 season. Here are my thoughts on the possible outcomes and what players can make a name for themselves over the course of the new season.
Liverpool vs. Stoke
Stoke have done extremely well in the past couple of years to stay up and become a side which most of the teams fear because of how they play but that might change this year with a shift in the managerial position. Is it possibly the last chance for Mark Hughes to really make a name for himself? On the other hand, the real task for Liverpool would be to retain the services of the Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. Rogers has done well to bring in good, solid young players and they can play a good role in the progress of the team. If Suarez stays, surely Champions League spot is not out of reach for them?
Prediction for the fixture: 2-0 to Liverpool.
Arsenal vs. Aston Villa
Aston Villa will need to come good this season. However, they did look to be enjoying their football towards the end of last season but they need a better start this time around. With Benteke staying for another year, it is a real advantage for them. Arsenal really need to break their bank in the remaining days of the transfer window as they have a real chance of making into the top-three this year. If they don’t, I see a real possibility of them them losing out on the fourth spot to Villas Boas’s Tottenham.
Prediction for the fixture: 2-1 to Arsenal.
Norwich vs. Everton
Everton had a very decent season last year, like they have had under Moyes most of the years but would a change in manager affect them? It remains yet to be seen. Martinez had a very odd season with the Latics but he did manage to win a trophy which was absolute crucial for him in landing the Everton job before seeing his side get relegated from the Premier League. Kone for them would be a player to watch out for as he will have better support at Goodison Park. Norwich on the other hand have done extremely well in the transfer market thus far and look like real competition. With the likes of Gary Hooper, Leroy Fer, and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel joining, I see them finishing in the top half of the table.
Prediction for this fixture: 2-1 to Norwich.
Sunderland vs. Fulham
Di Canio played an important role last season for the Black Cats in their quest to stay up. Under him, Sunderland looked like a better side. The wins against Newcastle and Tottenham boosted Di Canio’s reputation and fans started getting behind him even more. There is no doubt that he is looking like a fans favorite which is a good thing for the club after such a dodgy spell under Martin O’Neil. Fulham have a change in the ownership which can bring in massive overhaul hence it is difficult to analysis how they will perform but they have been, as expected, rather slow in the transfer market which will see them struggle this season as well. They need to get their away form back on track if they want a higher finish in the table.
Prediction for this fixture: 1-0 to Di Canio’s men.
West Brom vs. Southampton
Both teams are good competitors for this season but West Brom will suffer from the loss of Romelu Lukaku, who played a vital role in most their games and is now back at Stamford Bridge. Steve Clarke has done well thus far bringing in Nicolas Anelka, a former Premier League star, to play alongside Shane Long. Both combined can give trouble to the Saints' defense. Southampton are another team who are looking strong. They managed to renew the contract of Luke Shaw and in Rickie Lambert combining with Jay Rodriguez, they have good strength upfront. Gaston Ramirez was another unsung hero last year and he will also come good this time around. Expect good finish from both the sides when the season ends.
Prediction for this fixture: 2-2 draw.
West Ham vs. Cardiff
It is always difficult for any team to get promoted and cope with the calibre of the Premier League. It will be a very tough battle
for them this season to stay up. They are doing very well in the transfer market and recently they confirmed the signing of England international, Steven Caulker. West Ham on the other hand still have players who will look to be making a massive impact on the side, especially Jarvis and Carroll. The Hammers have also signed Stewart Downing, with his inclusion the fight for the top half will become even more interesting. As far as this fixture is concerned, Hammers will have the advantage of home soil and they will just nick it, in my opinion.
Prediction for this fixture: 2-1 to West Ham.
Swansea vs. Manchester United
Everybody assumed that Swansea wouldn't be able to cope after Brendan Rogers walked out the door but they proved everyone wrong and performed even better. They played lovely football which was pleasing on the eye, precise. They keep the possession incredibly well and they showed they are good enough to take on any team when they beat Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. With Michu sticking around and the likes of Wilfred Bony coming in, they look like a very decent side capable of great things. It’ll be interesting to see them play in Europe as well. Manchester United however look puzzled at the moment. Their transfer window has been a disaster thus far. If they really are looking to buy someone, they should act quickly but also make sure that they don’t lose out on Rooney, especially to Chelsea.
Prediction for the game: 2-2 draw.
Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham
When you gain promotion, you look to make instant statement and Crystal Palace would be looking to do the same but I believe they won’t have enough attacking power to upset the Tottenham side who look incredibly strong especially with the inclusion of Paulinho and Soldado. Villas Boas has made the right moves in the transfer window and when the season kicks off, he’ll be picking up all the rewards. They have a realistic chance of finishing fourth this season and I am tipping them off to do so if Wenger’s side fails to bring in quality players like Gustavo or Suarez.
Prediction for the game: 3-1 to Tottenham.
Chelsea vs. Hull City
Chelsea have done well against Hull City in recent years and it looks very unlikely for a Jose Mourinho side to surrender to a newly promoted team in his first home game. With Lukaku coming back to strengthen the forward line for Mourinho and the likes of Mata, Hazard and Oscar settling in, it looks all set for the Special One to work his charm and regain the title back. The inclusion of Schurrle and Van Ginkel will give the bench a stronger look, something which it has lacked in previous seasons.
Prediction for the game: 4-0 for the Blues.
Manchester City vs. Newcastle
After many additions to the Newcastle side last season, they still looked disjointed. Perhaps this is the season where Alan Pardew makes sure that his side gets off to a good start and replicate what they did two seasons back. Manchester City, with the managerial change and lots of spending look in good shape. They have brought in some quality players in the shape of Jovetic and Negredo who can go on and make a name for themselves. City will surely be fighting for the title with the squad they have. Dzeko and Negredo are the ones to watch in their side this season.
Prediction for the game: 2-1 to Manchester City.
There you have it people. Those were the opening fixtures of the Premier League 2013-14. I personally cannot wait till the season kicks off. It is going to be a fantastic one, impossible to call whoever is going to win the title and who is going down.
Written By: @1on1chance
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!