Premier League 2019-20: New signings, new rules

The premier leagues kicked off a few weeks ago. Manchester City is striving to win the championship for the third time in a row.

Liverpool, runners-up team in the last season, opened the campaign against Norwich. However, two main points of contention have been the rules and the video assistant references, both seemingly a big factor in the battle for the championship this season.

The Premier League has experienced three managerial appointments, and 11 football clubs made significant transfers. The 2019-2020 premier league season is expected to be more exciting than any other, and Betway gives you an opportunity to place your bets, so don’t miss that chance.

Manchester City gathered 198 points in the previous two seasons. They are battling to be recognized as the first club to with the title for a third consecutive year since a hat-trick of titles for Manchester in the 2007 to the 2009 era. Liverpool, who collected 97 points is expected to be the leading rival team for City.

New signings

The premier league has experienced the normal turnover of teams, managers, and players this season. Manchester United signed England defender Harry Maguire at £80m from Leicester City. This was one of the biggest signings of this summer, as the Red Devils received £74m from Italian club Inter for Romelu Lukaku.

Arsenal spent £72m to get winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille while Manchester City welcomed Atletico Madrid’s midfielder Rodri for £62.8m. They also bought Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo at £60m. Tottenham Hotspur spent £53.8m to get Tonguy Ndombele from Lyon. Note that this was their first signing since January 2018. Chelsea signed Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid at £40m and this was possible despite the transfer ban due to the fact he was registered with the team last season (on loan).

Sheffiled United, a promoted club broke the transfer record for the fourth time as Aston Villa spent more than £100m on transfers. Furthermore, another promoted team, Norwich, has signed 11 new players for smaller fees, free transfers, and loans.
Brighton, Newcastle, and Chelsea hired new managers. Maurizio Sarri resigned from Chelsea to join Juventus and Frank Lampard, a club legend, took up the mantle. Rafael Benitez’s contract at the Magpies ended, and he was replaced by Steve Bruce, the former Sheffield boss. Chris Hughton’s contract at the Seagulls was
terminated, and management hired Graham Potter.

Video assistant referee and new laws

The video assistant referee device that is now a common thing in football has been introduced to the premier league.

This is the first time the system will be used in EPL. According to the EPL’s guiding principle, the VAR will be used for visible and clear mistakes, missed incidents in the
four forms of match-changing events. They include mistaken identity, straight red cards, goals, and penalties. The Premier League intends to use this technology less frequently for other competitions to keep minimum intrusion to the game.
Many new rules have been introduced this summer, and they will make a debut in the EPL.

For instance, there are some changes in the wording of the handball rule. Unintentional handball is a crime in case it results in a goal. However, the law applies if the arm of the player is above the shoulder or makes the body bigger.

The Premier League will consider the head-to-head outcome to separate clubs level on goals scored, goal difference and points. The league has also introduced a winter break. However, there will be games on two weekends. Five games will be played
on the weekend of 8th February while the other five on the following week. Remember to take advantage of Betway and to place your bets so you have a better chance to make money.

6 classic Arsenal vs Tottenham clashes from the Premier League era

Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham (2011/12)

Arsenal, it is fair to say, did not get off to the best of starts in 2011/12. An opening-day draw with Newcastle United was a disappointment but the worst was still to come, with the Gunners following up that stalemate at St James’ Park with a 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool and an infamous 8-2 demolition at the hands of Manchester United.

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Predicted lineups for round 4 of the Premier League season

It’s time for gameweek four of the 2019/20 English Premier League season.

Here’s a look at all the predicted lineups for the ten fixtures over the coming weekend.

Southampton v Manchester United

Southampton XI: Gunn, Valery, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Danso, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Boufal, Ward-Prowse, Adams, Ings

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young, Pogba, McTominay, James, Mata, Rashford, Greenwood

Questionable: Bertrand, Redmond, Obafemi (Southampton); Martial, Sanchez (Manchester United) Continue reading

The winning mentality of Liverpool looks unstoppable as they go top of the Premier League

Who is going to stop Liverpool winning their first league title since 1990? Everyone would say Manchester City, but it’s probable that not even Pep Guardiola’s stars are going to be able to do that. The reason is that they won the title last season and not Liverpool.

Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners at Anfield against a very good Arsenal side who had their chances too, but yet again it felt as if the Reds did not break out of second gear in order to do it.

Liverpool have started the season with 3 wins from three games, beating Norwich 4-1 and then Southampton 2-1 and this game and inbetween that they popped over to Turkey to win the Super Cup from Chelsea. There is just this incredible winning formula with the club and with Jurgen Klopp in charge he has so many winning qualities that Liverpool have the perfect manager.

But one wonders how and why Liverpool have started so strongly. Yes they are a great team after all let’s remember they are the European champions but after such a taxing season you could have wondered if the players would have felt at least some psychological damage. It has never been known for a club to get 97 points and not win the league, and also they lost just 1 game all season which was ironically against Manchester City.

But there is a massive hunger and passion from within the club to simply continue their journey. Their nearest rival City are a brilliant team with one of the best coaches in the history of football, but at the same time they have won the league two times in a row. What is their motivation? To win a 3rd title in a row? Well that is a good one which has only in modern history been won by Manchester United, and of course City would love to replicate that. But one could wonder if the motivation of not winning the league for 30 years is a bigger one- of course it is.

The irony of last season was that City ended up winning what Liverpool really wanted and Liverpool won what City really want. Also the quality of Liverpool and a never say die attitude is evident also. Look at the 2018 Champions League final when they lost against Real Madrid, they came back the year after and won it. Can they do the same in the Premier League? There only have one realistic challenger and make no mistake City will push them, but when the league gets down to the business end where these two teams rarely drop points don’t be surprised if it is Liverpool that find that second wind.

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Arsenal out to end dreadful recent record at Anfield – but the performance could be as important as the result

Anfield has not been a happy hunting ground for Arsenal in recent years. Since the start of 2014 the Gunners have collected two points from a possible 18 at Liverpool’s home, with an aggregate score of 22-8 across those six matches.

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Barcelona v Arsenal: 3 things to watch

With the Premier League season a week away, and La Liga following the week after, pre-season friendlies are ramping up the intensity.

Barcelona host Arsenal in what is sure to be one of the best Joan Gamper Trophy games for years.

Normally, this is a chance for the Catalans to flex their muscles and, invariably, score a hatful, but the north Londoners certainly won’t be arriving at the Camp Nou to be the whipping boys. Continue reading

Nicolas Pepe signing can change Arsenal’s fortunes

Arsenal have surprised the football world by splashing the cash and signing forward Nicolas Pepe from Lille for a cool £72m, and the player has all of the tools to put the Gunners back on the map again.

The surprise element comes in different packages for Arsenal who have become famous for not spending over the odds on a player and also because they are a club who love to haggle for a price. But in Pepe’s case that was non existent and the deal was seemingly one of the smoothest the club have made in years. They enquired, they offered the money and terms and the player is now wearing the famous red shirt.

Arsenal only had to fight off Napoli for his signature in the end but that shouldn’t deter from how good Pepe is and the club have signed a world class player. Pepe had an excellent season at Lille where he scored 22 goals in 38 games but that only tells one side of the story. His goals, commitment and excellent play helped Lille finish runners up to PSG and qualify for the Champions League. He also made PSG run ragged and scored a few goals when Lille thrashed the eventual Ligue 1 champions 5-1 a few months ago.

Pepe has that quality about him where you feel at 24 he has matured and has the potential to become a world class player. Up until his signing it was looking like a quiet period for a club the size of Arsenal who had only brought in some loans and splashed out on Gabriel Martinelli for £6m, a Brazilian forward, unproven but young but comes without the wow factor- in Pepe they now have that.

But here is the deal clincher- he will almost certainly be paired up front with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who was excellent last season in finishing as the Premier League joint top goal scorer with 22 goals. Now can you imagine the potential of both of these players together? Arsenal suddenly have arguably the deadliest strike force in the league. What this means for Alexandre Lacazette is anyone’s guess, but if these two hit it off then Lacazette’s career with the Gunners could well be coming to an end.

As for the long suffering Arsenal fans this could finally be the signing that signals a positive change at the club. While they are too far off from league titles, a good league run, and  a cup run and or win is certainly on the cards as the club try and get back into the Champions League where they will feel they belong. Roll on next season.

Will Arsenal’s season be bleak after scant transfer signings?

If Arsenal fans thought that life under Unai Emery would be different in the transfer market, then think again, because on the evidence of it Arsenal are not going to be breaking any banks soon.

The Gunners who missed out on Champions League football last season despite reaching the Europa League final have been very quiet in the transfer window.

Though six players have come in, there is a catch to most of them and in truth Arsenal have failed to bring in a big name. How else will they be able to expect to break into the top four for next season?

The clubs most eye catching capture has been Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos but the midfielder only comes to the club on a strict one year loan deal that is reportedly costing them a cool £15m, on top of that it is believed that the contract does not include an option to buy if the player has a successful debut season in the Premier League.

Ceballos only ranked 35th in La Liga midfielders for last season in the stats although he started just 13 matches and then played another 10 from the bench in a largely forgettable season for the club. He could do well for the club, but well enough in one season to make a difference is questionable.

On the same day Emery got to finally sign Saint Etienne’s William Saliba for £27m and he is thought of as being one of the players to watch in the future. That is all well and good but doesn’t this sound a tad bit like Arsene Wenger’s final days, scooping up very young talent, that might one day make it? Well be that player that the fans have been wishing for or not Saliba has been directly loaned back to his former club, so Gunners fans won’t get the chance to see him until the 2020/21 season anyway.

There is another three signings that went through the radar mostly because these players will join the Academy. And then there is Gabriel Martinelli, a player that mostly nobody has heard of and he was bought for £6m from Brazil.

The season coming up looks rather bleak for a club whose rivals have spent big and just look that much better equipped to deal with the season even if they hadn’t splashed out. Last season Arsenal finished 5th and just a point behind Tottenham and yet they never really looked like securing a top 4 place.

Lest we forget that in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal possess the joint top goal scorer from last season, but even with that taken into account, surely fans were expecting a big budget and some big names coming into the club? Some players namely Mesut Ozil have not been pulling their weight and look too comfortable in the side.

This season could, on paper, and as It stands be one of Arsenal’s worst for some time. After all they have been on the decline for the last few years and have seen Tottenham over take them, they are now failing on a regular basis to qualify for the Champions League too.

Emery has his work cut out.

 

 

Real Madrid might regret allowing Mariano Diaz to leave… again

As far as underwhelming replacements go, Real Madrid’s signing of Mariano Diaz as their number seven following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo was right up there with Manchester United handing Michael Owen the same number after the exit of the Portuguese forward nine years previously.

Of course, Mariano was never really meant to replace Ronaldo. He wasn’t even meant to be a first team figure upon his return to the Santiago Bernabeu just one year after leaving for Lyon. The Spaniard was signed to ease Real Madrid’s dependence on Karim Benzema and to provide the Frenchman with some competition for his place.

Mariano

There were good reasons to believe Mariano could do this. He’d just enjoyed a highly successful season with Lyon, proving to many that he could handle the pressures of playing first team football. Opportunities, however, were few and far between for Mariano last season, with the striker now reportedly on his way out of Real Madrid again.

Arsenal have been mentioned as potential suitors. A loan to another Spanish Liga club has also been mooted. Either way, it seems likely that Mariano will once again leave Real Madrid by the close of the summer transfer window. Zinedine Zidane, it seems, has made his mind up on the player.

Real Madrid might regret allowing Mariano to leave… again. They might have splurged a lot of money on signing Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt, they might still have Benzema and now Eden Hazard to provide additional goal threat from the wings, but depth will still be required in the attacking third, especially if players are to leave the Santiago Bernabeu between now and the start of the new season.

Marco Asensio, Isco, Lucas Vazquez and Gareth Bale could all be sold this summer, with Real Madrid keen to get rid of some of their deadwood. This is necessary, but cutting away too much could leave them thin in the attacking ranks. Mariano could be one of the players worth keeping around.

Look at the options Barcelona have across the frontline. They have Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Malcom. On top of this, the Catalans are expected to complete deals for both Antoine Griezmann and Neymar this summer, giving them the strongest attack, not just in Spain, but in Europe.

Real Madrid are in the midst of a squad overhaul. Players have already come and gone and there will be more change before the close of the transfer window. Mariano will likely find himself caught up in this, but Real Madrid should consider whether allowing the striker to leave might see them repeat a mistake.

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Laurent Koscielny problem is the last thing Arsenal needed

It is fair to say that Arsenal have not had the most straightforward of summers so far. Defeat by Chelsea in the Europa League final and a failure to finish in the top four in the Premier League last term did not only deny the Gunners Champions League football in 2019/20, but it also further restricted their transfer budget ahead of next season. The fact that Aaron Ramsey’s contract had expired by the time of his official move to Juventus means that the north Londoners were unable to recoup any funds to lessen the blow of losing their star midfielder, while the chances of getting Mesut Ozil’s sizeable wages off the payroll are slim to nil.

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