EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 5 Sou/Burn & Ars/City

This is the fifth part of a five-part series, to start from the beginning click here.
Disclaimer: This series is examining the games days prior to matchday, there is always the possibility for injuries, coach selections, etc. They may be updated to reflect most accurate starting lineup.
Southampton v. Burnley
Location: St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton
This is expected to a relatively tight affair with the home side (Southampton) as the favorites. This game is only expected to total two goals.
Southampton is a vastly improved side from last year, they’ve made some brilliant signings. Although (pre-Ings) I didn’t give them a glowing review, I think they will come ready to play and I think they’ll finish better than initially anticipated, I think Ings is a huge pickup — especially without having to do the financial outlay until next year. I’m interested to see how this sides come out of the gate; I think they’ll play attacking football with the added security in the back from Vestergaard and the goalkeeping prowess of Angus Gunn.
First off let me say, I don’t think that Burnley are a bad club. I do have concerns about their goalkeeping crisis with both Nick Pope and Tom Heaton injured, I think that Joe Hart might have developed a bit of rest while sitting on Manchester City’s bench. Mee/Long/Gibson should develop into a solid backline — I just think that Southampton is going to do whatever they can to stretch them out. I think that defensive communication will be an issue and ultimately that’s why I give this match to Southampton (and the second goal — I initially had been confident in a 1-0 scoreline)

  • Bold Predictions (tally will be kept on players identified and teams at the bottom of this running series):
    • Winner: Southampton
    • Final Score: 2-0
    • Goalscorer(s):
      • Team 1: Ings/Gabbiadini
      • Team 2:

Arsenal v. Man City
Emirates Stadium, North London
There are a lot of storylines surrounding this match, most central is Unai Emery’s Premier League debut with Arsenal and against their likely biggest title challenge (though Liverpool is also up there). City comes in as sizable favorites off the back of their ridiculous season last year, and while I think City will come down some (see here), I don’t think it will be in this game. This isn’t expected to be a game for clean sheets — with likely 3 maybe more goals to be scored.
Arsenal are a much improved side and I think Emery will bring some much-needed new blood to the club. I think that a number of Arsenal players (especially those named Özil) will come in with a chip on their shoulder from a poor World Cup showing. In Özil’s case in particular, it ended in fallout that had him taking an “indefinite leave” from the German international side due to issues surrounding his half-Turkish heritage and a picture he took with the Turkish leader. I think Özil comes in with a vengeance, and (as noted below) I think he’ll let off some steam by tearing off Ederson’s net.
Where to start with this City side. Let’s just go with wow. They were unstoppable last season, and if World Cup performances are indication of how captain De Bruyne will play, the league should be scared. Brazil crashed out of the world cup at an earlier-than-expected stage and I think that the Brazilians (specifically Jesús and Ederson) on this side will have something to prove. Ederson will want to prove that he should be starting for his national side, and Jesús will want to prove that he should stay in the side (and that he can score goals for them.

  • Bold Predictions (tally will be kept on players identified and teams at the bottom of this running series):
    • Winner: Manchester City
    • Final Score: 2-1
    • Goalscorer(s):
      • Team 1: Gabriel Jesús/De Bruyne
      • Team 2: Özil

Shameless plug — we compiled the statistics from the Friday & Saturday games here, but at SportMuse we always want to continue to get better!

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