EPL Matchday 1: Summary

Manchester United/Leicester City:

Tottenham/Newcastle:

  • Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 1
  • Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes) (Note: This was so close, this goal crossed the line by on 9mm):
    • Correct goalscorers (2/3 – missed Jan Vertonghen)
    • Incorrect Score/Winner (Tottenham won 2-1, predicted tie 1-1)

AFC Bournemouth/Cardiff:

  • Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 2
  • Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes):
    • Correct Score/Winner
    • Incorrect goal scorers (0/2, missed Frazier and Wilson)

Watford/BHA:

  • Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 2
  • Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes):
    • Correct Winner
    • Incorrect score/goal scorers (0/2, missed Roberto Pereyra — expected 2-1 scoreline)

Read moreEPL Matchday 1: Summary

EPL Matchday 1 Roundup Friday/Saturday

Manchester United/Leicester City: Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 1 Postgame player ratings: Manchester United v. Leicester post-match thoughts Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes): Correct Score/Correct Winner Incorrect Goalscorers (0/3 — came off Vardy without the start) Tottenham/Newcastle: Pregame notes: EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 1 Bold predictions (from Pregame Notes): Correct goalscorers (2/3 – missed Jan … Read moreEPL Matchday 1 Roundup Friday/Saturday

EPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 2

This is the second 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.
Saturday, 11 August 2018
Bournemouth  Cardiff
Location:  Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth

Bournemouth is a pretty sizable heavy favorite in what’s being billed as a low-scoring game, with likely two goals or less to be on display.
As big a favorite as Bournemouth is in this game, it’s solely down to who they are playing. I don’t see Bournemouth pulling up any trees this year, their transfer activity has been minimal. The should win this game easily, i think by a two goal margin. Cardiff is just lacking in quality for the Premier League season, and I don’t see Bournemouth having much trouble dispatching them. (Update: Bournemouth had made some good additions prior to the last week of the window, and I think their capture of Lerma signals their continued intentions to stake a claim on the Premier League. You can check out their full slate of transfers here)

Read moreEPL 2018-2019 Matchday 1, Part 2

Brighton & Hove Albion 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Note: This is the latest breakdown of transfer moves leading up to the 2018-19 Premier League season. This post will be updated throughout the transfer window as appropriate.
I think that Brighton & Hove Albion has a real chance to make some waves in this season of the Premier League (as I noted here). I spoke about their need to fill some key positions, and I think they’ve done that very well. I am also astonished by the manager speaking about this BHAFC club. I have never heard a coach/manager say they are “happy with their squad.” They are always seemingly the first to point out concerns or to allude to potential additions that could make their squad better. Maybe that says more to do with the eight acquisitions they’ve already made than faith in the squad, but regardless of the reason, Manager Chris Houghton has sent a statement to his team loud and clear.
Hopefully this translates to a bumper season for Gull’s fans, they definitely have made some shrewd signings — I think the mid-table finish I suggested in my Primer is a very realistic possibility. I expect this side to bring a lot more goals in, and probably keep the back line a little tighter for an even better goal differential. I also think that their transfer business, while around $45M, is still realistic for this side — they aren’t spending outside their income and could still achieve a pretty hefty profit margin. (Update: as the window continued — they made their way closer to the $75M mark, excluding undisclosed transfers — but I still think the outlays can be covered by a decent performance in the league. For this side, I think that means, don’t get relegated because if they can stay up I think all of their improvements will be reimbursed by league revenues).

Read moreBrighton & Hove Albion 2018-2019 Transfer Review

Premier League Club Primer: 2018-2019 Edition

Ever had questions about clubs that you were afraid to ask? Here’s the rundown on the 20 Soccer teams competing in the top tier of English Soccer. Some historical facts, some questions to be answered, and some serious takeaways. Here is everything you wanted to know about the clubs but didn’t want (or know) to ask.
During the next couple weeks, we’ll be exploring each teams transfer business (In and Out) to see how well teams have addressed their needs!

Arsenal

Nickname: The Gunners
Founded: 1886 (Under a different name)
Location: London
Team Colors: Red/White
Kit Manufacturer: Puma (2014-present)
Kit Sponsor: Emirates Airlines
Ground: Emirates Stadium (2006-present)
Capacity:  59,862
Manager: Unai Emery (first season) replacing Arsene Wenger (1996-2018)
Website: www.arsenal.com
17/18 Season: 6th in English Premier League

Arsenal are a perennial Premier League team, with their only stint in lower-tier football occurring prior to World War I (as part of their progression to the Premier League). Since then, they’ve been a stalwart and are considered part of English soccer’s royalty, the “Big Six”.  While placed in this royalty, Arsenal’s recent form have had them finishing outside of the top-4 which is a perquisite for the UEFA Champions League.  Missing out on the Champions League is a big financial hit for the club, and has been a voiced concern amongst the players; some of whom have run out their contracts or joined rival clubs for the opportunity to compete at the highest level. One of these situations led to a winter transfer window swap for one of Arsenal’s top players, Alexis Sanchez, getting swapped for a Henrik Mkhitaryan who was in poor form for Manchester United so that they didn’t lose him to a free transfer deal.

Arsenal are on their first season Post-Wenger who’s been at Arsenal almost as long as I’ve been alive. So far, Unai Emery, has shown a couple of positives: he’s managed to get some top-tier talent for reasonable prices (by EPL standards) and one particular transfer, Sokratis, was able to overcome reported interest by other Big Six clubs. Arsenal is not a bad side, and I fully expect them to continue in continental competition. Arsenal’s Achilles heel last year was their propensity to give up losses, whereas their EPL opponents could fight for draws. If only a few of those losses were draws, they likely would have been in Champions League competition instead of Europa League.

I think the prospects for Arsenal will be good enough for Champions League this year. Arsenal has also had a larger squad than many teams which has caused some strife for its players (Olivier Giroud –last year, and Jack Wilshere – this year) which eventually have led them elsewhere. I think that clarified expectations under Emery could tighten up the rotation a little and keep continuity (especially in the back) which will allow them to hold on in tight contests.

Click here for an in-depth look at Arsenal’s transfers in advance of the 2018-19 season.

Read morePremier League Club Primer: 2018-2019 Edition