Welcome to the first Last Word On Football Premier League review of the season. The top-flight was sorely missed during pre-season but treated us greatly upon its return, with ten goals scored in the first two games to be played and an abundance of managers taking their first steps into the Premier League.
Premier League Review
Potter’s Reign off to a Flyer
The media’s shock at the sacking of Chris Hughton from Brighton & Hove Albion at the end of last season led many to believe that the Seagulls would be one of the favourites for the drop this time around. That didn’t cease once former Swansea City boss Graham Potter was named as the new man in charge either.
However, their season got off to a flyer yesterday as they ran out 3-0 winners away at a dire Watford. Javi Gracia’s Hornets looked lost for the majority of the game and looked as much of a mess at the back as they did during their FA Cup final drubbing against Manchester City earlier in the summer.
An own goal from Abdoulaye Doucoure gave Brighton the lead at the break before Florin Andone added a second and substitute Neal Maupay scored his first goal in the Premier League following his move from Brentford.
It was a performance that surprised many from Potter’s side. Granted, it’s just one game and it could very easily have been an off day from their opponents, but if that was a sign of things to come, this Brighton side won’t be the relegation fodder that many believe them to be.
Battling Blades Secure a Point
Sheffield United’s first Premier League game for 12 years saw them earn a late point away at Bournemouth. Their relentless attacking philosophy finally paid dividends in the 88th minute when Billy Sharp eventually bundled home from George Baldock’s cross to send one corner of the Vitality Stadium into hysteria.
Perhaps against the run of play, the Cherries had initially taken the lead when the Blades failed to deal with a free-kick, and Chris Mepham fired home at the second attempt for his second senior goal – the first having also come against United.
However, Chris Wilder’s side continued to push for a goal and they duly found it with two minutes left. A quick free-kick from Oliver Norwood found Baldock who sent a low ball into the area. His delivery was scuffed goalwards by Oli McBurnie, but the ball bounced back to Sharp to poke past Aaron Ramsdale and secure his boyhood club’s first point back in the top flight.
How Did We Do?
Each week we take a crack at predicting the results of each match. How did we get on this opening weekend? Actual results are shown in bold whereas our predictions are in italics.
Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United – Bournemouth 1-1 Sheffield United
Watford 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion – Watford 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
One correct score for us on the opening week along with a few correct results, too.
Games to take place on Saturday, August 17. 3:00 kick-offs unless otherwise stated.
Arsenal v Burnley – 12:30 kick-off
Aston Villa v Bournemouth
Brighton & Hove Albion v West Ham United
Everton v Watford
Norwich City v Newcastle United
Southampton v Liverpool
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur – 17:30 kick-off
Sheffield United v Crystal Palace – 14:00 kick-off, Sunday 18
Chelsea v Leicester City – 16:30 kick-off, Sunday 18
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United – 20:00 kick-off, Monday 19