Full capacity stadiums were back and they were rocking on an excellent first weekend of the Premier League season. Brentford and Tottenham caused huge upsets on Matchday One, while London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal are the headline fixture of Matchday Two. We’ve got you covered with a preview and tips for the key games on what is set to be another huge weekend of Premier League action!
Sunday 12:00am AEST, Elland Road
Leeds were a huge disappointment in their opening game of the season, being blown off the park by Manchester United in a 5-1 defeat. Leeds’ defence was all at sea in a hostile environment at Old Trafford, as Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes ran riot. Leeds played a high press, and it opened up some serious gaps as the Red Devils torched them in transition. It was a successful start to Everton’s campaign, with a convincing 3-1 victory over Southampton at Goodison Park.
Rafa Benitez put on a managerial masterclass after going down 1-0, a sight that would have Everton fans excited about their new manager. His positional changes of Richarlison, Demarai Gray, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate, were inspired, completely changing the game in the second half. Although Leeds shocked the league last season en route to a ninth placed finish, it’s clear to see that teams have gone to work on how to expose them forward of centre.
With the attacking brand of football that the Toffees played last week, especially in the second half, the likes of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin could get a hold of a defence that was incredibly shaky last week. The Toffees have a blueprint laid from the second half of last week, and if they carry that out against Leeds this weekend, it will be goals aplenty for Everton.
Sunday 11:00pm AEST, Molineux Stadium
Nuno Espirito Santo returns to his old stomping ground in just his second game as manager of Tottenham. Tottenham stunned Manchester City with a remarkable 1-0 victory against the reigning champions. Spurs had to absorb a mountain of pressure as City had 66% of possession and 18 shots on goal, but their back four stood tall in a brave performance. Wolves were wayward in front of goal in their Matchday One defeat to Leicster.
Wolves had 17 shots on goal to Leicester’s 9, but they only managed three shots on target. Wolverhampton have now lost four Premier League matches in a row, and haven’t registered a goal in three of those matches. Tottenham will take a wealth of confidence and momentum after knocking off the title favourites, given the turbulent off season they faced. Nuno has his side playing a strong defensive brand of football, that is capable of holding up when opposing sides have periods of dominance.
With the way Wolves struggled to break down and convert opportunities against Leicester last week, this matchup looms as one that will prove extremely difficult for a team that has struggled to score for quite some time. Tottenham have a 4-2-2 record in their last eight Premier League matches against Wolves, and they will carry on the momentum from their outstanding win last weekend.
Monday 1:30am AEST, Emirates Stadium
It was a nightmare on the opening day of the season for Arsenal, losing 2-0 to newly promoted Brentford on a horror night for Mikel Arteta’s men. It was the polar opposite for their London rivals Chelsea, who were dominant en route to a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace. Arsenal looked like the same outfit that has lived in the realms of mediocrity over the last few seasons. The Gunners lacked method going forward, and they were fragile in defence, conceding two goals against a Brentford outfit that only had 35% possession and 8 shots on goal.
Bernd Leno was poor in goal behind a shaky defence, and coming up against a Chelsea side that has an abundance of attacking threats in their side, it’s going to be a tough day at the office for the Gunners. Chelsea were the second best defence in the Premier League last season, conceding just 36 goals in the ‘20/’21 campaign. Arsenal ranked only ninth for goals last season, and after what they produced last week against Brentford, it’s hard to see them putting a winning score past the Blues.
With an opening day clean sheet, Chelsea have continued the defensive prowess that they’ve shown since Thomas Tuchel took over in January. Chelsea are 6-1-2 in their last nine Premier League matches, and will be a genuine title contender this season, unlike the Gunners, who look set for another season languishing in mediocrity. Chelsea are going to smother an Arsenal outfit that lacks power in attack, and will go two wins from two with a convincing win.
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