EPL Matchday Two Round-Up

Author: Alex Dudley

The Premier League is well underway for the new season, and we can already get a better understanding of which teams are in the best position to achieve their goals for the coming season.

Punters would have been disappointed with the latest round of results which saw Chelsea and Aston Villa both fail to win at home, but gamblers should be quick to take advantage of the sign-up with bet365 bonus code ahead of the next round of fixtures to maximise their returns.

Arsenal 2-1 Burnley

The Gunners made it two wins from two to begin a Premier League season for the first time in ten years with a win over Burnley at the Emirates. Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead before Ashley Barnes scored his third goal in two games to equalise. However, the Gunners weren’t to be denied, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner for the home side in the second half.

Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

There was one big story following this game, and that was VAR. The technology disallowed what City believed to have been the winning goal, as the ball ricocheted off the hand of Aymeric Laporte en route to Gabriel Jesus’ foot. Under the new FA rules, no goal can be awarded if a hand is involved, but City would have felt they did enough to win the game after dominating throughout. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero twice put the Citizens ahead, but equalisers from Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura twice pegged them back.

Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth

Aston Villa would have been lamenting their slow start to the game as they were 2-0 down after 12 minutes. A Josh King penalty and a debut goal for Harry Wilson meant it was the Cherries to lose. There was a late goal from Douglas Luiz, but it was too little too late for the Villa on their first home game back in the top-flight.

Everton 1-0 Watford

It was a welcome return to Goodison Park for Everton as they won their first game of the new season. Bernard scored the only goal of the game after ten minutes. Moise Kean came on to make his home debut and missed two great chances to cap his cameo with a goal.

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool

The Reds had only been back in England for less than 48 hours, but that didn’t stop them from taking their place at the top of the table. Sadio Mane scored on his return to St Mary’s before Roberto Firmino scored the second. There was late drama as a mistake from Adrian allowed Danny Ings to score, but Liverpool held on for the win.

Brighton & Hove Albion 1-1 West Ham United

Leandro Trossard thought he had scored his first goal for his new club in the opening 45 minutes, but VAR overruled the decision after Dan Burns was in an offside position before crossing the ball. However, he did find the net again in the second half to salvage a point for the Seagulls after Javier Hernandez had given the Hammers the lead.

Norwich City 3-1 Newcastle United

The miserable start to the season continued for Steve Bruce, as Teemu Pukki scored the first Norwich top-flight hat-trick for 26 years. The travelling side did grab a late consolation, but these are worrying times for Newcastle fans.

Sheffield United 1-0 Crystal Palace

The Blades celebrated their first home game back in the Premier League with a deserved win against Crystal Palace. The only goal of the game was scored by John Lundstram two minutes into the second half.

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City

Frank Lampard’s wait for a first win as Chelsea manager continued as his side were held to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge. Mason Mount put the Blues ahead with his first goal for the club before Wilfred Ndidi made up for his error by scoring the equaliser with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Greatest Games of the 2018/2019 Season

As the days and weeks count down to the start of the new Premier League season, as fans eagerly await what is to come, a countdown of the greatest moments from the previous season will get you in the mood for the drama that surely lies ahead…

Manchester City 4 v Brighton 1

The title race, which involved the highest ever points total for a second place team, came down to the wire and this game had it all! Although it was an emphatic victory in the end, what makes it memorable is those moments of hope that gave Liverpool fans a dream that the title was heading their way. For 20-30 minutes anything seemed possible….

Manchester United 3 v Newcastle 2

The reign of Jose Mourinho seems so long ago in this optimistic era of Ole, but there were glorious moments for the special one at Old Trafford, including this comeback against a rampant Newcastle. 2-0 at half time, the season was a mess and the crowd were turning. Cue a comeback of all comebacks….from the ridiculous to the sublime including a fergie time winner. Was this the start of a new dawn from Jose? We all know the answer….

Manchester City 2 vs Crystal Palace 3

The game that showed that Pep’s side were beatable after all. These are the best kind of games, they start with what you feel will be a routine City win, taking an early lead, yet blaze into action. City were shell shocked and found themselves 3-1 down and were unable to come back. A season shaping win for Palace and a game nobody at the Ethiad will forget in a hurry!

Manchester City 2 v  Liverpool 1

Seven points behind and needing a win, Liverpool new the post-Xmas game with City was vital. The quality was high, the nerves were on display and the game could have went either way but a managerial duel that was fought to the bitter end was won by Pep, and at this stage it looked the climatic end to the season we got, would not arrive

However my personal favourite would be:P

Wolves 4 v Leicester 3

On their return to the Premier League, Wolves gave us plenty of entertainment with some glorious football and memorable moment, and none perhaps more so that this clash with the Foxes. What remier league betting offers would you get this season for a 7 goal thriller including an injury time winner to complete a Diego Jota hat trick. Wes Morgan though he had sealed a titanic game after his 87th minute equaliser but Wolves had other plans…

Chelsea  3 v Arsenal 2

Every season, there is always a edge of your seat thriller involving Arsenal in the earlier weeks, and last season it was this.  Chelsea stormed to a lead, but then proved incapable of defending and Arsenal should have scored half a dozen times but only managed the two. End to end stuff, especially in a pulsating first half, did fade slightly but we still got a dramatic ending with Alavaro Morata netting in the 80th minute to take the 3 points.

If we can get 5 games half as good as this selection in the upcoming season, which I am sure we will, then 2019/2020 will be yet another memorable Premier League Campaign.

It’s Man City’s Title To Lose: Can Anyone Stop Guardiola’s Men?

Premier_League_Logo


Pep Guardiola” (Public Domain) by Terry Kearney

In what turned out to be one of the best Premier League seasons ever, Man City eventually triumphed after being pushed all the way by Liverpool. Will it be a case of new season, same result in 2019-2020? Or will the blue side of Manchester have some competition on their hands?

You only have to read the latest betting tips from Betfair to know Pep Guardiola’s men are strong favourites to defend their Premier League title. At 1/2, City are well-fancied. Liverpool at 3/1 are expected to offer the biggest threat with the other Big Six teams looking on from a distance.

While little weight might be attributed to pre-season results – after all, Man Utd have won every game they’ve played and remain an unfancied 39/1 for the title – Liverpool’s lacklustre warm-up schedule has shown frailties. The side has been leaking goals, losing to Borussia Dortmund 3-2, Napoli 3-0 and Sevilla 2-1, while drawing 2-2 with Sporting Lisbon.

Do Jurgen Klopp’s men have a hangover from last season; their exertions to win the title, and the eventual disappointment of losing out, playing on the minds of their talented squad. And while Arsenal and Manchester United have spent millions on new recruits, Liverpool have stayed relatively quiet in the transfer market.


Project 365 #153: 020619 Like The Murphy” (Public Domain) by comedy_nose

The Anfield faithful will argue the Merseysiders have no reason to add to an already stellar squad. But United aren’t the only Manchester club to spend big during the summer. City have almost matched their bitter cross-town rivals by spending in excess of £100 million.

Does that mean Manchester City are readying themselves to disappear off into the sunset? United and Arsenal will hope they have at least closed the gap, each having addressed two key issues that will make them better in 2019-2020.

By breaking their transfer record with the purchase of Nicolas Pepe from Lille, the Gunners add a new dimension to their already star-studded frontline. The goal-scoring winger has a directness and keen eye to shoot that’ll complement the talents of Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Similarly, the Red Devils, who conceded over 50 Premier League goals last year (worse than Wolves, Everton, Leicester City, Crystal Palace, and Newcastle as well as the teams that finished above them), have addressed their frailties with approximately £130 million spent on the defence alone. If centre-half Harry Maguire and right-back Aaron Wan Bissaka live up to their billing, United will undoubtedly be in the mix for the top 4 too.

Yet, despite the expenditure of the teams desperately seeking improvement over their 2018-2019 exploits, there’s still a clear gulf between them and Guardiola’s men. Spurs’ squad lacks depth, Chelsea have lost Eden Hazard and United and Arsenal appear to have too much ground to make up for a title push this year. Unless Liverpool rediscover the form that led them so close to a first Premier League title, there are few reasons to think the blue side of Manchester won’t be celebrating again.

Paul Pogba’s Future – Where does it lie?


Love him or loathe him, there can be very little doubt that when on top form Paul Pogba is one of the best pure footballers in the world game. He is often criticised for having little impact on games and appearing out of motivation and disinterested, which is fair, but as with all the greats when the occasion is big he shows up! Look at the vital games for France in the World Cup including the 2018 Fifa World Cup Final, look at the Europa League Final and you will see commanding displays that rival the greats of the game.

Many within the game were surprised at Pogba’s initial move to Manchester United when he was playing crazyvegas football. The club that let him go as youngster, claimed he did not have what it takes to make it at the top level and to be fair, a club in a huge transition and unlikely to challenge for the elite honours for a season or two whilst they rebuild. Perhaps Pogba went back to prove a point? To show the club first hand who dismissed his skills that he was an elite level player?

But now with new management, a new regime and a new era starting from  Old Trafford, Pogba could be one of the many who looks at other options as they rebuild the team. Paul Pogba is not short of options but the size of the transfer fee mixed with the wage demands, and the reputation he seems to have build up may seems like a stumbling block.

But where would he go?

There have been talk of big money moves to China, but Pogba isn’t the sort of player to chase big money for the sake of it, and that option will always be there so at this stage in his career that’s a no.

In addition, the Premier League is short of options. Pogba has lit up the league but only in flashes and Man United wouldn’t be elated to sell him to a rival. He doesn’t fit in with City’s style, nor is a Jürgen Klopp style player so the chances of him moving anywhere in the Premier League seem slim.

A return to Italy is not out of the question according to sports betting new zealand, and there has been serious talk about interests from Juventus where he made his name. With Ronaldo already there, combining the two could be a wonderful thing for fans!

But the most serious chat and links is relating to a move to Spain and one of the big two. Barcelona and Real Madrid have a history of making big name signings in the summer to keep fans interested, whether they need them or not!, and Pogba would fit the bill perfectly. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid need something to boost their aging and tired midfields and Pogba would be an ideal fit on all accounts.

Pogba may surprise everyone and stay at Old Trafford, but I for one would expect him to be lining up in La Liga next season.