It’s been a very busy first three matchdays for every team in the English Premier League, with some shocking upsets to go with dominant performances from the big teams. We’ve had stunning goals, shocking tackles and everything in between, so without any further delay, let’s look at the takeaways from the first three days of the new EPL season:
Manchester United is back
Jose Mourinho was a busy manager over the off-season, with new signings like Romelu Lukaku, as well as Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindenlof coming in, while Rooney and company have packed their bags and departed elsewhere. While we haven’t seen Lindenlof so far, Matic and Lukaku are tearing up teams in the guts of the field, and the Red Devils are back after consecutive 4-0 drubbings, and a solid 2-0 win against Leicester. It is still early, but Mourinho could be taking United back to the top.
Slaven Bilic is in strife
West Ham United is not looking as threatening this season, and Bilic needs to fix his leaky backline before he gets punted out of London Stadium. West Ham’s only two goals so far this season have come against Southampton, and have both been due to their main signing this season in Javier Hernandez. The club has conceded ten, scored two, and ultimately sit in last. That needs to change, and fast.
Arsene needs to change it up
If last weeks game says anything about the formation that Arsenal has played so far this season, it says that it must change. Liverpool seemingly ran circles around the Arsenal back three with the dangerous trio of Firmino, Salah and Sane taking away any chance of a defensively-played match. On top of that, Lacazette on the bench? Really Wenger? At this rate, we should be hearing a lot of “Arsene Out” talk by the end of September.
Huddersfield is bringing the fight
Two wins and a draw in August isn’t bad for a team that some questioned whether they would get past the record low of points in a season (11, Derby). In my predictions, I said that Huddersfield would get 4 points in their first 3 games. I was obviously wrong, and I can see why. Lossl in the sticks is a huge booster, the backline for the Terriers are dogged and strong, Mooy is proving to be in a world of his own, and Moonie is always considered a threat. Pound for pound, Wagner may have the best early signings of the year.
The mid-table battle with be tight
If the first three weeks are any indication for the rest of the season, the battle for the top ten will be tighter than Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo. Southampton, Stoke, West Brom, Leicester, Watford, Burnley, Swansea and Newcastle all will be vying for those last spots in the top half, while the relegation battle will be just as tight. Everton haven’t had a great first three games, but it would not surprise anyone if they are fighting for Europa League spots come April.
Tottenham needs the Lane
The Spurs and Wembley are not a good mix. When they went down 2-1 to Chelsea, that was their ninth loss in eleven games at the home of big sports in the UK. That’s not a huge coincidence. Bringing along the fact that Harry Kane has had a very quiet first month, and that the Spurs are not playing overly good football at the moment, it could be a long year by Spurs standards.
Palace will go down
The final takeaway from the first three weeks won’t go to the other promoted teams, it won’t go to Morata or Mooy, but it goes to Crystal Palace and how dreadful they have been playing. Losses in matches such as 3-0 to Huddersfield, 1-0 to Liverpool and 2-0 to Swansea have been notable so far. In two out of those three games, Palace was predicted by most to win at the start of the year, and they didn’t. The club has looked disorganized, as they have very little attacking prowess , and can’t seem to get a ball in the back of the net.
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