Marcha 24, 2018

English Premier League: Heavyweights set for first bouts

12 Agosto 2017, 11:03 | Gerardo Tarin

Manchester City's Danilo celebrates a goal with team mates. Lucy Nicholson Reuters

Manchester City's Danilo celebrates a goal with team mates. Lucy Nicholson Reuters

Ingolstadt also led Werder Bremen 1-0 and 2-1 until conceding three goals in the last ten minutes to lose 4-2. "We were able to buy Kyle and there are other English players I'd like to have but we are so happy with what we've done".

How are they going to line up?

"So between the players we lost and the players we got, I think we are in a similar situation".

DH: Critics of Romelu Lukaku have suggest that he only scores against 'lesser' teams. They love it. That's why it's great to be here'.

Perhaps surprisingly, the surveyed Newcastle fans - widely regarded (perhaps unfairly) for being a bit parochial - said they would rather see Gareth Southgate's men lift the Jules Rimet than Rafa Benitez's Magpies do the business in the top flight in 2017/18. (He will miss the opening game due to injury.) Manager Arsene Wenger insists the club doesn't want to sell Sanchez, but he has only a year left on his contract and could leave for free next year.

DH: Of all the Premier League club's summer dealings, Mark Hughes' Stoke were among the least inspiring.

The 35-year-old, who scored 28 goals for United last season, has been at the club during his rehabilitation and Mourinho said the Swede could feature in the second half of the season. Terry watched along with the rest of us as his colleagues seamlessly adjusted to Antonio Conte's new vision and ran away with the title. There is pace and guile in this team, with Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and the impressive Dominic Solanke.

Mourinho went for a three at the back formation against Real Madrid in the Super Cup on Tuesday night but I think he might revert to a 4-2-3-1 this weekend.

That extends to a slight difference in culture in terms of physical training. "But he's really loved here, we love him, and in the end he's decided to stay".

DH: Marco Silva's first league game in charge at the Hornets is a challenging one.

Liverpool travel to Watford in the early kick-off while Champions Chelsea host Burnley and a new-look Everton side welcome Stoke to Goodison Park in the pick of the 3pm matches.

"But ultimately it's the manager's decision".

It's all change at Liverpool, too, where Lucas Leiva's move to Lazio means that Jon Flanagan is now their longest-serving player. His shooting is often derided as weak. The defensive midfielder role looks a little fragile with Yaya Toure and Fernandinho both on the wrong side of 30. "What we had was midfielders and wingers scoring, and even central defenders scoring goals from set pieces", Mourinho said.

There were, though, warning signs. We have confidence levels of a team that won a European competition and is back in the Champions League. In any case, the ease with which he was exploited by London neighbours Tottenham and Arsenal in the second half of the season may come to be viewed as a template, a potential chink in the Blues' armour.

DAN HEALD: A promising opening fixture to the season should at least yield goals.

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