The fixtures list for the new Premier League season is out and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is probably sweating a bit because they will be kicking off the new season by hosting the Europa League champions - Chelsea.
The way things are looking, Ole’s team will have to hit the ground running if they are to improve on their sixth place finish last season. That’s because they will be facing Chelsea at home and then travel to Wolves for the next game. As if that’s not bad enough, they then have to content with Southampton (A), Leicester (H) and West Ham (A). Any slip up and you will be reading news on sacking Ole in the media before Christmas comes around.
On the other side of Manchester, Pep Guardiola will be smiling in his sleep as they seem to have a favourable start to their new season. They may be facing Spurs on 17 Aug but that’s as tough as it gets a for a while for the champions. They will be facing West Ham on their opening day and subsequently will take on Bournemouth, Brighton, Norwich, Watford and Everton. Nothing too strenuous here if you ask me.
Jurgen Klopp and his charges must be raring to go again after coming so close last season. Be prepared to see a fired up Liverpool team as they take on Norwich City in their opening game. Their games against Manchester City will be crucial though as these could be the ones that decide who triumphs this time round.
Arsenal fans will be hard pressed to decide whether Unai Emery’s first season in charge was better or worse than Arsene Wenger’s last season. Unai will have the chance to further stamp his authority and style on the team in his second season in charge but first, they will have to make a statement against Newcastle, who are rumoured to be in the midst of being bought over by a new wealthy owner.
The disappointment from the Champions League final loss to Liverpool will take a while to dissipate but the players should be focused enough to deal with newly promoted Aston Villa in their opening game. There’s a lot of speculation around their midfield maestro Christian Eriksen at the moment and it remains to be seen if he will still be around come August. Harry Kane will also be keen to repair his reputation after a disappointing end to his season.
There are reports out there saying that Sarri has agreed terms to be the next Juventus manager and that is not good news for Chelsea, who has also just lost Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. They may have gotten Christian Pulisic to soften the blow of losing Hazard but it remains to be seen if he can fill the ginormous boots left behind by Eden. Losing their manager and star player in the same window could spell trouble for them in the new season.
Gary Yang is a myActiveSG Editor and Presenter. Gary started his career as a suit cum copywriter at an advertising agency, followed by a successful stint in Corporate Communications with Singapore Press Holdings and Asia Pacific Breweries, before eventually joining the editorial team at Sport Singapore. He now turns his attention to fitness and wellness headlines and sniffing out news angles in the sporting arena.