Liverpool to kick-off Premier League title defence against Leeds United
New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS): Football fans around the world will be putting their game face on as the much-awaited Premier League returns for a new season. The stakes are high for defending champions Liverpool who are primed to scale the summit again as the Reds square off with newly-promoted Leeds United in the season opener on Saturday.
It would be interesting to see if Jurgen Klopp’s men can maintain their stride and keep the Cup at Anfield for another season. Meanwhile, Leeds United’s entry into the Premier League will be an extremely elating experience as the club returns to the league after a long gap of 16-years. Marcelo Bielsa’s men took the football world by storm in the 2019-2020 season and will be looking to dish out a similar performance this season too.
Frank Lampard’s first full-fledged season as the manager ended with Chelsea finishing at the fourth spot in Premier League’s 2019-20 season. With the transfer ban lifted, the Blues have put all their faith in the young guns. The entry of two new midfielders Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech have raised the bar for Chelsea and fans are eager to see what’s up next for their favourite team. They are ably supported by new additions to the time in the likes of Timo Werner, Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell. Previous season’s star Christian Pulisic was among the only few players that were retained, but his return to the field is still uncertain owing to injury concerns.
After a consecutive two-season win, Manchester City finished at second position in the 2019-20 season with an 18-point gap with Liverpool. A fresh campaign for Pep Guardiola will be a chance to introspect and work on Manchester City’s weakness from last season, their defence. With newly-signed defenders, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake making their position in the team, the world will be eager to see if Guardiola manages to sail the team to the crown.
Manchester United has been reinvigorated with Bruno Fernandes’ entry from Sporting Lisbon keeping the adrenaline pumping in all matches. With the new signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, the team’s midfield looks strengthened. To bridge the gap between Liverpool and Manchester City, United will have to retain their post-pandemic form and go on a winning spree.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Leicester City, Everton and Wolves will also pose serious challenges and fight for the top four spots. Arsenal’s previous season comprised of a lot of hits and misses as the team finished at the eighth spot on the points table.
With Mikel Arteta’s new plan and with the expectation of Mesut Ozil, the playmaker’s return, Arsenal will get an equal ground to prove themselves. Under the leadership of Jose Mourinho, the Spurs will look at moving forward on the points table. Brendan Rodgers’ phenomenal management has brought Leicester City at such a comfortable position in Premier League and they have certainly attracted all the eyeballs for next campaign. Carlo Ancelotti should continue to improve Everton as he looks to be in charge for the full season.
The Premier League season will be aired on Star Sports Network & Disney+ Hotstar VIP.