As the new Premier League season continues this weekend and transfer speculation heats up our man Kevin Doyle shares his thoughts on all the latest from the English top flight.
We start in North London with Arsenal tying down captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new contract, while Gareth Bale’s a step away from re-signing for Tottenham Hotspur seven years after his departure to Real Madrid.
On how important Aubameyang is to Arsenal
He’s obviously important as he scores loads of goals. But psychologically for the other members of the squad and any new arrivals, tying him down to a long-term contract is just as important as the player himself.
In recent seasons the perception has been that Arsenal are a selling club, but this piece of business proves they can keep hold of their best players.
It seems like there’s a positivity around the club and Mikel Arteta appears to be moulding the squad in his image with a good start to the season.
If you’re an Arsenal fan, it’s been a great week.
On Gareth Bale’s imminent return to Spurs
I think Tottenham need something to kick-start their season. Since the 2019 Champions League final it’s been downhill with the delayed stadium and the manager situation.
I’m not sure if it’s the right move, Bale hasn’t played in so long but maybe he’ll return with something to prove and it’ll reinvigorate him.
He’s back closer to home and it’s a big signing for Spurs who haven’t spent much money in the last few years.
It seems a little bit of desperation for me. After a defeat (at home to Everton on the opening weekend) suddenly, for a club that doesn’t spend that much on wages, they’re forking out for Bale shows the situation they’re in.
On Chelsea v Liverpool
The biggest game of the season so far and Chelsea are going to be outside contenders to win the league. I think it might be a season too soon to be challenging for the Premier League title, but they’ve spent big and made great signings.
I reckon Liverpool will come back towards the pack a little bit; I don’t think they’ll maintain the energy levels that they’ve shown in the last two campaigns.
Thiago Alcantara will be a brilliant signing and they needed a boost like that to keep everyone on their toes and keep improving and Thiago will definitely do that.
In terms of the result, I see Chelsea winning 1-0 because I think Liverpool will have a slow start after the celebrations and relief of finally lifting the Premier League.
They got the win against Leeds United, but it was a close-run thing with Marcelo Bielsa’s side pushing them the whole game.
I think it’s going to be like that for Liverpool over the next few weeks, with Chelsea looking dangerous going forward they might catch the champions out.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool
On Wolves v Manchester City and Manchester United v Crystal Palace
I think Man City will be stronger than last year and close the gap on Liverpool. They just have such a strong squad and with Pep Guardiola staying and hungry to improve, I’m sure they’ll be a lot closer to Jurgen Klopp’s side and I just have them as slight favourites to win the league.
As for Manchester United, I still believe they’re waiting to get a signing or two in before the transfer window closes. But the delayed start should help them as it’s been such a short off-season.
That extra week together would have helped them for their start to the season and I reckon they’ll win this game. Although Roy Hodgson often does very well at Old Trafford (winning 2-1 last season), and sets his sides up very well, but I think Man United will snatch a 2-1 victory.
Prediction: Man United 2-1 Crystal Palace
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication