Saturday, 17 August 2013

EPL Countdown - LIVE Blog Post:

Less than 1 hour left now until the start of the 2013-14 EPL season...

Hello again everyone, and welcome to a LIVE Blog Post from me this morning. The time is current 11:30am (UK time) and I will be previewing today's EPL matches aswell as the latest transfer news, rumours, done deals along with a lot more!

Today, I will have three blog posts for you all to read and enjoy, including a match report from all of the games being played in the EPL.

Here are the match fixtures this weekend (3pm unless stated):  

Today: 
Liverpool vs Stoke City - 12.45pm
The official curtain raiser of the 2013-14 EPL season, with Liverpool hosting Stoke at Anfield. This will be an interesting match for sure, since Liverpool lost 3-0 at home this time last year against West Brom.
With their four new signings including Aspas and Alberto, the hosts will look to impress at the Kop end in-front of the home fans. Stoke are certainly no pushovers however, and despite a lack of signings by The Potters, they have a defensively strong side.   
Arsenal vs Aston Villa: 
The Emirates has been the home of Arsenal for the past 7 years, and never has it been more hostile and controversial. The poor lack of activity during this current summer transfer window has disgruntled Arsenal fans all over the world, and it has got to the point where supporters have virtually given up all hope of a trophy in the next 5 years, let alone competiting for trophies.

Injury woe for the hosts including Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Walcott and Sagna all ruled out for tomorrow's match will reduce the amount of attacking threat and strength in depth that the squad has. 

Meanwhile, Aston Villa are keen to prove from the start that they are desperate to get a mid-table finish, with dangerous patnership Benteke & Weimann could cause Arsenal problems tomorrow. 

Norwich vs Everton:
Another intriguing match-up tomorrow, Norwich vs Everton. Everton are without their manager of 10 years, in new Manchester United manager David Moyes.

Roberto Martinez will be eager to start off on the right foot with the Everton faithful, but it will certainly not be easy, with The Toffees going away to Norwich, who have been a very good side in terms of transfer activity. Redmond, van Wolfswinkel, Hooper, Garrido and Leroy Fer are just a few of the players who Norwich have signed this summer.  

Sunderland vs Fulham:
Two sides who struggled for the most part last season, Sunderland and Fulham. 
The hosts tomorrow will be without goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for the first time since his £7million move to Liverpool in June, so it will be interesting to see how the defence does at home against an attackking Fulham side who are satisfied after their bargain loan deal capture of Moroccan playmaker Adel Taarabt to add to their Bulgarian firepower striker - Dimitar Berbatov.
 
West Brom vs Southampton:
West Brom will be without star loanee and Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku tomorrow, as he has rejoined Chelsea after his season-long loan deal expired in June. It is ironic, because Lukaku probably will not get half as much gametime this season as he did during his tenure at West Brom, but that's football. 

Either way, the hosts have a new name to shout about at The Hawthorns - Matej Vydra. The striker was amazing on-loan at Championship club Watford, pushing them into the play-offs, but could he do the same in the big league? We will have to wait and see.. 

Southampton meanwhile will be loooking forward to seeing how Kenyan defensive midfield powerhouse Victor Wanyama does at his new club, while Rickie Lambert and Gaston Ramirez will be eager to start from where they left off at the end of last season with an impressive away win against a decent WBA side. 

West Ham vs Cardiff:
Former newboys of the EPL, taking on one of the newboys now! West Ham had an impressive first season in the EPL last year and face Welsh side Cardiff who won the Npower Championship to join England's elite. 
Both sides have been active in this transfer market, the hosts signed Liverpool winger Stewart Downing for £5million pounds to link up with Joe Cole and Andy Carroll - while Cardiff broke their transfer record three times in quick succession, Tottenham Hotspur defender Steven Caulker, Gary Medel from Sevilla and Copenhagen centre forward Andreas Cornelius.

It will be an interesting game, for sure but West Ham will be the favourites.  

Swansea vs Manchester United - 17.30pm
Last season, The Liberty Stadium was a fortress for Swansea - they almost never lost at home, in a ground they felt comfortable in. They host the defending champions on the opening day but will not be scared of the rebuilding United squad.
 Wilfried Bony + Michu strike partnership will be dangerous, with new signing and young English midfielder Jonjo Shelvey ready to spring 60-yard balls towards the strikers to finish. Another interesting game on the opening day, surprises possible.