That’s Odd: Merseysiders to open campaign with tough fixtures
Just 48 days after the conclusion of its 2019/20 season, the Premier League is set to return on Saturday, September 12th for its new campaign.
Reigning champions Liverpool will welcome newly-promoted Leeds United at Anfield while their neighbours and rivals Everton will travel to London to take on Tottenham Hotspur in the opening gameweek of the new campaign.
Liverpool vs Leeds United
Both Liverpool and Leeds were rampant in their respective leagues last season, winning the title and ending their long droughts.
Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a league title in some style, winning the Premier League with seven matches to spare while Leeds won the EFL Championship by 10 points and secured their return to the Premier League 16 years after they were relegated to England’s second division.
Eccentric coach Marcelo Bielsa will get his first taste of Premier League football and it couldn’t have been more tantalising, as he goes up against Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool side.
Both sides press their opponents relentlessly and play incredible high tempo football, making this a must-see contest for the neutrals as well. The duel between these two behemoths of English football has been fairly one-sided over the decades.
Liverpool have won 50 out of the 94 meetings between the two sides, while Leeds have won a paltry 22, with the other 22 finishing with honours even.
Leeds have been busy in the transfer market and have added seven players to their roster, while Liverpool have made just one signing so far - left back Konstantinos Tsimikas from Olympiakos.
Watch out for: Mohamed Salah
Liverpool’s Egyptian King Mo Salah has been the team’s talisman since signing for the club in the summer of 2017 from Roma. The 28-year-old has scored 94 goals in his time at Merseyside and has already helped them win the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League.
Salah has scored in the opening game week in each of the past three campaigns and will back himself to make it four in four against Leeds United this weekend.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Everton
Two of the sport’s most respected and successful coaches, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, will begin their first full season in charge of Tottenham Hotspur and Everton respectively on Sunday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
The duo, winners of a combined five UEFA Champions League titles and four Premier League titles, were hired late last year at their respective clubs.
The two teams met just 35 days prior to this game, where an own goal from Everton centre-back Micheal Keane handed Mourinho’s side a 1-0 win at the venue of Sunday’s contest.
Both teams have tweaked their teams too much this summer, with Spurs adding Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg and Matt Doherty to their ranks and Everton signing defensive midfielder Allan from Napoli The Merseysiders are closing in on signing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, who Ancelotti previously managed at the Spanish giants as well as Bayern Munich.
Both coaches are laying the groundwork to implement their style of play at their new sides and the duel between Europe’s finest coaches will definitely be one to look out for.
Watch out for: Harry Kane
England national team captain Harry Kane will yet again be Spurs’ biggest threat in front of goal this season.
The 27-year-old has scored 143 in 210 Premier League appearances and will be gunning to win his third golden boot and go level with Alan Shearer and sit just one behind Thierry Henry, who holds the record for most golden boots.
Kane has a brilliant personal record against Everton, having stuck nine times in 10 games against the Toffees and will be keen on adding a 10th to his tally on Sunday.
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Feature images courtesy: AFP / Laurence Griffiths, Phil Noble, Adam Davy, Ian Walton