Saturday August 11 2018

Sparks to fly in Emirates thriller

New Era: Arsenal players Alexandre Lacazette

New Era: Arsenal players Alexandre Lacazette (R), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (C) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) during a past English Premier League football match. Gunners will seek to start Emery era with a bang. AFP PHOTO  

By Allan Ssekamatte

Arsenal 2 Man City 2

Unai Emery’s Premier League debut is a baptism of fire of sorts, as his Gunners must be firing on all cylinders to cope with champions Manchester City. Summer recruits Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi will have their work cut out containing the creative influence of Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva. I foresee goals aplenty.

Man United 2 Leicester 1

Even if Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils have not exactly set pulses racing in pre-season, they possess the firepower to dismantle Claude Puel’s Foxes. Given United’s interest in his services, Harry Maguire’s confrontation with Romelu Lukaku will be a key focal point. Leicester will severely miss Riyad Mahrez’s magic.

Huddersfield 1 Chelsea 2

A summer of upheaval at Stamford Bridge implies Willy Caballero must start in goal for Maurizio Sarri’s side at a ground at which they cruised to a 3-1 victory last season. Italian import Jorginho’s Premier League credentials will be tested by Huddersfield’s Australian bruiser Aaron Mooy. I am tipping the Londoners to edge a close contest.

Bournemouth 1 Cardiff City 0

Inspiration battles perspiration when Eddie Howe’s sleek Cherries welcome Neil Warnock’s hard running newcomers. Bournemouth underlined their determination not to get sucked into a relegation slugfest by breaking the bank to sign Colombian midfielder enforcer Jefferson Lerma. The home side’s top flight experience should propel them home.

OTHER MATCHES
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Everton, Liverpool 3-1 West Ham United,
Southampton 2-1 Burnley, Watford 1-1 Brighton Hove, Newcastle United 1-2
Tottenham, Fulham 2-2 Crystal Palace.

FRENCH LIGUE ONE

Marseille 2 Toulouse 0

Rudi Garcia should field two of his World Cup winning stars - Florian Thauvin and Steve Mandanda for the season opener. Last season, Toulouse survived relegation by a whisker, so I don’t expect Ola Tovoinen to pass the Stade Velodrome exam. Home win!

OTHER MATCHES
PSG 3-0 Caen, Olympique Lyon 3-1 Amiens, Bordeaux 2-1 Strasbourg, Montpellier 1-0 Dijon, Nantes 1-1 Monaco, Nice 2-1 Reims,
Angers 1-1 Nimes, Lille 1-1 Rennes,
Saint Etienne 2-1 Guingamp.

SPANISH SUPER CUP

Barcelona 3 Sevilla 1

GERMAN SUPER CUP

Bayern Munich 2 Frankfurt 1

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