Premier League is back!

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Image from: https://sportsmancs.com

Great Friday for the football fans as we have the Premier League finally starting! And as if that was not enough, Ligue 1 (France) Eredivisie (Netherlands) and the Portuguese Primeira Liga are also having their start today.

In England Manchester United receives Leicester after a depressing transfer window. The Red Devils were desperately looking for a defender but in the end they did not manage to get a deal done.

The big game of this first round will be played in London next Sunday, when Arsenal receives the Champions Manchester City. The Citizens are again the favorites to win the League but they should have high competition from Liverpool this season.

Walk in the park for PSG, Benfica and Porto in a close race. PSV and Ajax doing the same in the Netherlands

In France PSG should win the title again despite the fact that Ligue 1 is getting better and better every year. With Monaco and Lyon selling some of their stars, I think this might be a good year for Olympique Marseille and I can see them finishing second this year.

In Portugal we should have a race between Benfica and Porto. Sporting is having a though summer, they lost William Carvalho, Rui Patrico and Gelson. Jorge Jesus also left his coaching position, so I don’t see them strong enough to fight for the title. In my opinion Benfica will be champion and Porto the runner-up.

Just like in Portugal, we traditionally have a race with 3 candidates where Feyenoord is the underdog. I look to the Ajax team this season and there is so much talent that is almost an obligation for them to become champions. PSV will need to make sure they don’t lose points with the smaller teams so they can follow Ajax and maybe surprise them. I don’t see that happening and i believe Ajax will be first and PSV second.

 

Referee’s flipping a credit card – are we going a bit too far?

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Pre-Season in Asia, USA or Middle East. Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Referee’s flipping a credit card instead of a coin. I totally understand the need of making money and satisfy the sponsors, but aren’t we going a bit too far?

Can a coach be happy spending a pre-season travelling all the time, sometimes to places without proper conditions for training and with the players having to be ready all the time for the sponsors show-off?   Wasn’t the pre-season supposed to be one of the most important periods of a team, where the players get fit, the new players are included in the team and when all the tactical work is done?

How can a team as Arsenal, in the middle of such deep change, get properly ready if theygo to play to Singapore, then 3 days after in Dublin and now having another friendly in Stockholm?

How can the supporters of Juventus and AC Milan, the ones who truly follow the team for all the season, be happy with the decision of playing the Italian Super Cup in Saudi Arabia?

Again, I understand that the clubs need to give something in exchange for the big money they get from the sponsors and personally I thought it was original the Credit Card thing. But they also need to set limits when that can affect big time their performance during the season. And most of all they need to respect more their local supporters. Is it fair that the Saudi Arabians will be the first to see Cristiano Ronaldo playing an official match with a Juve jersey? Is it fair that they will also be the first to see Higuain playing an official match with a Milan jersey? I don’t think so.