Buaksib Asia presents the preview of match week 1 of the English Premier League season 2020/2021.
Highlighting upcoming games of match week 1, Liverpool Vs Leeds United, Fulham Vs Arsenal & Tottenham Hotspur Vs Everton.
Liverpool Vs Leeds United
Liverpool’s four season-opening Premier League games played under Jürgen Klopp have been mainly successful, with all featuring at least four total goals, and the Reds scoring at least three goals. Two of those four were home appearances, where Liverpool led by at least two goals at half time on both occasions. Unbeaten in the last 59 Premier League matches held at ‘fortress Anfield,’ the ‘Reds’ are currently on a 17-match winning streak in the Premier League against newly-promoted sides. Thirteen (76.47%) of those were won with at least a two-goal margin, and 12 were victories ‘to nil.’ Meanwhile, in ten of those wins, Liverpool were utterly dominant from the off, leading at half-time and scoring in both halves.
Leeds United are back at the top level after 16 years of hurt. And as they did in 1990, begin a top-flight campaign as newcomers on Merseyside. Ambitious under Marcelo Bielsa, they emphatically won the Championship, conceding the fewest goals of all (0.76 on average per match) and finished the season with six straight wins, across which they conceded just two goals. Meanwhile, Leeds were the Championship’s top scorers away from home with 1.61 goals scored per match. However, the fact that they last shutout Liverpool at Anfield in April 1995 contributes to expectations of a loss, and their last four away defeats in all competitions have come with a scoring blank.
Players to watch: Mohamed Salah can become the first Liverpool player to score in four consecutive Premier League opening matches and just the second in history.
Leeds’ top scorer last season, Patrick Bamford, scored seven (38.89%) of his 18 league goals away from home.
Hot stat: Leeds are Premier League opening match specialists and have gone 12 such matches without defeat.
Fulham Vs Arsenal
Back in the top-flight at the first attempt via the Championship play-off final, Fulham will look to add to an impressive opening day Premier League record of one defeat in their last six. However, the ‘Cottagers’ will have to snap a run of five straight losses versus London rivals Arsenal. The previous four that saw them lose by a multi-goal margin – and ten consecutive Premier League defeats. London clubs! Entering this game with one competitive loss in ten, albeit in the Championship, 32 of Fulham’s league games last term saw the same HT/FT outcome. That was an unwanted theme in their previous Premier League campaign (2018/19), with their 20 HT/FT defeats an all-time Premier League high. Furthermore, Fulham’s 81 goals conceded back then is the most by any Premier League side since they realized 85 in 2013/14.
Expected to do better this campaign after their worst league season in 25 years, FA Cup and Community Shield winners Arsenal have shown an ability to raise their game, winning each of the last five competitive games when unfancied. On the flip side, a lack of focus when favored has seen them win just one of the previous four games. Arsenal struggled on the road last season, winning just four Premier League trips. Slow starts were a constant theme, with the ‘Gunners’ the only Premier League side to see no away match goal in the opening ten minutes all season, a stat which also holds in the last 15 H2Hs (all venues).
Players to watch: Championship top scorer last season, Aleksandar Mitrović has scored in 16 separate Premier League games, 13 of which saw both sides score.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored seven of Arsenal’s last eight competitive goals and netted in the previous two H2Hs.
Hot stat: Arsenal topped the Premier League in 2019/20 for yellow and red cards.
Tottenham Vs. Everton
Tottenham Hotspur will start their season with a bang and continue their decent record of just one defeat from their previous seven Premier League opening day fixtures. Notably, they netted their last five goals in these games during either the first or final 20 minutes of the match and scored 2+ in each of their previous three Premier League openers.
‘Spurs’ lost just four home league games last season and have lost only three of their 28 Premier League home H2Hs against Everton. Yet while they’ve scored inside the opening 30 minutes in five of the previous six meetings, it’s worth noting that Tottenham dropped 19 points from winning positions last term, a trend that has increased across the last three Premier League campaigns (14 in 2018/19; 4 in 2017/18).
Everton haven’t lost any Premier League opener across their previous eight seasons, with four of those six draws ending via a 2-2 scoreline. Their recent Premier League away form hasn’t been great, though, and they lost four of their final six away matches last term and failed to score over 1.5 goals in each of the previous five. The ‘Toffees’ rarely took the initiative in their Premier League road trips the last term, securing an HT lead in just 21.05% of such matches. Furthermore, they also tended to succumb to late goals, ending the season with an away goal difference of -5 after the 75th minute.
Players to watch: Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored a brace in four of his previous five Premier League matches vs. Everton.
Everton new boy Abdoulaye Doucouré scored four Premier League goals last season. Three arrived before HT, including one away at Tottenham.
Hot stat: Everton have lost 78 of their 156 Premier League games played in London (50%), only Newcastle have lost more such Premier League away games (79).