ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE 2018/19 PREVIEW

 In Gary Mabbutt Blog

With the last ball being kicked off the 2018 Russia World Cup only three weeks ago, the new Premier League season is now upon us. After a very enjoyable World Cup, with plenty of surprises and goals, the focus is back on the Premier League.

For the biggest clubs, the pre-season training and matches have given them very little preparation time, as all of the players who were on World Cup duty for their countries did not return from holiday until the 6th August, one week before the season kicks off.

The Summer transfer window closes on the 9th August, a day before the first Premier League game and it has been a hectic summer of transfer dealings so far,  Liverpool broke the world-record fee for a goalkeeper when they paid £67m for Roma shot-stopper Alisson last week, which, according to reports, also saw them beat Premier League rivals Chelsea to his signature. Then Chelsea again beat the world transfer record for a keeper when they signed Spanish international Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6 million.

It has also been a busy window for West Ham, as well as appointing ex-Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini as manager, the Hammers have also brought in the likes of Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko.

Wolves have one of the most promising squads in the Premier League this season, yet their manager Nuno Espirito Santo has still managed to add nine reinforcements to his side as they attempt to remain in the division.

Fred has arrived at Manchester United and I believe he will be an influential signing.

Spurs have yet to buy anyone and have not been able to shift some of the dead wood that they have, although the likes of Saha, Grealish and Martial are continuously being linked for a move to Spurs.

The full list of transfers is below, so you can see what has been happening at your club.

The season opens with the Champions Man City visit Arsenal on the opening weekend. Arsenal goes into the season under new management after Spaniard Unai Emery succeeded Arsene Wenger, who has left after 22 years in charge.

Tottenham visit Newcastle first, then play their first home game against Fulham at Wembley, whilst our new £850 million Stadium is completed, our first Premier League game will be at the new stadium on 15th September. We have to have some trial events at the new stadium and the first senior game to be played at there will be on the 1st September when a Spurs Legends Team will play against a Bayern Munich legends team. There will be a 48,000 crowd and I am going to be the manager of the Spurs team, so I am busy selecting my team for this iconic – showpiece event.

Manchester United host Leicester City, Liverpool entertain West Ham, and Championship winners Wolverhampton Wanderers welcome Everton to Molineux. Promoted Fulham host Crystal Palace, while Cardiff visits Bournemouth. The three other fixtures on the opening weekend see Chelsea travel to Huddersfield, Southampton host Burnley, and Watford take on Brighton.

The opening weekend in full with my predictions:

Arsenal 1 v 2 Manchester City
Bournemouth 1 v 2 Cardiff City
Fulham 2 v 1 Crystal Palace
Huddersfield Town 1 v 2 Chelsea
Liverpool 3 v 1 West Ham United
Manchester United 2 v 1 Leicester City
Newcastle United 1 v 3 Tottenham Hotspur
Southampton 2 v 1 Burnley
Watford 2 v 1 Brighton
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 v 1 Everton

What do I think will happen this season?

I believe that the Premier League title will be between Manchester City, Spurs and Liverpool. Last year none of the promoted teams from the Championship got relegated, but I do not think this will happen again, with Fulham and Cardiff having their work cut out to survive. 

Please see following the full list of transfers for all of the Premier League teams during the Summer transfer window.

Arsenal

In
Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus) Free
Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen) Undisclosed
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Dortmund) Undisclosed 
Lucas Torreira (Sampdoria) Undisclosed
Matteo Guendouzi (Lorient) Undisclosed

Out
Per Mertesacker (retired)
Santi Cazorla (released)
Takuma Asano (Hannover) Loan 
Jack Wilshere (West Ham) Free
Vlad Dragomir (released)
Ryan Huddart (released)
Tafari Moore (released)
Hugo Keto (Brighton) Free
Chiori Johnson (released)
Yassin Fortune (released)
Aaron Eyoma (released)
Alex Crean (released)
Marc Bola (released)
Kelechi Nwakali (FC Porto) Loan 
Jeff Reine-Adelaide (Angers) Undisclosed 
Matt Macey (Plymouth) Loan

AFC Bournemouth

In
David Brooks (Sheff Utd) Undisclosed
Diego Rico (Leganes) Undisclosed

Out
Baily Cargill (released)
Ryan Allsop (released)
Ollie Harfield (released)
Sam Matthews (released)
Patrick O’Flaherty (released)
Joe Quigley (released) 
Rhoys Wiggins (retired)
Benik Afobe (Wolves) Undisclosed
Max Gradel (Toulouse) Undisclosed
Adam Federici (Stoke) Undisclosed
Mikael Ndjoli (Kilmarnock) Loan
Lewis Grabban (Nott’m Forest) Undisclosed
Sam Surridge (Oldham) Loan

Brighton & Hove Albion

In
Leon Balogun (Mainz) Free
Joseph Tomlinson (Yeovil) Free
Florin Andone (Deportivo) Undisclosed
Jason Steele (Sunderland) Undisclosed
Bernardo Fernandes da Silva Junior (RB Leipzig) Undisclosed
Hugo Keto (Arsenal) Free
David Button (Fulham) Undisclosed
Yves Bissouma (Lille) Undisclosed
Percy Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns) Undisclosed
Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar) Undisclosed

Out
Uwe Huenemeier (Paderborn) Free
Steve Sidwell (released)
Jamie Murphy (Rangers) Undisclosed
Bailey Vose (Colchester) Undisclosed
Liam Rosenior (released
Connor Goldson (Rangers) Undisclosed
Robert Sanchez (Forest Green Rovers) Loan
Ben Hall (Notts County) Loan
Niki Maenpaa (released)
Henrik Bjordal (Zulte Waregem) Undisclosed
Christian Walton (Wigan) Loan 
Steven Alzate (Swindon) Loan 
Ales Mateju (Brescia) Loan
Tom McGill (Worthing) Loan
Sam Baldock (Reading) Undisclosed

Burnley

In
Vinnie Steels (York City) Free

Out
Dean Marney (released)
Scott Arfield (Rangers) Free 
Tom Anderson (Doncaster) Free
Chris Long (released)
Josh Ginnelly (released)
Conor Mitchell (St Johnstone) Loan
Aiden Stone (Lancaster City) Loan

Cardiff City

In
Josh Murphy (Norwich) Undisclosed
Greg Cunningham (Preston) Undisclosed
Alex Smithies (QPR) Undisclosed
Bobby Reid (Bristol City) Undisclosed

Chelsea

In
Jorginho (Napoli) Undisclosed
Robert Green
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Athletic Bilbao)

Out
Mitchell Beeney (released)
Wallace Oliveira (released)
Trevoh Chalobah (Ipswich) Loan
Nathan Baxter (Yeovil) Loan
Reece James (Wigan) Loan
Dujon Sterling (Coventry) Loan
Lewis Baker (Leeds) Loan
Jake Clarke-Salter (Vitesse) Loan
Danilo Pantic (Partizan) Loan
Jonathan Panzo (Monaco) Undisclosed
Eduardo (Vitesse) Loan
Kenedy (Newcastle) Loan
Jhoao Rodriguez (Tenerife) Loan
Jamal Blackman (Leeds) Loan
Todd Kane (Hull) Loan
Mason Mount (Derby) Loan
Jeremie Boga (Sassuolo) Undisclosed
Mario Pasalic (Atalanta) Loan
Nathan (Atletico Mineiro) Loan
Jacob Maddox (Cheltenham Town) Loan
Victorien Angban (Metz) Loan
Kasey Palmer (Blackburn) Loan

Crystal Palace

In
Vicente Guaita (Getafe) Free

Out
Diego Cavalieri (released)
Damien Delaney (released)
Lee Chung-Yong (released)
Yohan Cabaye (Al Nasr) Free 
Jaroslaw Jach (Caykur Rizespor) Loan

Everton

In
Richarlison (Watford) Undisclosed

Out
Joel Robles (Real Betis) Free
Jose Baxter (released)
David Henen (released)
Ramiro Funes Mori (Villarreal) Undisclosed 
Wayne Rooney (D.C. United) Undisclosed
Luke Garbutt (Oxford United) Loan
Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray) Loan 
Shani Tarashaj (Grasshopper Club Zurich) Loan 
Davy Klaassen (Werder Bremen) Undisclosed

Fulham

In
Jean Michael Seri (Nice) Undisclosed 
Maxime Le Marchand (Nice) Undisclosed
Fabricio Agosto Ramirez (Besiktas) Undisclosed
Andre Schurrle (Borussia Dortmund) Loan
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United) Undisclosed

Out
Ryan Fredericks (West Ham) Free
Stephen Humphrys (Scunthorpe) Loan
Elijah Adebayo (Swindon) Loan
David Button (Brighton) Undisclosed

Huddersfield Town

In
Ben Hamer (Leicester) Free
Terence Kongolo (Monaco) Undisclosed
Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke) Undisclosed
Juninho Bacuna (Groningen) Undisclosed 
Jonas Lossl (Mainz) Undisclosed
Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund) Undisclosed
Adama Diakhaby (Monaco) Undisclosed

Out
Dean Whitehead (retired) 
Robert Green (Chelsea) Free
Jack Boyle (released)
Denilson Carvalho (released)
Dylan Cogill (released)
Luca Colville (released)
Cameron Taylor (released)
Jack Payne (Bradford City) Loan 
Sean Scannell (Bradford City)
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis (Bristol Rovers)
Tom Ince (Stoke City) £10m
Joel Coleman (Shrewsbury) Loan

Leicester City

In
Ricardo Pereira (Porto) Undisclosed
Jonny Evans (West Brom) Undisclosed
James Maddison (Norwich) Undisclosed
Danny Ward (Liverpool) Undisclosed

Out
Robert Huth (released) 
Ben Hamer (Huddersfield) Free
Elliott Moore (OH Leuven) Loan
Connor Wood (Bradford) Undisclosed 
Riyad Mahrez (Man City) Undisclosed
Harvey Barnes (West Brom) Loan 
Daniel Iverson (Oldham) Loan

Liverpool

In
Fabinho (Monaco) Undisclosed
Naby Keita (RB Leipzig) Undisclosed
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) Undisclosed 
Alisson Becker (AS Roma) Undisclosed

Out
Yan Dhanda (Swansea) Undisclosed
Ovie Ejaria (Rangers) Loan
Emre Can (Juventus) Free
Jon Flanagan (released)
Adam Bogdan (Hibernian) Loan
Harry Wilson (Derby) Loan 
Paulo Alves (Wolves) Free
Danny Ward (Leicester) Undisclosed 
Andy Firth (Barrow) Undisclosed 
Ryan Kent (Rangers) Loan
Taiwo Awoniyi (Gent) Loan
Shamal George (Tranmere) Loan
Allan (Frankfurt) Loan

Manchester City

In
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) Undisclosed
Claudio Gomes (PSG) Undisclosed
Philippe Sandler (PEC Zwolle) Undisclosed

Out
Pablo Maffeo (Stuttgart) Undisclosed
Yaya Toure (released)
Angelino (PSV) Undisclosed
Ashley Smith-Brown (Plymouth) Undisclosed
Matt Smith (Twente) Loan
Edward Francis (Almere City) Loan
Manu Garcia Alonso (Toulouse) Loan
Angus Gunn (Southampton) Undisclosed 
Paolo Fernandes (NAC Breda) Loan
Jack Harrison (Leeds United) Loan
Aro Muric (NAC Breda) Loan
Bersant Celina (Swansea City) Undisclosed

Manchester United

In
Diogo Dalot (Porto) Undisclosed
Fred (Shakhtar) Undisclosed
Lee Grant (Stoke) Undisclosed

Out
Michael Carrick (retired)
Joe Riley (Bradford) Undisclosed
Dean Henderson (Sheff Utd) Loan
Sam Johnstone (West Brom) Undisclosed 
Daley Blind (Ajax) Undisclosed
Matty Willock (St Mirren) Loan
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Scunthorpe) Loan

Newcastle United

In
Martin Dubravka (Sparta Prague) Undisclosed
Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea) Free
Kenedy (Chelsea) Loan 
Fabian Schar (Deportivo La Coruna) Undisclosed
Yoshinori Muto (Mainz) Undisclosed

Out
Massadio Haidara (Lens) 
Stuart Findlay (Kilmarnock)
Mikel Merino (Real Sociedad) Undisclosed
Chancel Mbemba (Porto) Undisclosed
Matz Sels (Strasbourg) Undisclosed
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) Undisclosed

Southampton

In
Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) Undisclosed
Mohamed Elyounoussi (Basel) Undisclosed
Angus Gunn (Man City) Undisclosed
Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach) Undisclosed

Out
Olufela Olomola (Scunthorpe) Free
Jeremy Pied (released)
Florin Gardos (released)
Ollie Cook (released)
Armani Little (released)
Will Wood (released)
Richard Bakary (released)
Dusan Tadic (Ajax) Undisclosed
Stuart Taylor (released)
Guido Carrillo (Leganes) Loan
Ryan Seager (Telstar) Loan
Sofiane Boufal (Celta Vigo) Loan
Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord) Loan

Tottenham Hotspur

Out
Keanan Bennetts (Borussia Monchengladbach) Undisclosed
Anton Walkes (Portsmouth) Undisclosed

Watford

In
Ben Wilmot (Stevenage) Undisclosed
Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona) Undisclosed
Marc Navarro (Espanyol) Undisclosed
Adam Masina (Bologna) Undisclosed
Ken Sema (Ostersunds) Undisclosed
Ben Foster (West Brom) Undisclosed

Out
Brandon Mason (released)
Costel Pantilimon (Nott’m Forest) Undisclosed
Mauro Zarate (Boca Juniors) Undisclosed
Richarlison (Everton) Undisclosed
Tommie Hoban (Aberdeen) Loan
Nordin Amrabat (Al-Nassr) Undisclosed
Jerome Sinclair (Sunderland) Loan
Randell Williams (Wycombe) Loan

West Ham United

In
Ryan Fredericks (Fulham) Free
Issa Diop (Toulouse) Undisclosed
Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea) Undisclosed
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) Free
Andriy Yarmolenko (Dortmund) Undisclosed
Fabian Balbuena (Corinthians) Undisclosed
Felipe Anderson (Lazio) Undisclosed

Out
James Collins (released)
Patrice Evra (released)
Ben Wells (QPR) Undisclosed
Reece Burke (Hull) Undisclosed
Marcus Browne (Oxford) Loan

Wolverhampton Wanderers

In
Benik Afobe (AFC Bournemouth) Undisclosed
Willy Boly (Porto) Undisclosed
Raul Jimenez (Benfica) Loan 
Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon) Undisclosed 
Leo Bonatini (Al-Hilal) Undisclosed 
Ruben Vinagre (Monaco) Undisclosed 
Paulo Alves (Liverpool) Free 
Joao Moutinho (Monaco) Undisclosed
Jonny Castro Otto (Atletico Madrid) Loan

Out
Jordan Allan
Dan Armstrong
Anthony Breslin
Nicu Carnat
Ross Finnie
Jon Flatt
Conor Levingston
Tomas Nogueira
Hakeem Odoffin
Adam Osbourne
Ryan Rainey
Jose Xavier
Christian Herc (Dunajska Streda) Loan
Aaron Collins (Colchester) Loan
Benik Afobe (Stoke) Loan
Duckens Nazon (STVV) Undisclosed
Sherwin Seedorf (Bradford) Loan
Ben Marshall (Norwich) Undisclosed
Roderick Miranda (Olympiacos) Loan
Prince Oniangue (Caen) Undisclosed
Rafa Mir (Las Palmas) Loan
Carl Ikeme (retired)
Barry Douglas (Leeds) Undisclosed
Ben Goodliffe (Dagenham & Redbridge) Loan

Enjoy the season and I hope your favourite team give you a lot to cheer about this year.

Have a good week,

Gary

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