Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Premier League Picks Of The Week 3

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 3

The third week of the Premier League saw:

270 Shots - most by Man United = 29 

22 Goals - most by Arsenal & Chelsea = 3 each

227 Fouls - most by Watford = 18

46 Bookings - most by Watford = 6

0 Reds Cards

6 Penalties - 3 scored, 3 missed

ByTheMinute coverage at its best, even when the match has not got much to write about...

And the ByTheMinute team are also keeping track of all the transfer gossip and news, deadline day tomorrow!

First international break with Big Sam, here is who the new England boss picked and what he had to say.

Daniel AyalaWhat a game! The goalless game between West Brom and Middlesbrough did not have much to watch, report or cheer about. I feel with the fans, who should receive a refund for the ordeal. The fans reacted accordingly, calling for Tony Pulis' head. The pressure is already on, just three games into the season, after the side have only recorded one win in the last 13 games and averaging less than a goal a game since Pulis took over in January 2015. Dire.
What a team! Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United form a quite familiar top three, the only sides left with a 100% winning record in the Premier League after three games. Is this how the season will finish, I hear and read many ask. Wait out! Three new managers, 35 games to go... I think it is very premature to crown the champions already!

What a man(ager)! As mentioned above, the top three unbeaten teams, their three new managers, none other than Pep Guardiola, José Mourinho and Antonio Conte, are untouchable and you cannot get away from them. It seems like none of them can do anything wrong at the moment and could not have asked for a better start to the season. Or could they? Guardiola has been the most honest and realistic, seeing and pointing out where his side is lacking and needs improving... Early days!

What a goal! Star striker Jamie Vardy finally kicked off his season for defending champions Leicester (in case you needed reminding who the actual champions are at the moment after all the hu ha and bla bla about the current top three). And it was a fine finish off Danny Drinkwater's pass, a delicious goal we were used to be fed on a regular basis last season. And surprise surprise, long lost Raheem Sterling also shone with two goals for City. Reborn? Or just an exception? We will see.

Winston Reid, Sergio Aguero
What the hell?! Again, the referees are under fire. This time they missed Sergio Agüero's blatant elbow into West Ham defender Winston Reid's throat. I hope and think a ban will take him out of the Manc derby on the 10th September. On the other hand, Arthur Masuaku got away with a late tackle on John Stones when he was already cautioned, so could and should have been sent off, too. So, both sides got away with it, hence you could say justice was evened out. But I wish the referees could use replays, as it is ridiculous to see what players get cautioned for in contrast to what they then get away with! I've ranted enough about that plenty of times, so, to quote a Hammer friend of mine...

"Do referees have a Premier League directive in not sending off the top team's best players? Two weeks ago it was Costa and a blatant hack on Adrian, today its Aguero and a clear elbow in the throat of Reid...if the officials are not seeing these incidents then they are not doing their job, and if the officials are seeing these and taking no action, then they are not just incompetent, but corrupt...no complaints about the result, got beaten by the superior team (just), but something's rotten in the state of Denmark, and its called the FA..."

My predictions - Actual results
Tottenham 2:1 Liverpool - 1:1 - click here for my match report and here for my bythemin coverage
Chelsea 2:1 Burnley - 3:0
Crystal Palace 0:0 Bournemouth - 1:1
Everton 1:0 Stoke - 1:0
Leicester 2:1 Swansea - 2:1
Southampton 4:1 Sunderland - 1:1
Watford 1:2 Arsenal - 1:3
Hull City 2:3 Man United - 0:1
West Brom 1:1 Middlesbrough - 0:0
Man City 2:2 West Ham - 3:1

Click here for last week's Premier League Picks

Pictures taken from Bing searchBBC match reports & another Bing search

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Liverpool take a point at White Hart Lane

Sports - Football - Premier League - THFC 1:1 LFC

It ended all level 1-1 at White Hart Lane, but with plenty of talking points. On the one hand Liverpool will feel more like two points dropped because of Sadio Mané's disallowed goal. But Spurs were pushing and dangerous, especially with Harry Kane, so, better than nothing. Fair result in the end, intense game, both going for it, both getting something from it.

Danny Rose

The game started mixed, the home side on top, keeping the Red back line and keeper Simon Mignolet the busier, producing a couple of top notch saves against Kane. Both sides did not give each other much space, so possession changed quickly and regularly, both pushing again and again on the counter, Michel Vorm with some good stops of his own against Philippe Coutinho early on.

It did not take long for the tide to swing and Jürgen Klopp's men to take over, the front three Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Mané challenging the Spurs' back line. Just before the break, the pressure bared fruit. Firmino was brought down in the box by Erik Lamela chasing back. James Milner sent keeper Vorm the wrong way and netted the spot kick into the left corner, sending Liverpool into the interval 0-1 ahead.

James MilnerThe second half started just as intense, both teams not leaving each other much room to play with, possession not lasting long, giving away a lot of throws and free kicks. Mané and Danny Rose kept clashing after both had already been booked in the first half for their rants and tangles, keeping each other on their toes and tensions high.

The Reds should have had their lead doubled on 57' after a lovely move that involved Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana and Mané, the latter netting and celebrating, only to be flagged for offside. It was a very close call.

And it did come back to bite them indeed, Mauricio Pocchetino's men given too much time and space, even though there were six Liverpool players in the box. Rose was able to easily squeeze the ball in the near post to level the score with just under 20 minutes to go.

Kane was surprised to be taken off late on, youngster Joshua Onamah replacing him, Tottenham pushing for a win. Disgruntled Daniel Sturridge came on eventually, Mané coming off in the final minutes. But both changes were in the vane, the game continued and ended how it was all along, mix and match, give and take, great build-up and chances to clumsiness and giveaways.

This display sums up both sides' mixed season so far quite well. They both showed quality, but also plenty of points in need of improvement. 1-1 reflects this. After their embarrassing defeat at Burnley last week, Liverpool can be relieved and look forward to their first home match at the revamped Anfield against champions Leicester after the international break in a fortnight.
Here is my full coverage of the match, relive all the action on ByTheMinute LFC.

Interesting OptaJoe stats from the match:

Before the match:

0 - Harry Kane has never scored a Premier League goal in August.

9 - There have been more own goals scored in PL games between Spurs & Liverpool than any other fixture (9).

3 - Liverpool are the first team to play away in their opening 3 top-flight league games of a season since Chelsea & Bolton in 1997-98.

5 - Simon Mignolet has conceded the last five shots that he has faced on target in the Premier League.

HT & 2nd half:

41 - James Milner has never been on the losing team after scoring in a PL game (W34 D7 L0 before today).

6 - Six of Danny Rose's eight Premier League goals have come at White Hart Lane, including each of the last five.

10 - Harry Kane has not scored in any of his 10 Premier League appearances in the month of August.


42 - James Milner is now unbeaten in 42 PL games that he's scored in (W34 D8 L0); only Darius Vassell (46 games) has a better record.

Tottenham Goal: Rose 72'.

Liverpool Goal: Milner pen 43'.

Tottenham Team: 13 Vorm; 3 Rose (Y29', G72'), 5 Vertonghen (Y52'), 4 Alderweireld, 2 Walker (9 Janssen 28'); 12 Wanyama, 15 Dier; 23 Eriksen (29 Winks 93'), 20 Alli (Y77'), 11 Lamela; 10 Kane (c) (25 Onomah 83'). 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 31 McGee, 38 Carter-Vickers, 33 Davies & 7 Son.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 7 Milner (pen 43'), 6 Lovren (Y63'), 32 Matip (Y94'), 2 Clyne; 5 Wijnaldum, 14 Henderson (c) (Y85'), 20 Lallana (35 Stewart 94'); 10 Coutinho (Y46', 27 Origi), 11 Firmino, 19 Mané (Y33, 15 Sturridge 88'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 13 Manninger, 16 Grujic, 18 Moreno & 21 Lucas.

Y = yellow card, G = goal, pen = penalty

Sky Sports Match Stats: Tottenham-Liverpool HT & FT
Possession: 48.6%-51.4% & 49.4%-50.6%
Attempts: 4-6 & 11-13
On target: 1-3 & 4-3
Corners: 2-1 & 5-5
Offside: 0-3 & 2-6
Free kicks: 11-6 & 17-11
Bookings: 1-2 & 3-5

Referee: Robert Madley
Ground: White Hart Lane
Attendance: 31,211
Man of the match: Dejan Lovren

Pictures taken from BBC match report

Click here for my previous LFC match report

Friday, 26 August 2016

Sturridge double seals EFL Cup progress

Sports - Football - EFL Cup - BAFC 0-5 LFC

Liverpool started their EFL Cup campaign successfully and comfortably with a 0-5 win at Burton Albion.

Roberto Firmino scores

Coming back off a Premier League defeat at Burnley on Saturday, and still hurting from their League Cup final defeat against Manchester City last season, Jürgen Klopp's men came back all guns blazing.

Well, not quite. The score line over-compliments the Reds, a match that was less thrilling, entertaining and impressive, more like a kick in the park.

Divock Origi opened the scoring at the Pirelli Stadium, 15 minutes in, netting Sadio Mané's cross from close range with a cheeky back-heel flick.

Roberto Firmino doubled the score seven minutes later, keeper Stephen Bywater throwing the ball into Nathaniel Clyne's path whose surge down the right wing provided the Brazilian with a perfect cross to head in.

Just when it looked like Nigel Clough's men may be able to grind back something out of the match, taking more possession in the second half, a Tom Naylor own goal just past the hour made it 0-3.

Substitute Daniel Sturridge added two more to the Brewers' misery, 78' and 83', being in the right place at the right time, in the box, central, seemingly proving a point to those watching.

The only worry for Klopp's men on an easy night out came with Emre Can's injury who went down without any tackle or contact and had to be replaced just over halfway through the second half.

The next big test comes Saturday, lunch time, at White Hart Lane, where they can really prove what they are made of! (I'll be covering the Premier League match live on ByTheMinute.co)

Liverpool Goals: Origi 15', Firmino 22', Naylor OG 61', Sturridge 78' & 83'.

Burton Albion Team: 13 Bywater; 14 McCrory, 5 McFadzean (c), 15 Naylor; 11 Dyer (21 Fox 65'), 36 Irvine (16 Palmer 45'), 19 Choudhury (booked 57'), 7 Williamson (booked 61'), 10 Akins (22 Harness 65'); 9 Butcher, 12 Beavon. 3-5-2
Subs not used: 6 Turner, 23 Delaney, 1 McLaughlin, 8 O'Grady.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 7 Milner, 6 Lovren, 32 Matip, 2 Clyne; 14 Henderson (c), 23 Can (35 Stewart 71'), 20 Lallana (5 Wijnaldum 64'); 11 Firmino (15 Sturridge 64'), 27 Origi, 19 Mané. 4-3-3
Subs not used: 13 Manninger, 17 Klavan, 18 Moreno, 28 Ings.

Match Stats: Burton Albion-Liverpool
Possession: 41%-59%
Attempts: 4-15
On target: 0-8
Corners: 6-3
Offsides: 0-5
Fouls: 4-7
Bookings: 2-0

Referee: Simon Hooper
Ground: Pirelli Stadium
Attendance: 6,450

Pictures taken from the BBC match report, stats taken from Sky Sports app

Click here for my previous LFC match report

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Premier League Picks Of The Week 2

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 2

The second week of Premier League action saw:

253 Shots - most by Liverpool = 26

22 Goals - most by Man City = 4

237 Fouls - most by Watford = 20

34 Bookings - most by Man City & Watford = 4

1 Red Card - 2nd yellow for Arter for Bournemouth

3 Penalties - 3 scored, 0 missed

Paul Merson's rant about Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger's team selection and choices

Jeff Stelling promoting Hartlepool to the Premier League and Iain Dowie losing track of the score

David Moyes being blunt about Sunderland's chances

What a game! BAndre Gray fires home Burnley's second goalurnley's win against Liverpool after their seven-goal thriller-victory against Arsenal last week was impressive but less surprising looking at the Reds' mixed form of last season. Jürgen Klopp's men proved once again possession and stats in general don't mean anything and everything. The Reds have created the most chances in the Premier League so far this season (34), but not converting near enough. From top to flop within days and you don't know which one will turn up next. We will wait and see which one will turn up against Burton Albion in the EFL Cup and then at Tottenham in the next Premier League clash (which I will be covering live on ByTheMinute.co).

What a team! Hull City proved all doubters wrong again after beating Swansea 0-2 at the Liberty Stadium. If caretaker manager Mike Phelan doesn't get the job permanently, then fool them. The relegation favourites could not have wished for a better start to the season, flying high in the top four.Cristhian Stuani

What a goal! Cristhian Stuani's opener for Middlesbrough at Sunderland was a stunner. The Uruguayan opened his account for Boro and the Premier League with an unstoppable long-range smacker against the run of play after 13 minutes at the Stadium of Light. He doubled David Moyes' men's misery just before half time and the home side got a goal back in the second half but were not able to recover. Aitor Karanka's side recorded their first win of the season whilst Moyes' account at the Black Cats is still blank, looking more and more difficult and hopeless.

What a man! Zlatan Ibrahimovic can't do anything wrong at the moment. The 34-year old has scored in both opening games to feed United six point out of six and José Mourinho's ego and big mouth. As if the latter needed that! But it's still early days, LVG won the first two games last season as well and we know what happened next...
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
What the hell?! Diego Costa got away with it once again!!! Manager Antonio Conte's changes did work the magic and got his side back late on after falling behind at Watford. Second sub Michy Batshuayi pulled a goal with ten minutes left before third sub Cesc Fabregas set up Costa for the winner just before the end. But like last week, Costa got away with it! The 27-year-old should have not been on the field after appearing to dive to try and win a second-half penalty, when he had already been in referee Jon Moss' book. The rules are there for a reason, new and old, so please enforce them!!!

My predictions - Actual results

Man United 1:1 Southampton - 2:0
Stoke City 0:1 Man City - 1:4
Burnley 0:3 Liverpool - 2:0
Swansea 2:2 Hull City - 0:2
Tottenham 2:0 Crystal Palace - 1:0
Watford 1:2 Chelsea - 1:2
West Brom 1:1 Everton - 1:2
Leicester City 1:1 Arsenal - 0:0
Sunderland 0:0 Middlesbrough - 1:2
West Ham 2:1 Bournemouth - 1:0

Click here for last week's Premier League Picks

Pictures taken from BBC match reports (top picture montage taken from Bing Search)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Premier League Picks Of The Week 1

Sports - Football - Premier League - Week 1

The first week of Premier League action saw:

Gary Lineker pants255 Shots - most by Saints = 24

28 Goals - most by Liverpool = 4

256 Fouls - most by Boro = 18

41 Bookings - most by Stoke = 5

1 Red Card - Watson for Watford

4 Penalties - 3 scored, 1 missed

Jürgen Klopp going mental and dropping his glasses (again)!

Gary Lineker in his underpants/shorts on MOTD!

Gary Neville back on Sky Sports with Jamie Carragher on his case, any chance, every chance, lol!
(And I saw this on Twitter the other day, omg!!! => What a prank!!! <= Unbelievable!!!)

What a game! Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool! Disappointing first half, surprising second half. Here is my full report... A lot of eyes and boos are on Arsène Wenger, again, in his 21st season at Arsenal, last year of his contract, more and more fans cannot wait to see the back of him. But there are still plenty who back him, too. It will be interesting to see how his final season (of his current contract) at the London club unfolds and turns out.

Adama Diomande scores Hull's first goal against LeicesterWhat a team! No one really jumped out and shone, all teams lacked and leaked somehow, somewhat, apart from Hull City, beating the champions, what a start for them in the top flight! Leicester just confirmed the doubts surrounding them repeating anything anywhere near last season's unique historical glory, but I would not read too much into it. It's only the first of many games (38 to be exact). Wait and see...

What a goal! Adama Diomande's spectacular overhead kick for Hull City! And Philippe Coutinho's free kick equaliser, sweet and crucial when his side looked like non-existent just before the break at Arsenal.

What a man! I love Jürgen Klopp and his antiques on the touchline! It's not just me as a Liverpool fan, right?! He's just hilarious! Although Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is competing very well for the Crazy Man On The Touchline title as well! Makes a certain Portuguese manager seem less special me thinks...
Antonio Conte
What the hell?! Diego Costa was a very lucky man to remain on the pitch for the full time and be able to grab a late winner for the Blues. The 27-year-old had already been booked for remonstrating with the referee when he caught West Ham keeper Adrián very late. And the diving antiques in general annoyed me again, especially by Chelsea! They're on camera for goodness sake! And I like the new rule to get booked for contesting against the ref, but then please enforce it, too! The players still got away with too much, I feel!

My predictions - Actual results

Hull City 0:1 Leicester City - 2:1
Burnley 0:1 Swansea - 0:1
Crystal Palace 1:2 West Brom - 0:1
Everton 1:2 Tottenham - 1:1
Middlesbrough 1:1 Stoke City - 1:1
Southampton 2:0 Watford - 1:1
Man City 3:1 Sunderland - 2:1
Bournemouth 2:2 Man United - 1:3
Arsenal 2:2 Liverpool - 3:4 - click here for my match report 
Chelsea 1:1 West Ham - 2:1

Click here for my season preview

Pictures taken from the BBC match reports

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Reds stun Gunners in 7-goal thriller

Sports - Football - PL - AFC 3-4 LFC

What an introduction to the new season that was! The first Super Sunday clash of the season at the Emirates saw seven goals, a penalty save, plenty of close calls and blunders, with a certain crazy German going mental and losing his glasses on the side-line, whilst the older Frenchman in the opposite dugout seemed less involved and left facing the boos and blushes.

Arsene Wenger
One distraught Frenchman

And it all started so well for the home side in Arsène Wenger's 50th clash against the red Merseyside club. The Gunners were in control for most of the first half against a shaky Liverpool who just did not seem to get into gear.

Left-back Alberto Moreno was the villain of the half, leaving plenty of gaps, looking flustered and all over the place. It seemed only a matter of time until the Spaniard would cost the Reds dearly.

29 minutes gone, he brought down Theo Walcott in the box conceding a clumsily cheep penalty, to luckily and amazingly see it saved by much-doubted and under-fire keeper Simon Mignolet.

Theo Walcott and Alberto MorenoThe Belgian stopper levelled Chelsea's Dmitri Kharine's record as the Premier League's best penalty saving goalkeeper, having saved 5 of 11 spot kicks = 45%.

The let off did not last long though, when 68 seconds later, Walcott was given plenty of space to send an easy tidy finish into the bottom corner, Moreno again at fault for not being in position, giving the home side a deserved lead.

However, all frustration was wiped away for the visitors just before the break, when Philippe Coutinho sent a deliciously sweet free kick curling into the top left corner, giving keeper Petr Cech no chance, levelling the score and leaving Arsenal with frustrated faces during the interval.

Whatever Jürgen Klopp said during the break, it worked. The Reds, like a puzzle, seemed to have finally found and got the parts together, Coutinho to new signing Georginio Wijnaldum to Adam Lallana who netted a lovely goal to make it 1-2 in the 49th minute.

And seven minutes later Coutinho made it three, with a smacker guided into the far corner off a great drive in by Nathaniel Clyne, to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) celebrates with his players after Sadio Mane scores against ArsenalWith just over an hour gone, Arsenal were ripped and shredded to bits and pieces by individual brilliance, new star £34m-signing Sadio Mané making it 1-4 with great pace and skill, a top quality goal.

It was the first time a team scored four league goals at the Emirates against Arsenal since Chelsea in May 2009.

But that was far from game over. Only 73 seconds later, sub Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hit a goal back to make it 2-4 with a great individual skip and run, unsighted goalkeeper and deflection. Game on after a goal rush of 5 in 20 minutes.

And tension and action were raised again, when with 15 minutes to go, Calum Chambers headed in Oxlade-Chamberlain's free kick to reduce the deficit to one goal, 3-4, increasing Mignolet's nightmare of a headache.

The tense finish to the game saw pressure rising on both sides, for Arsenal to hit back, for Liverpool to hold on, the latter succeeding. The full time whistle blew, 3-4, the boos rang around the Emirates, the fans not happy with the old man, whilst Klopp and the men from the Kop could not have been more relieved, together and thriving on the outcome.

Philippe Coutinho
Man of the match: Philippe Coutinho

Arsenal Goals: Walcott 31', Oxlade-Chamberlain 64' & Chambers 75'.

Liverpool Goals: Coutinho 45'+1' & 56', Lallana 49' & Mane 63'.

Arsenal Team: 33 Cech (c); 18 Monreal, 21 Chambers, 16 Holding, 24 Bellerin; 34 Coquelin (booked 37'), 35 Elneny (29 Xhaka 67' booked 86'); 7 Sanchez, 17 Iwobi (booked 57') (15 Oxlade-Chamberlain 59'), 8 Ramsey (19 Cazorla 61'); 14 Walcott. 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 3 Gibbs, 10 Wilshere, 13 Ospina & 32 Akpom.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 18 Moreno (booked 29'), 6 Lovren (booked 41'), 17 Klavan, 2 Clyne; 5 Wijnaldum (35 Stewart 88'), 14 Henderson (c), 20 Lallana (booked 26') (27 Origi 76'); 10 Coutinho (23 Can 70'), 11 Firmino, 19 Mané. 4-3-3
Subs not used: 13 Manninger, 16 Grujic, 32 Matip & 66 Alex-Arnold.

Match Stats: Arsenal-Liverpool
Possession: 50.7%-49.3%
Shots: 9-16
On target: 5-7
Blocked: 1-6
Corners: 5-4
Offsides: 4-3
Free kicks: 17-13
Bookings: 3-3

Referee: Michael Oliver
Ground: Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 60,033

Friday, 12 August 2016


Sports - Football - Premier League

Well, well, well. The new season is upon us. I don't know about you, but I still can't quite believe what happened last season! I'm still reliving, digesting and trying to make sense of it, pinching myself to check it did really happen, and loving the fact that it did! Unpredictable! Unforgettable!

Claudio Ranieri
So, if you go by last season, then the title favourites this campaign would be Burnley! Or Sunderland! Better: Bournemouth! No, but seriously, I will put a cheeky pound on each of them. After last season, you just don't know! 

I hate the fact that everyone is writing off Leicester's chances (AGAIN!)! It will be difficult to repeat last season's surprise heroics, but that doesn't mean we're back to the old and obvious top picks. Just because they spend most, does not mean they will do most nor best, far from it! That was more than proven last season! 

Anyways, enough of my thoughts and takes, here is a good overview of the main changes, stats and facts, a good appetiser to what awaits us in the Premier League 2016/17...

New Bosses: 

Big names, big clashes, big results, the challenge, show and pressure are all ooooon! With lots of hoo and plenty of ha! Who will last the season? Who will see Christmas? Who is overrated and will flop? Who is king and will be top? Only time will tell...

Antonio Conte at Chelsea: The temperamental Italian was very entertaining to watch during Euro2016 and is expected to make a great impact. That's what he was chosen for, to drag the Blues back up. (Win% 55.66)

Ronald Koeman at Everton: His departure from Southampton surprised many after he frowned upon those who leave their clubs mid-contract time. Interesting season ahead, especially against his former club.(Win% 54.88)

Caretaker Mike Phelan at Hull: A tough (temporary) job on his hands with the club in turmoil after his ex-United team mate Steve Bruce's departure. Nothing to envy. (Win% N/A)

Pep Guardiola at Man City: The Barcelona legend will not be remembered for much at Bayern and has a point to prove in his first Premier League job. (Win% 72.87)

Jose Mourinho at Man United: And the Special One is back, with more than a point to prove after leaving Chelsea in the bottom half of the table last season. (Win% 66.1)

Claude Puel at Southampton: The one-club-man Monaco legend has a lot to learn and prove in his first job outside of France. (Win% 42.49)

David Moyes at Sunderland: The former Everton and Man United manager is happy to be back, back with a vengeance I am sure. (Win% 43.79)

Walter Mazzarri at Watford: The 12th boss at Vicarage Road in the last decade, the Italian will know this job is not an easy but usually short and bumpy ride. (Win% 40.03)

Old Bosses:

Déjà vu? Under pressure? Who? Where? Never! These ones have been there, done that and are back on their old seats for more. Or maybe less. Hanging in there. We will see...

Arsene Wenger at Arsenal since 1996: In his 21st season at the club and final year of his contract, there is a more sick and tired feel to the Gunners. (Win% 54.1)

Eddie Howe at Bournemouth since 2012: The Football League Manager of The Decade is certainly enjoying his second stint with the Cherries in the top flight. (Win% 46.7)

Sean Dyche at Burnley since 2012: Winning promotion to the Premier League for the second time in three years, he will hope the spell will last longer this time. (Win% 40.6)

Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace since 2015: Never without some controversy and will be under pressure after a disappointing end to last season. (Win% 42.5)

Claudio Ranieri at Leicester since 2015: The charming Italian will have to prove all the doubters wrong again after the sublime last season, no one seeing a repeat possible. (Win% 46.37)

Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool since 2015: The Normal One won over the Red hearts very quickly last season, now the question is whether he can win enough points, and trophies. (Win% 48.6)

Aitor Karanka at Middlesbrough since 2013: The Spaniard has had his ups and downs and crises with the club but has not looked back since his return and Boro's promotion. (Win% 52.5)

Mark Hughes at Stoke since 2013: Finishing 9th the last three seasons, the Potters will feel too comfortable for their own good. (Win% 39.7)

Francesco Guidolin at Swansea since 2016: Taking the job in January with the Swans just two points from the drop, the Italian has taught the Swans how to win and smile again. (Win% 43.8)

Mauricio Pocchetino at Tottenham since 2014: Had made Spurs title contenders last season but left disappointed losing the edge at the end and no trophies. This season will be crunch time for the Argentine. (Win% 39.6)

Tony Pulis at West Brom since 2015: The former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager certainly knows how to spoil the show for the big boys, so, never to be underestimated! (Win% 36.4%)

Slaven Bilic at West Ham since 2015: The Croatian has lead the Hammers to their best finish in the Premier League era, breaking plenty of records and wetting the appetite for the fans this season. (Win% 52.17)

Ins and Outs: 

Numbers of signings and exits per club (on date compiled = 11/08/2016), West Ham and Middlesbrough topping the shopping list with 9 new names each, whilst Liverpool have cleared out most with 15 players shown the door.

Arsenal: 4 & 8
Bournemouth: 8 & 7
Burnley: 4 & 5
Chelsea: 2 & 8
Crystal Palace: 3 & 9
Everton: 5 & 5
Hull City: 1 & 3
Leicester: 6 & 10
Liverpool: 6 & 15
Man City: 8 & 4
Man Utd: 4 & 9
Middlesbrough: 9 & 4
Southampton: 4 & 9
Stoke City: 3 & 2
Sunderland: 3 & 8
Swansea: 7 & 10
Tottenham: 2 & 4
Watford: 5 & 7
West Brom: 1 & 3
West Ham: 9 & 3

Big spenders this summer:

Not many surprises there (again, amounts correct on date compiled = 11/08/2016). Will this be the Premier League table come May 2017? Sad if so... I may put a £5er on it though...

  1. Man City £161.59m
  2. Man Utd £157.25m
  3. Liverpool £67.92m
  4. Chelsea £63.58m
  5. Arsenal £44.2m
  6. Leicester £40.38m
  7. West Ham £39.27m
  8. Tottenham £31.03m
  9. Bournemouth £29.84m
  10. Swansea £27.4m
  11. Southampton £24.23m
  12. Crystal Palace £23.21m
  13. Watford £21.72m
  14. Everton £19.98m
  15. Middlesbrough £19.3m
  16. Stoke City £17.67m
  17. Sunderland £14.08m
  18. West Brom £5.53m
  19. Burnley £3.66m
  20. Hull City: £0

Total spending: £811.84

My predictions:

I will pick Tottenham as my favourites because they are the only fully settled side without any major changes nor reshuffles. 

It will be interesting to see how Sunderland will do without Big Sam, I think they will struggle, even with Moyes in charge. I name them on my relegation list with newbies Hull City, post-Steve-Bruce. Last but not least, hm... Difficult to say, but sorry, have to pick another promoted side, Burnley, but hope to be proven wrong by the Championship winners.

A little fact to back them up: Of the 71 promoted teams to play in the Premier League, 44% of them = 31 have been immediately relegated, meaning more than half stay up, the average finishing position being 15th. Thanks to the BBC for that little fact. And for MOTD. I cannot wait to see Gary Lineker in his underpants!!! 😂🙆😂🙆😂

Expect the unexpected! Let the season begin... ⚽😍⚽😘⚽😍⚽

All pictures thanks to Bing, stats and facts thanks to Wikipedia, BBC, Sky Sports and talkSPORT.