The 2019/20 Premier League is already underway and fans across Africa and around the world are in high mood with the new episode.
Liverpool and Norwich City kicked off the new Premier League season last night with the Reds registering a strong start after their 4-1 at Anfield.
Last season’s joint top scorer Egyptian forward Mohamad Salah was one of the scorers after netting in Liverpool’s second in the 19th minute.
Last season three African superstars including Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Liverpool pair Mohamad Salah and Sadio Mane (Senegal) shared the golden boot after each scoring 22 goals.
What are some of the main aspects to expect this season?
Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
The English Premier League has finally embraced the technology and the FA decided that the system will be in use this season.
VAR will be consulted in different scenarios during the game if the officials deem it necessary. Scenarios that may lead to calling in the new system include deciding goals, awarding penalties, red cards, and mistaken identity.
Fans should expect at least some minimum drama and a few controversies that may be inevitable as far as VAR decisions are concerned?
A very hot title race
Last season it was hugely a two-horse race between eventual champions Manchester City and runners up Liverpool. However, this season the title race may be too wide open with all the members of the top six looking ready to challenge for the title this season.
Indeed, both Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp have admitted that this season thing may be a bit different saying that all the top six clubs are title contenders this campaign.
Clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United who finished out of the top four last season and therefore failed to qualify for champions league have strengthened their squads in the transfer window and this means that they are aiming for the best this season.
Defending champions Manchester City are still regarded as title favorites while Liverpool will be fighting hard to win the Premier League for the first time having failed by just one-point last season.
Frank Lampard is also expected to fight hard to prove a point as a new Chelsea manager and former player while Tottenham will be hoping to upgrade from last season’s fourth position having added some hot talents to their squad in the transfer window.
Will new signings help their club improve?
Clubs have made some expensive signings this summer and they will be hoping they are able to get the work done first time. There have been record signings in several clubs with the most significant ones including Harry Maguire joining Manchester United at a record fee for a defender (80 million pounds). Arsenal have also broken their transfer record by signing Ivory Coast winger Nicolas Pepe from Lille for 72 million pounds. Tottenham and Manchester City have also made record signings in Toguy Ndombele and Rodri respectively.
Will there be new entrants in the top six?
Last season there was a huge gap between the top six and the 7th placed team of 9 points. However, this season clubs like Wolves who were seventh last season, Everton and Leicester City have invested strongly to strengthen their squads aiming to break into the top six.
Any mistake by some of the traditional top six members may see them being eclipsed by one or more of these emerging sides aspiring to start contesting at continental level.
Who will be in the relegation battle?
The 3 newcomers this season include Aston Villa, Norwich City and Sheffield United and their main aim will be to ensure that they stay in the top flight.
Last season saw Brighton, Southampton, and Burnley survive the knife and they will be determined this time not find themselves in the mix of relegation again.
Therefore, just like the title race, the relegation battle also looks wide open but was is assured is that at the end there will be one champion and three relegated clubs.
Who will win the golden boot?
Three players shared the Premier League golden boot last season after netting 22 goals each and that shows you how hot the race was. Will one of the three last season’s winners eclipse the others this time or it will be one of those who missed narrowly like Aguero, Harry Kane, and Jarmy Vardy?