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2020/21 Premier League Thread: VAR Check Complete - No Cough

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 04 Aug 2020, 10:52 pm

We have our 20 as Fulham take the playoff spot and we welcome back West Brom, Fulham and, most importantly to the nation (apparently) Leeds.

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 20 Aug 2020, 4:27 pm

Opening day fixtures released:

Crystal Palace v Southampton (12 Sep)
Fulham v Arsenal (12 Sep)
Liverpool v Leeds United (12 Sep)
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton (12 Sep)
West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City (12 Sep)
West Ham United v Newcastle United (12 Sep)
Brighton v Chelsea (14 Sep)
Sheffield United v Wolves (14 Sep)
Burnley v Manchester United (later date)
Manchester City v Aston Villa (later date)

The two Manchester clubs have their opening fixtures postponed due to their involvement in European competition.

I make Liverpool favourites to win the league again, but interestingly enough the bookmakers have City as the even money favourites, with Liverpool out at 7/4. Man United, who just came off one of their worst PL seasons in terms of points + wins if not finishing place, are laughably priced as 8/1 third favourites.

Hopes for the season:

1) Most importantly, Covid-19 fades away, no disruption to the season and we get back to crowds attending games by the end of the season. Even if it's just small crowds, filling up 25% of the ground (no jokes about certain clubs, please!).
2) Better quality. Last season was the worst PL season in terms of quality since Leicester won the league. The teams from about 15th-20th last season were garbage in terms of quality and entertainment value. Hopefully, West Brom and Fulham and Leeds will add value to the division.
3) Minimal VAR failures. And zero goal-line tech failures!
4) Leeds get relegated. Here's hoping.
5) A close title race would be nice, but I think Liverpool win it again by 10+ points.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Thu 20 Aug 2020, 4:30 pm

Duty281 wrote:

I make Liverpool favourites to win the league again, but interestingly enough the bookmakers have City as the even money favourites, with Liverpool out at 7/4. Man United, who just came off one of their worst PL seasons in terms of points + wins if not finishing place, are laughably priced as 8/1 third favourites.


What is laughable about the third placed form team being priced at 8/1, seems reasonable to me.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Fri 21 Aug 2020, 2:50 pm

Liverpool seem a good price considering the rest they’ve had and the quality they showed. Easier end of season and missing all the pressure of the Europe stuff this summer.

We’ve got such a horrible fixture list to start with that any hopes of having a quiet year are gone, it’ll be another relegation battle.

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Post by Duty281 on Thu 27 Aug 2020, 12:07 pm

I see, since I wrote the above, that United have drifted to 16/1 to win the league, which is getting closer to fairness. Would put Manchester United out at around 33/1 to win the league, personally. They're a long way behind City/Liverpool, and have probably slipped behind Chelsea during the off-season. Would be surprised to see United placed higher than 4th this year, they could struggle to make even that if Tottenham come good again.

At the other end of the table, difficult to see Fulham or West Brom doing anything of note. But there's so many poor teams in the bottom half of the table that one or both could be reprieved.

In good news, there'll be no more drinks breaks and it's back to three substitutions, not five. Increased use of VAR pitchside monitors too.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/aug/06/premier-league-clubs-reject-chance-to-continue-with-five-substitutions

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 6:41 pm

Arsenal win the community shield on penalties, in the same month they won the FA Cup.

The one year the FA could have skipped the 'curtain-raiser'.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 7:59 pm

Duty281 wrote:Arsenal win the community shield on penalties, which gives them huge #momentum thanks to Arteta’s #project. This in the same month they won the FA Cup, building on the habit of #wins that will give them huge #confidence.

The one year the FA could have skipped the 'curtain-raiser'.

You’ve made some errors, but I’ve fixed it

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 29 Aug 2020, 11:55 pm

Well they've got two trophies in one month, so I reckon they're literally #unstoppable now.

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Post by Duty281 on Wed 09 Sep 2020, 7:51 pm

So the season starts on Saturday, predictions from 1-20:

Spoiler:

1 - Liverpool
2 - Man City
3 - Chelsea
4 - Tottenham
5 - Man Utd
6 - Everton
7 - Leicester
8 - Wolves
9 - Arsenal
10 - Southampton
11 - Palace
12 - Leeds
13 - Newcastle
14 - Aston Villa
15 - Sheffield United
16 - Burnley
17 - West Ham
18 - West Brom
19 - Brighton
20 - Fulham

Still think Liverpool will comfortably win the league, and wouldn't be surprised to see Chelsea pip City to second. The final top four spot will be very tightly contested, and it's imperative for Tottenham that Kane and Son stay fit and in good form. Relegation is tough to call - I think if any team I've listed from 13 down were relegated, I wouldn't be surprised about it.

Should be quite a decent season. A number of clubs have made some exciting signings, and seeing the likes of Werner, Havertz, Allan, Rodriguez, and Van de Beek in the PL will be excellent. Here's hoping it stays Covid-free.

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Post by daraghj82 on Thu 10 Sep 2020, 9:53 am



looking forward to the new season, hoping leeds are comfortably mid table , Chelsea might push city and Liverpool closer as they've made some good signings

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Post by westisbest on Sat 12 Sep 2020, 8:23 am

1, Man City
2, Liverpool
3, Chelsea
4, Man Utd
5, Arsenal
6, Spurs
7, Leicester
8, Wolves
9, Everton
10, Saints
11, Sheffield Utd
12, Palace
13, Villa
14, Newcastle
15, Leeds
16, West Ham
17, Burnley
.................................
18, Brighton
19,Fulham
20, Baggies

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Post by Just John on Sat 12 Sep 2020, 8:59 am

I think the Burnley bubble with burst this year. Probably Burnley, WBA and Fulham.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Sat 12 Sep 2020, 1:35 pm

I can’t remember what I predicted but I’m sure I had Liverpool champions, same top four as last year and Fulham, West Ham and West Brom to go down.

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 12 Sep 2020, 6:01 pm

Neither team wants to defend competently at Anfield, 2-2 after 30 minutes.

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 12 Sep 2020, 7:25 pm

Fun game, finished 4-3 to the champions because Leeds conceded two dumb penalties.

Klopp presumably won't be happy about the terrible defending from his side.

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Post by Just John on Sat 12 Sep 2020, 9:46 pm

Routine win at West Ham for the Toon. Hammers are woeful

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 13 Sep 2020, 2:13 pm

I enjoyed watching Andy Carroll barrel into everyone. Hope Southgate was watching.

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Post by Beer on Tue 15 Sep 2020, 2:54 pm

Duty281 wrote:I enjoyed watching Andy Carroll barrel into everyone. Hope Southgate was watching.

Why? Is he looking for a striking coach?

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 19 Sep 2020, 7:30 pm

Atrocious performance from Manchester United this evening, as they got torn apart by Palace at home. They'll need more than Sancho to bolster their team.

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 20 Sep 2020, 7:38 pm

Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool. Christensen sent off just before half time for rugby tackling Mane. Mane scored twice, latter after another horror show from Kepa - who’s arguably the worst goalkeeper I’ve ever seen.

Chelsea might have signed every attacking player going, but without a proper goalkeeper and defence they’ll achieve nothing.

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 26 Sep 2020, 6:01 pm

Didn't think there'd be anything more dramatic than United's 100th minute winner this weekend, but West Brom are 3-0 up against Chelsea after 28 minutes. Erm

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sat 26 Sep 2020, 6:08 pm

I think it’s ridiculous that Lampard thought a 36 year old Thiago Silva was the solution to that dreadful defence. I saw Silva in his prime at AC Milan and he long since diminished from that standard. Wasting £61m on Havertz was ludicrous, should’ve signed an elite CB.

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 26 Sep 2020, 7:45 pm

Chelsea got it back to 3-3 in the end. Work to do for Frank.

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Post by JDizzle on Sat 26 Sep 2020, 11:27 pm

Think there could be a lot of results like that for Chelsea this year! Hopefully the new GK and Chilwell could make a difference but a genuine DM to balance the midfield is still needed.

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Post by Just John on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 9:33 am

JDizzle wrote:Think there could be a lot of results like that for Chelsea this year!

but a genuine DM to balance the midfield is still needed.

No real excuse for Lampard to not have fixed that issue. Compare that to Ancelotti at Everton, who identified key areas that needed improving and getting them resolved. Lampard just seems to have signed copious amount of attacking talent, without any real thought on what identity the team will have, or how tactically they will set up.

Have to laugh at the ‘DM needed’ comment. I know Chelsea love to open the cheque book, but you have a two-time PL and WC winning midfielder in N’Golo Kante who can do that job. It’s up to Lampard to justify why he’s in the job, and start making tactical adjustments, to balance that side out.

Also, a slight issue with Werner, is that he won’t score many goals or be a success in the PL, if he goes hunting the ball, and doing the work of his more creative midfielders behind. Lampard needs to tell him to stick within the lines of the penalty box, something Ancelotti has worked out with Calvert-Lewin.

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Post by JDizzle on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 9:52 am

Yeah, I’m not massively convinced by Lampard. But he did a good job last year and deserves the season unless it goes totally wrong with his players. It does concern me that he doesn’t seem to have a clear idea of what formation he wants to play though.

Chelsea have also signed a GK, CB and LB - so it’s not like they’ve just signed attackers. And I can’t believe we still have to do this but if you tell Kante to sit in front of the back four you are totally wasting his best qualities of mobility and insane pressing. He needs to be winning the ball back higher up the pitch, not sitting and holding.

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Post by Just John on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 3:56 pm

What a joke decision to give the Toon a pen. Game has gone

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 4:11 pm

It is a penalty under the laws as currently written, so no blame attached to the officials, but my word the handball law is such a farce. Exemplified perfectly this weekend.

Change the handball law back to when it was deliberate = offence, not this current nonsense about unnatural positions and the like. Been a farce since the PSG/United game. And get rid of VAR, which creates more problems than it solves.

I can genuinely see PL managers encouraging players to shoot at defenders arms, rather than at the goal, if this carries on.

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Post by Just John on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 4:27 pm

Vardy hat-trick vs Man City. Same old problems for, Pep

Make that Man City 1-4 Leicester. Pummelling

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 6:05 pm

Yep, if we didn't have enough drama for the week, Leicester have struck the first significant blow in the title race and are 4-1 up away to City.

Just need a 9-goal thriller in this evening's fixture, followed by more handball controversy in tomorrow's games.

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Post by Just John on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 6:08 pm

Ruben Dias and Laporte to come in, but that’s not their only issue. Walker is a total liability, the midfield of Rodri and Fernandinho is poor, and without Aguero, they lack that ruthless touch in front of goal.

Man City 2-5 Leicester

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Post by westisbest on Sun 27 Sep 2020, 7:12 pm

Handball rule seems to be ruining the games.

It seems to be talked about more than the games themselves.

Is it not that if it hits the sleeve no pen, if it hits skin it’s a pen.

Within reason, from a distance. Christ I haven’t a clue Laugh

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Post by Duty281 on Sat 03 Oct 2020, 7:28 pm

City slip up again, this time away to Leeds. Lack of finish in front of goal costing them. Means that after only three games each, Liverpool already have a five-point advantage.

And Everton, the most fun team in the league currently, made it four wins out of four despite the best efforts of Jordan Pickford.

Merseyside Derby after the, *sigh*, international break should be a decent one.

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Post by Just John on Sat 03 Oct 2020, 7:42 pm

Duty281 wrote:City slip up again, this time away to Leeds. Lack of finish in front of goal costing them. Means that after only three games each, Liverpool already have a five-point advantage

Similar to last season. Not much has changed over the summer for City. Walker and Mendy are horrific, the midfield is poor, and without Aguero, they waste chance, after chance.

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Post by Just John on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:01 pm

United imploding

3-1 down to Spurs and Martial sent off 😂

Cue, some panic buying

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Post by Soul Requiem on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:04 pm

Football is in a dire state when that is a red card.

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Post by Just John on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:07 pm

4-1

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:08 pm

Yeah and can't see the end result being any different. No challengers to Liverpool's title.

Meanwhile a tactically rubbish, and completely useless defensively (epitomised by overrated Maguire), United side are being torn apart by an uber-confident Tottenham attack. First major blow struck in the top four race. Can't see United getting close to top four this year. They finished third last year predominantly because of the poor quality of teams around them - those teams have improved, United have regressed. Best chance for Everton to reach top four in a while.

Thought the red card was pathetic from Lamela. Can't see how you send Martial off for that, but not Lamela as well. Ideally, neither would have been red-carded.

4-1 now. Another for Son. End of Ole?

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 5:54 pm

If Maguire is really worth £80m I dare not thing to imagine what Maldini would be worth in the modern market - at least £300m.

Woodward might be wanting to call Pochettino

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 7:50 pm

Aston Villa 2-0 up against Liverpool

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 7:56 pm

Aston Villa 3-1 Liverpool crazy game

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Post by Jeff Navarro on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 7:57 pm

4-1 Watkins hat trick

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Post by westisbest on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 8:20 pm

Fantastic first half. Bl00dy nervous, despite a 3 goal lead.
Delighted for Watkins. Barkley should have scored.

Liverpool unlucky not to get a pen.

C’mon Villa, same in the second half.

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 8:38 pm

5-2. Football's gone mad.

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Post by Just John on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 8:58 pm

7-2 wtf

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 9:15 pm

Was it the most bizarre day in PL history?

Leicester 0-3 West Ham.
Man Utd 1-6 Tottenham.
Villa 7-2 Liverpool.

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Post by westisbest on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 9:44 pm

On cloud 9. Early days. Great days so far.

Things taking a turn for the better for the Villa. Been a long time waiting.

Onto Leicester next. Hopefully can make it 4 from 4.

Makes the league more interesting.
All these goals and no fans at the grounds.

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 04 Oct 2020, 11:31 pm

Saw Adrian was at fault for the first Villa goal, though the later madness probably means it'll be forgotten. Can't fathom why Liverpool didn't get a better back-up keeper in the off season - he was at fault for their FA Cup and Champions League exits last season.

Do people on here think no crowds has resulted in some of the Sunday-League esque scores we've seen already this season, or is it simply a lack of fitness and maybe focus after the truncated football calendar and global health pandemic?

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Post by Atila on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 6:02 am

Duty281 wrote:Do people on here think no crowds has resulted in some of the Sunday-League esque scores we've seen already this season, or is it simply a lack of fitness and maybe focus after the truncated football calendar and global health pandemic?
I think that no crowds means that whatever advantage teams had by playing at home has gone. The Sunday league scores I can't explain.

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Post by westisbest on Mon 05 Oct 2020, 7:22 am

I think no crowds makes a difference to some teams. Certainly with Villa.

If fans at the game last night, at 2-1, would have been very nervous, were anyway. The players would have felt that from the fans.

Game may have been different.
Would we have won with fans and by the same score, who knows.

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