2021/22 Premier League Review: Matchday 1

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2021/22 Premier League Review: Matchday 1

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Ah, it sure is good to have the footy back. While the Euros were a delightful distraction over the summer, Italy vs England can’t shine a light on the match-ups like Burnley vs Brighton. Any matchday which includes a West Ham victory is always welcome as well. Catch up on the preview and predictions of Matchday 1 if you haven’t already, and have a good old laugh at our expense.

Holding on to Rice for another season will likely prove key for the Hammers over the 21/22 season | Premier League Review: Matchday 1
Holding on to Rice for another season will likely prove key for the Hammers over the 21/22 season | Premier League Review: Matchday 1

The Good

Match of the Week

Newcastle 2 – 4 West Ham. A game of two halves. Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin had the Hammers chasing a game of Volta throughout the first 45. VAR saves the day for Irons first goal. Benrahma, Bowen and Antonio proved to be far too difficult to contain by the final third. While this West Ham team could threaten for Europa League again, it will only take a couple of injuries to expose the paper-thin squad depth.

Player of the Week

Bruno Fernandes (4 Shots, 3 Goals, 0.78xG, 3 Key Passes). United’s Portuguese talisman had no trouble carrying over his blistering form from last season/Euros. A sumptuous first touch to set up his opener, an ankle snapping turn for the second and a howitzer of a volley to cap it all off. Hope Fernandes was your fantasy team’s captain this weekend!

Honourable Mention

Heung-Min Son (Spurs vs Man C). Although all headlines entering the season had honed in on the Harry Kane and Jack Grealish transfer sagas, Son’s stunner tore apart the script. Even without his captain leading the attack, the South Korean consistently threatened from outside the box. After creating his own space, Son’s left-footed strike sliced through the city defence and snuggled into the corner to the awe of Ederson.

Hat trick hero, Bruno Fernandes, once again delights the Manchester faithful at home. | Premier League Review: Matchday 1
Hat trick hero, Bruno Fernandes, once again delights the Manchester faithful at home. | Premier League Review: Matchday 1

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The Bad

Match To Forget

Whether it was the joy of the Premier League returning, or a bumper weekend to wipe away the tears of the Euros final, there wasn’t a particularly poor game this weekend. Somehow, someway, Burnley vs Brighton even entertained.

Performance to Forget

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal Manager). Losing on the opening day of the season to a newly promoted side is never a good look for a Big 6 manager. Arteta’s time is already limited at the Gunners, with so much fan service to keep his job secure this season. No Aubameyang and Lacazette was an issue, but Arsenal looked utterly lost without their usual duo up top.

Dishonourable Mention

Crystal Palace 0 – 3 Chelsea. Patrice Vieira, as predicted, endured a woeful start to his managerial reign over Palace. European champions, Chelsea, was always a difficult ask away from home – but it was the manner of the performance. Palace mustered just four shots, registering only one on target while conceding over 60% of possession. Lots to work on for the Frenchman.

Back to the drawing board for Patrice Vieira, it's time to once again prove that youth can get the job done in England's top division. | Premier League Review: Matchday 1
Back to the drawing board for Patrice Vieira, it’s time to once again prove that youth can get the job done in England’s top division. | Premier League Review: Matchday 1

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The Ugly

Top Prediction

Pintsized. Chelsea 3 – 0 Crystal Palace. Result and score both locked up for the website’s don.

Predictor of the Week

Ryan and Steviano. Both lads brought home the bacon, sharing a 6/10 (60%) successful pick rate in a challenging opening season fixture list.

Dunce of the Week

Pintsized. Predicting only 4/10 of the results correctly, even the Stamford Bridge heroics cannot keep Pint out of the Dunce of the Week category.

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