The much awaited English Premier League is back!
With the English Premier League just around the corner, Café speaks to fans from Goa who give their take on who will be the pretenders and who will be the team to beatAcross the state, Goa-based fan groups of the English Premier League (EPL) teams are already planning where they can catch the matches of the first weekend that will mark the start of the season.
A season that will be different for many reasons. For starters, this is the first year where the transfer season for the EPL will close before the league starts and teams are frantically trying to conclude the hectic transfer activity by deadline day. With the EPL becoming tougher every year, every point is vital for the big six in particular as they hope to emerge as champions at the end of the league. Many of the players have played in the World Cup and so it remains to be seen how the new-look teams line up at the start of the season.
Manchester City won the league last year emphatically and the team will continue to be the team that has the best chance of winning the league again. There is a great energy within the team, we have strong players and the team has grown so much. We will definitely be competing in the tournaments and the Champions League is a big target. We have proved our critics wrong and tactically we are one of the best in England and among the top teams in the World. Pep Guardiola deserves a lot of credit for taking us to the next level. NADEEM SHAIKH, Manchester City fan It’s a new season for Arsenal without Arsene Wenger at the helm. One can already see the kind of changes the new manager, Unai Emery, wants to bring to the table but the real test will be during the league. Arsenal needs to get back into the top four and into the Champions League. Who knows, we could win the Europa League this year given Unai’s track record and perhaps even compete for the title if everything goes to plan. However, a more realistic expectation would be a top four finish and hopefully the team can build from there on. STEPHEN FERNANDES, Arsenal fan We had a fantastic season last year where we reached the Champions League final and beat league winners Manchester City twice on the way to that final. We are in great form and have made some stellar signings this season. Liverpool definitely has a chance at winning the league and there are high expectations in the other tournaments as well. We were ruthless in our attack last season and I think we should be able to sort the problems at the back this season. Our manager, Jurgen Klopp, is one of the best in the world and we can do this! AKSHAY DESSAI, Liverpool fan Tottenham is no longer the underdog. We as a team have been consistent over the last few years and have only improved. We do not lose easily and we have Harry Kane! The English team this year at the World Cup had a lot of players from Tottenham, which is an indication of the quality of the team. The World Cup fatigue is a concern but I think the unity in this team is very strong and there is a very good spirit among the players. We should be able to continue our good form and will compete for the title. JOHN MENEZES, Tottenham Hotspur fan Ideally all the kind of transfer related problems should have been addressed much earlier, especially since we have a new manager, Maurizio Sarri. Chelsea has tasted success under new managers and Sarri is highly rated. I think the team will be able to cope with whatever is happening and will be a strong team on the pitch. The club has the mentality and experience to win trophies and this season won’t be any different. Dropping out of the Champions League last season hurt us but it would be foolish to write us off this season. Hopefully we hit the ground running. PRAKASH NAIK, Chelsea fan All the recent noise aside, if you just compare our team’s performances last season, we actually had quite a good year. We were right there competing at the highest level. This season already looks promising and I think we are in a position to address the issues that troubled us a bit last year. While we have an idea of how the team will start and who will play in what position, it will be interesting to see how all this plays out. This team is hungry for a trophy and winning the title is a top priority for this season. FREDDY DA SILVA, Manchester United fan
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