A look at the 5 Things to Watch Week #1

  1. The start of new campaigns for the massive managerial names in England.– it was a very good weekend for the new managers in the Premier League. Pep Guardiola got off to a winning start following Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Sunderland. They played a very Pep style of game but needed a late own goal from Paddy McNair. The only new manager to lose was David Moyes and his Sunderland side. On the South coast of England both Claude Puel and Walter Mazzarri each got a point as Southampton and Watford drew 1-1. Interim manager Mike Phelan lead his Hull City to a surprise win over Leicester City. Ronald Koeman earned a draw against Tottenham. More on Jose and Manchester United next. Antonio Conte also got off to a winning start with a 2-1 win over West Ham. Overall, it was a good weekend for new managers. 
  2. How will Manchester United line up and will Rooney & Zlatan work? – The answer is in Jose’s favorite 4-2-3-1 with Zlatan up front and Rooney behind him. The surprise was the inclusion of Juan Mata and how well he played. Mata opened the scoring. Martial started on the other wing. For me one of the surprises was the inclusion of Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini in the center of midfield. I know Paul Pogba was suspended, but no Carrick? No Schneiderlin? It will be interesting to see who lines up next to Pogba next weekend. United was very strong against a poor Bournemouth side. Both Rooney and Ibrahimovic scored in the second half as the game finished 3-1. A bright spot for United was Eric Bailly and Daley Blind. They look to potentially be a very strong pairing in the center, but I would expect Smalling to step in for Blind once he is healthy. 
  3. How will Leicester start the defense of their title? – The answer is not well. They created chances but did not finish them off. They created more opportunities to score than Hull and had more possession, but Hull finished twice and Leicester only scored from the spot thanks to a weak penalty called by official, Mike Dean. I do not think they are in major trouble. but it was the first time that a defending champion lost their opening game. 

  4. How will PSG start under new manager Unai Emery and without Zlatan? – They got three points but it was not as easy as it has been in the past. They dominated possession and held Bastia to 0 shots on goal, but only managed to score 1 goal thanks to Layvin Kurzawa. They will need to improve if they are going to go deep into the Champions League. Cavani did not play as Hatem Ben Arfa led the line. If Cavani comes into the line, he will surrounded by very creative players and should find a lot of wonderful scoring chances. 

  5. Can Marseille, Lyon, or Monaco start the season on a positive note? – The answer was yes for Lyon and kinda so so for the other two. Lyon started the season with a bang as Alexandre Lacazette scored a hat trick to give Lyon a 3-0 win. This was exactly the start that Bruno Genesio would have wanted. As for Monaco and Marseille, both teams earned a point. Monaco drew 2-2 with Guingamp. Monaco trailed 2-0 at halftime but was able to come back and earn a point. Marseille drew 0-0 with Toulouse. The point will be nice for each, but three points would have been nicer since both teams dominated possession and total shots. 
The score after Week 1
Me – 10
Brad – 4
Look out this week for previews of La Liga and Serie A

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