Premier League Matchday 1: United renew Leeds rivalry and City face Spurs

Matthew Storey
LiveScore
13/08/202112:55
Jack Grealish will hope to make his full debut for Manchester City at Tottenham
Jack Grealish will hope to make his full debut for Manchester City at Tottenham

The Premier League is back as Brentford and Arsenal kick off the 2021-22 campaign in West London.

Old rivals Manchester United and Leeds collide in front of fans for the first time in a decade in the pick of Saturday's games, while champions Manchester City visit Tottenham on Sunday. 

Brentford vs Arsenal (Friday, 8pm, Sky Sports)

Brentford are back in the top flight for the first time since 1947 and will fancy their chances of causing an early upset against the Gunners. 

After finally earning promotion with a play-off final victory over Swansea, the Bees welcome Mikel Arteta's men for the first competitive game in front of a full crowd at the new Brentford Community Stadium.

Arsenal only picked up one victory in their six visits to Griffin Park and will have to be wary of hotshot Ivan Toney, who netted 31 times in the Championship last season.

Brentford face Arsenal in their first top-flight game since 1947
Brentford face Arsenal in their first top-flight game since 1947

But their record when starting the season away from home is impressive, winning five of their last seven trips since a defeat at Sunderland in 2000.

And it is the third campaign in a row that a newly-promoted side have played in the opening game after Norwich were beaten 4-1 at Liverpool two years ago and Arsenal romped to a 3-0 win at Fulham last year.

Manchester United vs Leeds (Saturday, 12.30pm, BT Sport)

The standout fixture on the opening weekend sees bitter rivals Manchester United and Leeds clash at Old Trafford in what is sure to be a red-hot atmosphere.

Leeds have not won a league game at Old Trafford in their past 16 attempts, though they did triumph 1-0 the last time they met on the opening day 51 years ago.

They face a United side expecting to challenge City for the title after Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane arrived earlier this the summer to beef up Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.

Manchester United and Leeds do battle on the opening weekend
Manchester United and Leeds do battle on the opening weekend

If last season is anything to go by, goals are to be expected at Old Trafford. 

No stadium saw more than the 66 netted at the ground in 2020-21, while the tally of 67 that flew in during the games Leeds played in away from home was also a Premier League high.

Burnley vs Brighton (Saturday, 3pm)

Both Burnley and Brighton will be keen to get early season points on the board and prove they are not relegation contenders at Turf Moor.

Though they finished comfortably clear of the bottom three, the duo occupied the two spots above the drop zone when the 2020-21 campaign drew to a close.

And it was a dismal home run for Burnley that saw them flirt with the trapdoor — they last picked up three points on their own turf in January against Aston Villa.

For Brighton, it was an inability to finish chances that stopped them finishing higher. The gap between their expected goals (51.7) and actual goals (40) was the third-largest negative gap in the division. 

It may not be an entertaining affair in the North West, with just 12 goals scored in the eight Premier League meetings between these two.

Chelsea vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm)

Christian Pulisic has enjoyed his clashes with Crystal Palace in the past
Christian Pulisic has enjoyed his clashes with Crystal Palace in the past

Fresh off the back of lifting the Super Cup, Chelsea will look to get their league season off to a strong start at home to Crystal Palace.

And they face an old adversary in new Eagles boss Patrick Vieira, who never lost a league game to the Blues in 10 meetings as a player. 

After starting strongly under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea eventually secured fourth spot last term before lifting the Champions League in Porto.

And Vieira will hope Palace’s recent record at Stamford Bridge is not a precursor to a difficult debut, with his side's last four visits all ending in defeats by an aggregate score of 11-2.

If they are to stand any chance of coming away with a result, Palace are likely to need to find a way of keeping Christian Pulisic quiet.  

With four goals in four games against the Eagles, Pulisic has yet to bag a better haul against any other top-flight side. 

Everton vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm)

After a tumultuous summer, Everton and Southampton will want their football to do the talking at Goodison Park.

The Toffees’ best-laid plans were left in tatters when Carlo Ancelotti’s reign came to an unexpected end as he headed back to Real Madrid.

For the Saints, it has been the departure of players that have left their fans feeling blue. 

Jannick Vestergaard looks set to join Leicester, Danny Ings has already left for Aston Villa and James Ward-Prowse is the subject of interest from numerous clubs.

All the omens point towards a home victory on Merseyside, where Southampton have not won since 1997.

While Everton have not lost on opening day since 2011, the South Coast outfit have only won once in 14 Premier League seasons.

Leicester vs Wolves (Saturday, 3pm)

Bruno Lage's first game as Wolves boss is against Leicester
Bruno Lage's first game as Wolves boss is against Leicester

Wolves begin a new era under Bruno Lage with a tricky assignment away at top-six gatecrashers Leicester.

For the first time since they returned to the Premier League, Nuno Espirito Santo will not take charge of the visitors — and it is a big challenge facing Lage.

Leicester may have missed out on Champions League football on the final day once again last season but they have strengthened during the summer.

And their record at home to their Midlands rivals is imperious with only one defeat in 24 — though they have lost three of their last four at the King Power Stadium.

Jamie Vardy will be hoping to start the campaign in fine fashion again, having netted six goals in his last six opening games.

Watford vs Aston Villa (Saturday, 3pm)

Ambitious Aston Villa have been handed an opening clash with newly-promoted Watford as they look to break into the upper echelons of the Premier League.

Even though Jack Grealish has moved to Manchester City, optimism is high at Villa Park following the arrival of Emi Buendia, Leon Bailey and Ings. 

Watford, meanwhile, earned promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking and did so with the best home record in English football.

They have won six of their last 10 clashes with Villa at Vicarage Road, with the away side only winning two of 18 meetings in the Premier League era.

It is manager’s Xisco Munoz’s first taste of the division and he knows the Hornets need a fast start if he is to avoid the axe at a club happy to chop and change regularly. 

Norwich vs Liverpool (Saturday, 5.30pm, Sky Sports)

Virgil van Dijk (left) returns for Liverpool as they look to reclaim the Premier League title
Virgil van Dijk (left) returns for Liverpool as they look to reclaim the Premier League title

Norwich face the daunting prospect of facing Liverpool in their first match back in the Premier League after earning promotion at the first attempt.

It is the same task they were given two years ago as they lost their opener 4-1 at Anfield and they have shipped a whopping 44 goals in their past 14 clashes with the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp has seen Liverpool win four and draw one of his five opening games as Reds boss and is able to welcome Virgil van Dijk back to the side fresh off the Dutchman extending his contract at Anfield.

Despite finishing well adrift of City in their title defence, a 10-game unbeaten run at the end of the season was the longest in the Premier League last term.

And in Mo Salah they have a striker who just loves scoring goals, having found the net on each of the past four opening weekends.

Newcastle vs West Ham (Sunday, 2pm, Sky Sports)

Last season’s surprise package West Ham face Newcastle on the opening weekend for the second season in a row — and they will be hoping for a different result this time out.

When the Magpies won 2-0 at the London Stadium last September, few would have seen the Hammers fighting their way into the Europa League.

But David Moyes worked his magic and now he will be hoping his troops can end a run of five successive defeats in their opening games.

Steve Bruce has endured plenty of criticism from the Toon Army over the summer but will be pleased to face a side Newcastle did the double over in 2020-21.

In Callum Wilson, the hosts have a player who thrives on playing West Ham. The former Bournemouth striker has netted eight times in 10 games against the Londoners. 

Tottenham vs Manchester City (Sunday, 4.30pm, Sky Sports)

Nuno Espirito Santo takes charge of his first Premier League game as Tottenham boss
Nuno Espirito Santo takes charge of his first Premier League game as Tottenham boss

All eyes will be on £100million signing Grealish as champions Manchester City open their campaign at Tottenham.

The British record signing strengthens Pep Guardiola’s squad even further as they aim for a fourth title in five seasons. 

But they do not always enjoy their trips to North London, having lost in each of their last two visits to Spurs and 15 times in total in the Premier League era.

Nuno must decide whether to pick City target Harry Kane or not after he turned up late to pre-season.

But Heung-Min Son is usually Spurs’ go-to man against the Citizens, netting six times in total and in each of his three games against them at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tags

Premier LeagueBrentfordArsenalManchester UnitedLeedsChelseaCrystal PalaceNorwich CityLiverpoolManchester CityTottenham HotspurWest Ham UnitedNewcastle UnitedBurnleyBrighton & Hove AlbionWolverhampton WanderersLeicester CityAston VillaWatfordEvertonSouthampton

Related Articles

LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Football Scores & Sports News

ls-logo-roundedGet instant notifications with the LiveScore app
app-storegoogle-play
cristianoLaLiga