The Premier League in the UK is one of the most anticipated sporting events on the calendar. And this is only the beginning, teams are starting to release their sportswear ranges, the transfer window is wide open and fans love it so far.
Now they have unveiled the fixtures of the Premier League for 2018/19. After reviewing their current schedule, we thought we would put together this article to discuss the low down on the preparations for 2018/19 and what we could expect. Here we will cover topics such as the fixtures themselves, inform you of notable matches and last but not least, introduce the three new teams who were promoted.
Taking on the reigning champions, Arsenal is against Manchester
With the Premier League 2017-18 season finally completed, it is now crystal clear on who will be playing in the top-flight of English football for another campaign and which three unfortunate sides have been relegated to the Championship. Having only won six games throughout the term, West Brom’s drop to the Championship was official when Southampton beat Swansea City a couple of days before the final league fixture.
Both Stoke City and Swansea City ended the season in the bottom-three as their form during the season was very inconsistent and unconvincing compared to the other teams just above them. Also, the two clubs had conceded quite a large number of goals and simply could not pick up enough points in the home games.
Overall, the clubs in the top half of the table will have already analysed and recognised who are the key assets for the teams at the bottom and they will aggressively aim to take their important prizes away from them. If this was to end up happening, it c
Another season ends which can only mean one thing: awards. With each year that passes by, the gap between the top six and the rest of the division looks to be widening in quality and financial resources.
However, as Burnley and especially Leicester have shown in the past few years, there is a chance to rival some of the bigger teams in the country.
The rest of the Premier League might not get as much attention, so here are the awards for the teams outside the top six:
Manager of the Year: Rafa Benitez
There are several candidates for this award, but Newcastle United’s Rafa Benitez deserves the plaudits purely because of what he was given at the beginning of the season.
The 2013/14 Europa League round of 16 draw made history. For the first time, Seville’s two top sides, Sevilla and Real Betis, would face each other in continental competition. They had both made it through the tournament’s group stages and first knockout round without much fuss, but their domestic circumstances were vastly divergent. While Sevilla were chasing a place in La Liga’s top six, Betis were fighting to avoid relegation to the second tier.
As a result, the stakes were particularly high for the first all-Sevillian European contest. Historically, however, there has always been a lot at stake when the two teams have clashed. The derby dates back to 1915, when the first game took place (Sevilla won 4-3), but the roots of the rivalry go back even further.
Sevilla Derby History
In his book on Spanish football, ‘Morbo’, Phil Ball writes that: “Four years after the founding of Sevilla FC in 1905…three of Sevilla’s newly elected directors refused to sanction the
Gareth Bale appears to have come to a crossroads in his footballing career. While, on the surface level, it looks like the Welshman has everything any player might ever wish for, his time in Madrid has not reached the level as to which was expected of him. Bale remains a warm up act rather than the headline show.
The former Tottenham winger’s career with Real Madrid started swimmingly, emphasised by scoring two goals that won two very important trophies for Los Blancos. The first was that wonderfully mazy run against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final. And just one month later, Bale was finding the back of the net in extra time to seal the win for Los Blancos against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League. A E
Greatness has followed Iniesta throughout his career and his reputation had already taken on a life of its own by the age of 15-years-old. By impressing the senior coaches at Barcelona, in which he joined the renowned La Masia just four years previous, the young, frail Iniesta was asked to join in the first team’s training session.
Even at the tender age of 15, the young Spaniard didn’t allow his stature, size or clear deficiencies get in the way of showing the senior players what he can do with the ball at his feet. Pep Guardiola, the then-captain of Barça, told 19-year-old Xavi Hernández, “You’re going to retire me [but] this kid is going to retire us all.”
After that training session, Guardiola addressed the group of players and said: “Remember this day - the day you first played with Andrés.”
Quite the compliment.
Between the summer of 1991 and February 1992, there was no domestic league football in Croatia. The country’s War of Independence was underway, and the focus shifted from enjoying sport to mere survival. This war would end in 1995, and one year later the national football team of an independent Croatia made it to their first-ever major finals. They competed at Euro 96 in England, eventually losing in the quarter-finals to Germany, who went on to win the competition.
Euro 96 was a successful international tournament debut for Croatia, and they followed it up with qualification for the 1998 World Cup, which was held in France. There they would surprise some of the finest teams in the world as they played their way through Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nantes, and Lyon, going deep into the knockout stages in the process. They would also stun those tuning in with one of the most aesthetically pleasing kits seen in the game.
History of the Croatia 1998 World Cup Kit
After Liverpool’s emphatic 5-2 first leg win at Anfield against Italians Roma, there was a real sense that Jürgen Klopp’s men had placed one foot in the door for the final in Kyiv come the end of May.
Not many pundits, fans or even club officials would have said that Liverpool could, realistically, reach the Champions League final this season. Yes, they had a promising attack and still maintained Philippe Coutinho until January, but their defence was leaking in goals left, right and centre. To have thought they would be 180 minutes away from lifting the trophy for the first time since 2005 under Rafa Benitez’s kinship would have been ludicrous.
And yet, Liverpool are on the ver
Not all goalkeepers can claim to be the subject of a ‘Top 6 Goals’ highlight reel on YouTube, but then 1990's star Jorge Campos was nothing like all goalkeepers. In fact, watching the aforementioned tribute video, the immediate impression formed is that he was something of a predatory finisher with quick feet and quicker thinking.
Inside his ‘Top 6’ are some majestic finishes. There’s a penalty kick which he shapes to kick with his left foot, deceives the opposition goalkeeper and calmly slots home with the outside of his right. There’s a lobbed strike that he executes immediately after being tackled to the ground. There’s also a magnificent scissor kick, which is the hallmark of only the truly innovative footballing hitmen.
Goalkeeper Turned Striker
Time for some crucial context for the confused: Campos was, at various points throughout his career, a striker. No, he didn’t just go up for the odd corner kick when his team were losing and only seconds remaine
There are a lot of exciting young players in Europe right now, some are already well-known whilst others are about to announce themselves in their respective leagues. On top of that, several rising individuals are prepared to do anything to achieve the opportunity of going to the World Cup.
In Spain, the production line of youngsters being promoted from the youth academy to the first team or are brought for cheap from elsewhere and are developed effectively, remains consistent season by season. This is one of the huge factors to why Spanish football will always be superior.
Here are the four youngsters that are having a wonderful season at a personal level in La Liga...
Unai Nunez – Athletic Club