August 2021

 After the conclusion of the  European Championship, Copa America and Olympics, European club football returned in grand style with English topflight league not left behind.

Newcomers, Brentford hosted fellow London club Arsenal to kick start the 2021/2022 PL season at the Brentford Community Stadium in a game the new boys won in scintillating style. It was same old story for Mikel Arteta and his flock as they fell to a two-nil defeat in the hands of the Bees. Thomas Frank's side drew the first blood after Sergi Canos drove home a screamer past Bernd Leno in Arsenal goal in the 22nd minute as they held on for first half lead. The Gunners have themselves to blame from poor finishing in the attacking third before Christian Norgaard headed home Brentford's second goal of the day in the 73rd minute which confirms the Gunners first loss of an opening weekend fixture against a newly promoted side in a disappointing display.

It was a different story at Old Trafford as Man United put up a five star performance on opening weekend of the PL. Bruno Fernandes continued where he stopped last season by tucking home United's first goal in the 30th minute from a Paul Pogba sublime pass as the Red Devils head into the break with a one-nil lead. Leeds United replied immediately after the interval with a powerful strike from Ayling leaving De Gea helpless as the Whites came back on level terms; but Leeds equalizer lasted only for 4 minutes as Paul Pogba set up Mason Greenwood with a fantastic through ball which the Englishman converted after a darting run from the byline to restore United lead. Two minutes later, Bruno Fernandes gave United a two cushion before the Portuguese Magnifico completed his hattrick on the 60th minute from a Victor Lindelof incisive pass; Pogba completed his quart-trick of assist when he set up Fred for United's fifth goal of the day  as the Ole Gunnar Solskjear  side cruise to a 5-1 win and head top of the table in a game new signing Jadon Sancho made his debut.

In another game on Saturday, Burnley hosted Brighton and Hoves Albion at Turf Moor in a game the Seagulls won 2-1, the Clarets took the lead in the first minute from James Tarkowski and held on for a half time lead. Brighton gradually came into the game and then got their much needed equalizer in the 73rd through Neal Maupay's fine finish, they kept pushing for a winner in the final third and got it through substitute Mac Allister who tucked home from close range in the 78th minute. It became a cagey affair after Brighton's lead but the Seagull held on for a fulltime win.

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea also made a statement of intent on opening weekend as the Blues swept pass London rivals Crystal Palace with a three-nil victory. Marcos Alonso gave the Blues the lead in the 27th minute before Christian Pulisic doubled it in the 40th minute as they went into the break with a two goal cushion. Returning from the interval, debutant Trvor Chalobah hits the third for Chelsea as they coast home with all three points leaving Crystal Palace with nothing.

Everton came from behind to see off Southampon after going behind in the first half. The Saints took the lead through Armstrong goal in the 22nd minute. The Toffees responded immediately after the break through Richarlison in the 47th minute, Abdoulaye Doucoure gave Everton the lead in the 76th minute before Dominic Calvert-Lewin rounded up the victory with a fine finish as Rafa Benetiz won his first game in charge of Everton.

Leicester City hosted Wolverhampton Wanderers at the King Power in a game that produced just one goal in the entire encounter. Jamie Vardy scored the only goal of the game in the 41st minute and the Foxes held on for a full-time victory.

Premier League newcomers, Watford won 3-2 against Aston Villa at Vicarage Road. New signing, Emmanuel Dennis gave the Hornets the lead in 10th minute before Ismaila Sarr doubled the lead in the 42nd minute as they go into the break with a two-goal lead. Twenty-two minute into the second half, substitute Cucho gave Watford their third of the day before John McGin and Dany Ings halved the deficit for Villa but the Hornets held on for victory.

Liverpool took all three points home from Carrow Road where they were hosted by PL new boys Norwich City. Diogo Jota gave the Reds an early lead in the 26th minute as they went into the break leading the tie. Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah scored in the 65th and 74th minute respectively to guide Liverpool to a three-nil win on opening PL weekend.

On Sunday, Newcastle United failed to hold on to their lead as West Ham United came from behind to claim a famous victory at St. James' Park. The Magpies took the lead through Callum Wilson in the 5th minute but Aaron Cresswell responded well for the Hammers in the 18th minute to bring the tie levelled. Newcastle took the lead again with five minute to go into the break through James Murphy. Saaid Benrahma brought West Ham levelled again in the 53rd minute before Tomas Soucek and Michal Antonio secured victory for David Moyes in an intensely contested game.

The final game of match week one saw a Kane-less Spurs take all three points from Pep Guardiola's Man City in a game that saw high level of misfiring from the City attacking options. After a cagey first half, Son Heung-Min curled home a beautiful effort in to left bottom corner of Elderson's goal to give Spurs the lead and an eventual winner as Pep Guardiola lost again to a single opposition in four straight games for the first time in his managerial career.

It was an entertaining match day one in the PL in an opening weekend that saw ten victories with no sharing of the spoils; we can only hope match day two bring same entertainment presented to us by match day one.   

 Manchester United will kick start their 2021/2022 Premier League season in the early kick of Saturday's packed fixture in the opening weekend of PL return against old adversaries at 12:30pm, Leeds United in the Roses derby at Old Trafford. The Red Devils finished second place behind City rivals, Man City last season by 12 points. Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United made PL survival after their fine return to English topflight football last season.

There have been various calls from different football quarters that this should a season where Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will have no excuse in delivering a trophy to the Old Trafford outfit after going through a fantastic transfer summer where the club acquired the services of English winger, Jadon Sancho alongside France defender, Rafael Varane to add to their ranks - this is seen as a season in which Solkjaer will have to make the silverware statement and return his club to glory days in view of that fact that, should they fail to win a silverware this season, it will be the longest barren run of trophy the club have witnessed since relegation 47 years ago.

Travelers, Leeds United finished in the top 10 of the Premier League last season as Marcelo Bielsa managed his team to a 9th place finish in their first topflight season since 2004. The Whites were fearless throughout last season and gave every PL top teams a fight in all games with their worst defeat coming against only United at Old Trafford, a game they lost 6-2.

With the acquisition of Junior Firpo, Kristoffer Klasseon alongside Jack Harrison who has come to stay at Elland Road permanently, they are buoyed by some set of footballing talents going into the new season as they look to build on their last season success a give a fight for European football next season. 

Man United's Bruno Fernandes hit the back of the net 18 times last season with 4 of is last 5 goals been the first goal of the day, he should be on course to coast the Red Devils to victory in their first game of the season. Meanwhile, United defense should be warry of the bullish Jack Harisson who has made his stay at Fulham a permanent one.

Injury News and Possible Absentees

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be without the likes of Eric Bailly and Edison Cavani who have been an extended break after their involvement in the Olympics and Copa America respectively, while Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones will miss this game due to different injury problems alongside Jesse Lingard and Dean Henderson who are ill. Rapheal Varane will also miss this game as his deal with the red Devils is yet to be finalised.

For Marcelo Bielsa, he will be without midfielder Adam Forshaw and centre back, Diego Llorente who are out due to Hip and Knee injuries respectively.

Possible Line up

Man United Potential XI: Solskjaer is expected to put United in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation that will see De Gea in goal, Maguire in control of the defence as Matic and Fred provides shield for the back four while Pogba, Fernandes, and Greenwood provides attacking support for Anthony Martial in the final third.

Leeds United Potential XI: The Spanish tactician will definitely bring out his 3-4-3 formation that will see Meslier in between the sticks  as Ayling, Cooper and Koch will be the three men at the back alongside Firpo, Raphinha and Rodrigo providing support for Patrick Bamford in attack.

This reverse fixture last season at Old Traffford produced an eight goal thriller in a game United dominated from start to finish. Will it be the same story on Saturday? your guess is as good as mine.

This Roses derby will be officiated by Paul Tierney


 Like every other league in Europe, Premier League football for the 2021/2022 season will kick start tomorrow as Premier League newcomers, Brentford hosts Arsenal at the Brentford Community Stadium by 8:00pm - the Bees home ground will become the 59th venue to pay host to English topflight football.

After 74 years, Brentford returns to English topflight football in midst of numerous heartbreaking playoffs disappointments, they've finally made it to where they wanted to be.

A free flowing attacking play in combination with a water tight defence was key to Bees' tremendous achievement last season in a run of games  that saw them claim a 9 game unbeaten run which led them to finishing very high in the Championship table in what propelled them to the EFL final playoff win in May; but a disturbing statistics for the PL newcomers suggests that none of their fellow London newcomers have ever won their first game of a PL season before now.

Arsenal on the other hand will be without European football this season after failing to secure a spot even for the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League last season which means they will not be performing at any European stage competition for the first time in 26 years.  The Gunners are expected to do better this season and should kick start the season on a strong foot.

With new additions to the team, Mikel Arteta will hope to improve from last season disappointments and bring in a winning formula to his side.  With only Manchester United having a longer on beaten run than Arsenal, they should be confident in extending their unbeaten run going into the new season given that they that in three of their last away games against newly promoted sides, they are yet to concede a goal winning two and drawing one.

Brentford's Ivan Toney was a recorder breaker in the Championship last season after hitting the back of the net on 33 occasions and providing 13 assists in the process, he will ready to continue his form against the Gunners on Friday. Meanwhile, all gaze will be on Arsenal new no.10, Emile Smith Rowe to see how he can continue his progress from last season.

Injury Scare and Notable Absentees

Thomas Frank is expected to kick start the season without his left-back, Jay Dasilva who will miss this game because of a hip injury alongside Danish midfielder, Mike Jensen who is yet to return to the squad after his participation in the Euro 2020 finals.

For Mikel Arteta, Gabriel Magalhaes, Eddie Nketiah and Thomas Partey will miss the season opener due to ankle injuries while Rob Holding will undergo a late fitness test to ascertain his readiness for the game.

Possible Line up

Brentford Possible XI: Thomas Frank is expected to put out an XI with a 3-5-2 set up which will see Raya in goal,  Pinnock, Jansson and Ajer the back three; Henry, Onyeka, Janelt, Roerslev and Norgaad  the midfield five as Mbeumo and Toney leads the attack.

Arsenal Possible XI: Mikel Arteta will hope to keep faith with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation that will see Bernd Leno in between the sticks for the Gunners; Chambers, Mari, new signing Ben White and Tierney the back four while Granit Xhaka and Lokonga are expected to shield the defence as Pepe, Smith Rowe and Aubamenyang provides supporting threat for Alexander Lacazette in attack.

This PL opener will see Michael Oliver as the center referee.

Even in the post Covid-19 lockdown era, plenty transfer business have been going on in the football world especially in the Premier League where the 'big boys' are looking to be in a good money stand than the rest of other clubs in Europe top five big leagues.
Premier League football will return in 11 days time as clubs gear up to put a fight for the coming season, Mirai Sports bring you update to all completed signings made by each clubs in the England top-flight league.
The mouthwatering deal of the transfer window so far has been Arsenal's singing of Brighton & Hoves Albion defender, Ben White for £50 million  and Man United's acquisition of long time target, Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for a whopping £73 million.
Below is every important peice of all transfers carried out by every Premier League club heading into thr forthcoming season.

The Gunners have made three high profile signings which includes the acquisition of Benfica's Nuno Tavares for a fee as low as £7.2m; Mikel Arteta also acquired the signature of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht for a £19m price tag before landing England defender Ben White for a second club record fee of £50m plus add ons.
With these signings, the Gunners will look to go into the season with some loopholes been filled as they look to fight for a top four berth this season.

Aston Villa
Even with it small budget as many football fans have thought, the Villans are not looking back in this transfer window as they have made some summer signings too. 
Dean Smith has added to side a talented playmaker in person of Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City for £33m transfer fee, with Ashley Young returning to join his boyhood club on a free transfer from Inter Millan. With Buendia in their ranks, a loss of star player, Jack Grealish may not be servely felt.

The Premier League newcomers have also been busy on their own, making three confirmed signings as of now.
The Bees acquired Nigerian international, Frank Onyeka from FC Midyjlland for £9m, a £13.5m singning of Kristoffer Ajer from Celtic and also the signature of Myles Peart-Harris for £1.4m from Chelsea.

Brighton and Hoves Albion
The Seagulls have made treble of signings going into this season as they have gotten Enock Mwepu for £20.7m from RB Salzburg, Kjell Scherpen and Jeremy Sarmiento for undisclosed fees from Ajax and Benfica respectively.

The Clarets have confirmed just three signings in preparation for this coming season the signing of Nathan Collins for £12.6m from Stoke City, Jacob Bedeau and Wayne Hennessey as a free agents from Scunthorpe and Crystal Palace respectively.

The Blues haven been linked to many high profile players have not been active in the current transfer window for now but it is likely Thomas Tuchel will add new faces to his squad before the transfer window runs down. As of now, the only incoming for Chelsea is Marcus Bettineli who came in as a free agent from Fulham United.

Crystal Palace
The Eagles have made five summer signings heading into this campaign with acquisition of Michael Olise for an £8.3m fee from Reading, Jacob Montes as a free agent from Georgetown University, Marc Guehi from Chelsea for £18m, Remi Mathews on a free from Sunderland and also Joachim Anderson for a £15.8m transfer fee from Olympique Lyon.

Rafa Benetiz have been busy since taking charge of the Merseyside Blue. The Toffees have acquired the signature of Andros Townsend and Asmir Begovic from Crystal Palace and Bournemouth respectively before getting the signature of Demarai Gray for £1.7m from Bayern Leverkusen.

Leeds United
Leeds United have also been busy in the transfer market as they prepare for the current season with the acquisition of Jack Harrison from Manchester City for £11m, Junior Firpo from FC Barcelona for a £13.5m transfer fee before getting Lewis Bate from Chelsea for a £1.5m fee.

Leicester City
The Foxes have laid their hands on three new signings already with Patson Daka showing up at the King Power from RB Salzburg for a £23m fee, Boubakary Soumare for £17m from Lille with Ryan Bertrand showing up on a free transfer from Southampton.

Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp have been quiet in the current window with the Reds only been able to acquire Ibrahima Konate for £36m from RB Leipzig earlier in the summer.

Manchester City
The Cityzens haven't made any high profile signing for now as they are still keeping tabs on the likes of Jack Grealish and Harry Kane but jave been some sleeky deals with the acquisition of Metinho and Kayky  for £5m and £9m respectively from Fluminese, while acquiring Scott Carson on a free from Derby County.

Manchester United
The Red Devils have been the most active in the current transfer window among the Premier League ''big boys'  with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer haven made three signings as former goalkeeper, Thomas Heaton returned to the club on a free transfer from Aston Villa before the Old Trafford club acquired their ever wanted singing, Jadon Sancho for £73m from Borussia Dortmund then added Raphael Varane from Real Madrid for a £45m transfer fee to boost their defensive ranks.

Newcastle United
The Magpies are the only Premier League club yet to make a singing heading into the new season with the Tyenside currently undergoing some sort of financial downturn. It is still to be observed if theyllt make a new signing before the season kick-off.

Norwich City
The Premier League returnees have been busy in the market as they look to keep their place in the Premier League even after the end of the season in May next year. 
The Premier League new boys have acquired Ben Gibson for an £8m fee from Burnley, Dimitris Giannoulis for £6.2m from PAOK Salonika, Billy Glimour on loan from Chelsea, Milot Rashica for £9.9m from Werder Bremen, Angus Gunn, a £5.27m deal from Southampton, Pierre Lees-Melou, a £3.5m from Nice before getting Flynn Clarke on a free transfer from Peterborough.

The Saints have been busy in the market too having gotten Theo Walcott as a free agent from Everton, Romain Perraud for an £11m fee from Brest and Olly Lancashire as a free agent from Crewe Alexandra.

Tottenham Hotspur
Nuno Espirito Santos have been busy since taking charge the Lily-whites getting the services of Bryan Gil for £21.6 plus Erik Lamela from Sevilla with Pierluigi Gollini on a loan deal with an option to buy from Atalanta.

The Hornets have made eight signings going into this campaign. Imran Louzza for £9m from Nantes, Emmanuel Dennis for £3.6m from Club Brugge, Kwadwo Baah, a £125k signing from Rochdale, Peter Etebo on a loan deal from Stoke City before acquiring Danny Rose, Joshua King and Ashley Fletcher as free agents from Tottenham, Everton and Middlesbrough respectively.

Westham United
The Hammers are also active in the window, acquiring Craig Dawson from Watford for £2m, Alphonse Areola on loan from Paris Saint Germain alonsialo Pierre Ekwah Elimby for an undisclosed fee from Chelsea.

Wolverhampton Wanders
Wolves are not bren left behind in this transfer window as they have pulled five transfera already which includes the likes  of Yerson Mosquera for a £4.5m fee from Atletico Nacional, Trincao on loan from Barcelona, Rayan Akt Nouri for £10m from Angers, Jose Sa for £7m from Olympiacos and Bendeguz Bola for £1.8m from Fehervar.

The new Premier League season promises to be exciting judging from the new arrivals to different clubs; on how good these signings will be, we'll have to wait for the season to kick-off.