This season is the 25th since English football was changed for ever by the introduction of the Premier League (or Premiership as it was back then). In the time that’s past we’ve seen all sorts of classic battles as certain fixtures have developed a legend of their own. Newcastle versus Liverpool is one such fixture. These two huge clubs were once both genuine Premier League title contenders and since 1992 have been involved in some stunning matches, including back to back 4-3 Liverpool wins at Anfield.
When things are not going to plan for a Premier League manager the one thing they’d like more of is time on the training ground to work with their players. Burnley manager, Sean Dyche, maximised his training ground time last season steer his team away from the threat of relegation straight back into the Championship. Unfortunately for his opposite number on Sunday, Ronald Koeman, things are a little different. Koeman’s come in for some serious criticism for Everton’s poor start to the season but rather than having the chance to iron out the difficulties at Finch Farm, he’s had to prepare his team for a never-ending run of fixtures. As well as the Premier League and Carabao Cup, Koeman’s had the qualifying and group stages of the Europa League to contend with so it’s little wonder his team have been below par. Everton did at least secure a morale boosting comeback win against Bournemouth last weekend and the Goodison Park faithful will be expecting another win one week later.
Chelsea fans have not been particularly happy with the amount of people claiming that the Premier League title is heading to Manchester this season. Both Man City and Man Utd have had very strong starts to the season but Chelsea are just three points shy of the early pace setters after their own solid start. As the defending champions, Chelsea may not feel as though they have to prove themselves as title contenders but they’ve got a great chance to prove that the critics are wrong to write them off when they take on Man City early on Saturday evening.
There is an old cliché in English football that it’s teams’ home form that keeps them from being relegated. Burnley proved last season that promoted sides can avoid slipping straight back into the Championship if they prioritise their games in front of their own fans and Brighton are aiming for something similar in their first Premier League campaign. The Seagulls put up a great fight in their opening home defeat against Man City and they’ve won both their home league games since against West Brom and Newcastle. Chris Hughton believes that they can give anybody a game at the Amex Stadium but does that mean they’re going to write off their chances of pulling off surprise results on their travels? Brighton have picked up just one point from their three Premier League away games and are unlikely to add to that tally when they take on Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.
It’s been a great few weeks on the European Tour with a collection of world class tournaments. There’s no let up in the quality this week as some of the tour’s best players compete at the British Masters. The British Masters has had a troubled recent history. It was once a very well regarded tournament but fell out of favour before falling off the European Tour schedule altogether. Thankfully for British golf fans, the tournament has been revived by the European Tour and Sky Sports. The British Masters is now hosted by a top class British golfer each year and this year it’s Lee Westwood’s turn to host at the course he helped design, Close House.