As we are only two days away from the upcoming Premier League campaign, we have put together our favourite eleven for the weekend, based on a 3-4-3 formation. It may go horribly wrong, but some of these players will certainly fire.
Goal: Petr Cech (Arsenal)
This may be an obvious choice, but ultimately represents the combination of a number of factors.
First of all, the last time Petr Cech was Chelsea’s number one, during the 2013/14 season, the Blues only conceded 11 goals at home, the lowest of any top flight side that year. During that same season, Cech’s first home game was a 2-0 victory over Hull City and West Ham’s visit at Cech’s home ended in a 0-0 draw.
Secondly, Arsenal were joint-third in terms of goals conceded at home last season, with a fairly low figure of 14. During last season’s debut game, Arsenal’s then-keeper Szczesny conceded a goal against Crystal Palace from a corner; Cech’s safer hands will be much more effective in this regard.
West Ham were only 15th in last year’s away table and only achieved three victories on the road. In other words, the Hammers are not the biggest threat to a strong home side.
Defence: Jordan Amavi (Villa), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Seamus Coleman (Everton)
Jordan Amavi has only recently joined Aston Villa and will be lining up for his debut against Premier League newcomers Bournemouth. Last season, none of the promoted teams managed to win their respective debut games, although all three played at home, with only Leicester picking up a point. This will be to Amavi’s advantage, who will certainly take an attacking approach to his Premier League debut. Not convinced? Check out Amavi’s skills here.
Hector Bellerin is one of Arsenal’s most promising youngsters and, having played the full 90 minutes against Chelsea in the Community Shield, looks certain to star ahead of Chambers or Debuchy. In 20 Premier League games, Bellerin scored two goals and assisted one other. The 20-year old attacking full-back will certainly continue to improve and we believe that he will showcase skills like these against West Ham this weekend.
Seamus Coleman is one of Everton’s most established players and is known for great attacking flair. The Irish right-back has managed an impressive 13 goals and 14 assists in 152 Premier League appearances. As Everton will be hosting promoted Watford, we can look forward to some attacking play from the home side, which will surely benefit Coleman and his attacking runs. Here is a look at some of the defender’s highlights from last season.
Midfield: Eden Hazard (Chelsea), James Milner (Liverpool), Yohan Cabaye (Palace), Memphis Depay (ManUtd)
There is not much to say about the incredible Eden Hazard. Swansea at home seems like a fairly easy fixture for the blues and Hazard, who scored 14 Premier League goals last season, will be able to play to the best of his ability, as shown here.
James Milner will be looking forward to his time at Liverpool, where he will certainly play a critical role. Although the Reds were crushed by a score of 6-1 at Stoke at the end of last season, this side looks determined to regain some pride. Despite the obvious limitations at Manchester City, Milner still had a decent campaign with five goals and eight assists in 32 Premier League appearances during 2014/15. Incidentally, the England international’s best game came at Stoke, where he scored one and assisted another. Feel free to look at Milner’s performances from last season here.
Yohan Cabaye is back and probably playing for his favourite manager. With more Champions League experience in the backpack, Cabaye will certainly make a difference for Pardew’s Palace. Last time the Frenchman played against Norwich, he assisted a critical goal for Pardew’s Newcastle. Similar things should be expected from Cabaye this weekend, when Palace travel to promoted Norwich. Here is a look at Cabaye’s talents.
Manchester United will be hosting Spurs at Old Trafford this weekend and the stage is set for one of Europe’s brightest talents. 21-year old Dutch winger Depay is set to take the Premier League by storm, as was evident during an impressive pre-season. The man who scored 22 goals in 30 Dutch Eredivisie games last season will prove a handful for Kyle Walker who, we believe, will struggle to contain the tricky Dutchman. Here is a look at what can be expected from Depay.
Attack: Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Wayne Rooney (ManUtd), Shinji Okazaki (Leicester)
As previously mentioned, Everton will be hosting promoted Watford and Lukaku is set to fire. The 22-year old Belgian contributed something against all promoted teams last season, be it an assist or a goal and, despite Everton’s struggles, still managed ten goals in 36 Premier League appearances. Watford’s defence will certainly struggle with this striker, who is always good for a cracking goal, as evident here.
Manchester United play Tottenham and Old Trafford and in recent years in particular, Spurs have arguably been a great fixture for the Red Devils. Rooney is set to start as the central striker, his favoured role and it would be surprising if he did not score at least one against the North Londoners. We might be able to witness something like this.
Finally, Japanese international Shinji Okazaki is one of the Premier League’s new boys, having joined Leicester from German Bundesliga side Mainz 05. The striker comes with the reputation of 37 goals and eight assists from 128 Bundesliga games, which may not seem impressive, but the 29-year old managed to score a fairly impressive 12 goals and provide 6 assists in 32 appearances last season. As Leicester will be hosting struggling Sunderland, Okazaki might be able to benefit from the club’s great home form last season. Here is a look at his skill set.
What are your thoughts? Where would you make changes? Let us know.