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2022-23 Premier League Thread

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
With the fixture list being released today, seems like a good time to get this one started.

Key dates:
Opening day - Friday, August 5 Crystal Palace v. Arsenal
September 6-8 - UEFA Group Stage matches begin
Carabao Cup - November 9
Last match before World Cup break - November 12
World Cup opening match - November 21
World Cup Final - December 18
Season resumes - December 26 - 3 matches in a week; Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, January 2
FA Cup 3rd round - January 6
Carabao Cup Final - February 26
Last day of season - May 28
Europa League Final - May 31
FA Cup Final - June 5
Conference League Final - June 7
Champions League Final - June 1
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I know everybody did what I did this morning and poured over Aston Villa's schedule :0)

For the record, I like it. They only have one really brutal stretch after a season where they had multiple runs of 3-4 games against top opponents.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
I know everybody did what I did this morning and poured over Aston Villa's schedule :0)

For the record, I like it. They only have one really brutal stretch after a season where they had multiple runs of 3-4 games against top opponents.
I didn’t look at Arsenal’s in depth, looked for the North London Derby after I saw who and when they opened.

A writer at The Athletic created a “difficulty index” for each team‘s first 5 matches. He ranked Arsenal as the easiest, Bournemouth as the toughest. The Cherries start at home against Villa, then at Man City, home to Arsenal, at Liverpool and home to Wolves. that’s probably 3 points max, maybe only 1. He had Villa 13th.
 
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andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Season starts tomorrow, who you got?

My top 4: Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea
Europa League: Man U, Spurs
Conference League: West Ham
Relegation: Nottingham Forest, Leeds, Southampton

Are the top 7 the same as last year? Yes, except Arsenal moves into a Champions League place and Spurs drop out. As for the relegation spots, throw a blanket over a bunch of them. Watford and Norwich were as good as down by Boxing Day, so it turned into 4 team scrum with Leeds barely hanging on. Everton did too, but I have more faith in them than Leeds. Southampton? Why not. They barely escaped last year too.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I still think City and Liverpool are a notch above the others at the top, but picking between the two is pretty much a coin toss. I'd guess Arsenal and Chelsea are positioned well for the other two UCL spots, with Spurs pushing them if they can stay healthy. I'm thinking that Man United may take awhile to get going under under ten Hag and their front office seems a bit at sea this summer. Not so sure that West Ham won't catch them up for that other Europa League spot.

Relegation should be interesting. Bournemouth and Fulham did nothing to shore up for survival, really. I think they're both bouncing back by design. One of the new boys always seems to do fairly well, and I think Forest are the ones who made the moves this summer to be that side. That third spot on the trap door? I think Everton are still at sea and will be in trouble, and Southampton is far from convincing. Let's call it Southampton, but I'm not sold that Everton have any more of a clue than they had last season. Leeds? I think they'll be OK ... although that will probably look a lot like bubbling just above the disaster zone. Wolves are a dark horse to get into some hot water for me as well. I think they'll figure it out eventually, but they went seriously AWOL under Lage in the second half last season and don't look to have gotten any better personnel-wise. Since Jota left, it's all been quite stale up front for them.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Well, you know if Fulham go down, Norwich is coming up, right? Those are embedded in the constitution. Fulham are depending on Mitrovic scoring like he did last season but it didn't work for them 2 years ago.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Well, you know if Fulham go down, Norwich is coming up, right? Those are embedded in the constitution. Fulham are depending on Mitrovic scoring like he did last season but it didn't work for them 2 years ago.
Meh. They know full well he's not going to score against Prem defenses, but he's great down one level and on reasonable wagers so why bother with anybody else? That's the kind of crap that keeps them bouncing back and forth ... same with Norwich and Teemu Pukki. And hey, there are worse things to be than a Championship rubber ball. At least you give your fans one good season every other year and you're not doing the Sunderland free fall.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Meh. They know full well he's not going to score against Prem defenses, but he's great down one level and on reasonable wagers so why bother with anybody else? That's the kind of crap that keeps them bouncing back and forth ... same with Norwich and Teemu Pukki. And hey, there are worse things to be than a Championship rubber ball. At least you give your fans one good season every other year and you're not doing the Sunderland free fall.
To your point, Mitrovic only had 9 goals the last time they were in the Prem. But he draws first blood against Liverpool, climbing over Alexander-Arnold to head one past Becker. Fulham are being captained by Tim Ream today, who is playing his 12th season in England. It’s only his 4th in the Premier League though.
 
Guess nobody informed Villa that the season has started. Just an absolutely lifeless effort playing against a team with a stadium that isn't big enough to place the camera at above field height.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Guess nobody informed Villa that the season has started. Just an absolutely lifeless effort playing against a team with a stadium that isn't big enough to place the camera at above field height.
I figured that trip to Australia would ensure a sluggish start. Turns out ... yup. Next time they do one of those barnstorming things in pre season, they need to pick one that doesn't make you play three times in a week ... in the winter.
 

HNIM

Well-known member
I don't know that Everton or Southampton will go down. But I'm pretty sure Lampard and Hasenhuttl will not finish the season, and you can probably get short odds that they'll be gone by Boxing Day.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I don't know that Everton or Southampton will go down. But I'm pretty sure Lampard and Hasenhuttl will not finish the season, and you can probably get short odds that they'll be gone by Boxing Day.
Yeah, both are prime position for a panic move IMO. Plus, Lampard just hasn't done anything at Everton. He's been handed a wonky set of players this season, so that won't help. I kind of feel like he'll get the axe that whoever is running their recruitment program deserves more. Southampton are a wildcard with this new ownership group. Their last management team was stone cold bonkers, so it kind of has to get better but Hasenhuttle was the old regime's guy. Any early ugliness is gonna get him fired and that half-assed counterpress they run isn't fooling anyone. They play a style that lends itself to long runs of ugly results.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Man U is already in crisis and I’m loving it. Ten Hag is already panicking, cancelling a day off to run the team becuase the stats showed that Brentford ran a lot more than they did yesterday. They’ve conceded 6 goals, tied for worst with Leicester and Southampton. They’re at the foot of the table with the worst goal differential of any of the other 3 clubs without a point.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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Am I the only one who kind of wished that Antonio Conte had just kicked Tomas Tuchel's butt yesterday?
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
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Villa played MUCH better in Week 2, beating midfield-less Everton 2-1 ... but lost Diego Carlos to a ruptured achilles. 6-8 months ... fun. But seriously. Everton. What's up with that roster? They have a million wide midfielders and wingers, a couple of attacking mids and next to nobody who can play centrally. Their best ball distributing central midfielder is Conor Coady, who is in on loan and is ... checks notes ... a central defender. They also have exactly one decent striker, who is out. I was a bit iffy about predicting them for the drop zone this year, but I feel a lot better about it having seen them play a full game. Their player personnel management is just a mystery.
 
Villa played MUCH better in Week 2, beating midfield-less Everton 2-1 ... but lost Diego Carlos to a ruptured achilles. 6-8 months ... fun. But seriously. Everton. What's up with that roster? They have a million wide midfielders and wingers, a couple of attacking mids and next to nobody who can play centrally. Their best ball distributing central midfielder is Conor Coady, who is in on loan and is ... checks notes ... a central defender. They also have exactly one decent striker, who is out. I was a bit iffy about predicting them for the drop zone this year, but I feel a lot better about it having seen them play a full game. Their player personnel management is just a mystery.
Agreed on Villa looking much better, though hard to judge completely against such a weird side on a very hot day. Chaotic ending and they didn't give the Digne OG enough replays, but it looked like he was very clearly fouled and pushed into the ball and net.

I don't know what's wrong with Coutinho, but this was one of the most invisible performances I've ever seen before he mercifully went down with injury and Buendia came in and was brilliant. It's probably for the best that Villa are on the road the next two games, because if Coutinho gets another start like this at home, he could very easily hear boos. I'm really curious if he's injured or not in shape, because the player that first came to Villa looked like a world class attacker and then by the end of last season and especially the start of this season, looks like someone who doesn't belong in the prem. I don't see how you don't start Emi at this point and see if Coutinho can regain his form and spark coming off the bench.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Since Gerrard can't seem to figure out how to set up an effective defense when he plays Coutinho and Buendia, then I guess it's fine so long as one of them is cooking with fire. And Buendia has looked really, really sharp. He looks like the player he was for Norwich again. Coutinho got a bit of a knock late in the Everton match, so maybe that's enough of an excuse to bring him off the bench for a spell. And with him it's ALWAYS confidence. He's an amazing talent, but you have to keep him at just the right temperature ... like a freaking souffle or something.

And yeah, Digne 100% got bundled into that ball by the Everton winger, but it didn't end up mattering. Plus, it was such a rough weekend for English refs that that blind eye no-call is WAY down the list of concerns. Don't tell Spurs fans, but there was some awful officiating over the weekend.
 

HNIM

Well-known member
Am I the only one who kind of wished that Antonio Conte had just kicked Tomas Tuchel's butt yesterday?
No. Hope you caught some of the match, though. Really entertaining for the neutral, and a great end for Spurs fans.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Villa getting absolutely undressed by a decidedly OK Crystal Palace team today. Starting to wonder if Gerrard is ever going to get the team playing anything remotely like a cohesive game. They just stand around too much, think too slowly and are consistently torn apart by even the simplest long ball down the wing ... which is exactly what they did most of last season. It's NOT a talent problem any more either. So far, Gerrard has brought a lot more star dust than technical competence. He brought in new staff, but the problems on the field look exactly the same. Which tells me nobody's listening ... or worse, maybe nobody's saying anything worth listening to.
 
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