It’s finally back! It was a long four or so weeks since the COVID 2019-20 Premier League season wrapped up, but now the weekends are once again worth setting an early alarm for because the greatest league in the world is back.
There is even more interest than ever stateside for the PL so I figured I would answer some questions that I ask myself in a mock interview format. A brief guide for longtime supporters and newcomers ready for their first cold, rainy night in Stoke. Nothing too in the weeds, just a nice overview of what is to come.
When is the first match of the season?
Saturday morning with newly promoted Fulham welcoming the plucky mid-table side Arsenal to Craven Cottage. The match kicks at 6:30am CST (sorry other time zone people, do your own math) on NBC Sports Network.
So matches are once again on NBC Sports Network this year?
For the most part, yes. The majority of matches will be on NBC Sports Network with the occasional match on the big boy regular NBC. However, new this season will be some matches appearing on NBC’s new streaming service the ‘cock.
The ‘cock? Come again?
I love abbreviating things…excuse me…I love abbrievs. The full name is The Peacock. Naturally I had to shorten it, much like calling Netflix ‘Flix.’
….why not just call it the Pea’ then?
Are you serious? Because peas are disgusting. Don’t ask silly questions. Can we get back on track?
Uh, sure. Not sure where to go from here. Am I going to have to pay for yet another streaming service if I want to watch…I cannot believe I am actually gonna say it…the ‘cock?
Yeah, $4.99 a month if you want their package that includes live sports. HOWEVER, certain TV providers are giving the ‘cock for free as part of your subscription. For example, it comes with my Xfinity subscription so I won’t have to pay monthly for the ‘cock.
Enough talk about, uh, streaming services. If somebody is getting into the PL for the first time, who should they root for?
Whoever they want! I get this question a lot and I always give the same answer. Don’t just pick a club out of thin air or say something like “well my buddy likes them so I guess I will like them too.” Just like any other league, PL clubs aren’t one size fits all. Shop around a bit. Watch a bunch of matches and see who you are taken by. Let the club pick you, so to speak. It is a lot like falling in love or finding a favorite pair of undies – when you know, you know.
Also, don’t let longtime fans give you stick if you decide on one of the big clubs like the Mancheters, Liverpool, or Chelsea. It totally makes sense that someone new to the league would want to watch a great team. Their matches are on all the time and there is never any shortage of coverage about them.
Would you hate someone who doesn’t pick Chelsea as their team?
Of course not. The more people at the party the better. If they picked Spurs on the other hand…just kidding. I have buddies that support pretty much every other team in the league. The banter is the best.
OK, so let’s get to this season. Liverpool ran away with the league with a historic campaign a year ago. Can they repeat?
They certainly can, but it won’t be by 18 points like it was last year. You do have to wonder if complacency might set in a bit. They were a club on a mission last year after coming up one measly point short the year before to Man City. The other clubs could have played with 22 men all armed with tasers and I still think Liverpool would have won the league. It felt almost predetermined even before they were up by like 40 points in October.
But if there is a manager that can keep his team motivated it is Jürgen Klopp. I cannot stand Liverpool but I am pretty sure I would eat a cinder block if he asked me to do it.
How many goals will the American Christian Pulisic score for Chelsea and should we change the constitution so he is eligible to run for President?
My sweet boy! By far Chelsea’s best player after the restart earlier this summer. It was rough to see him get injured in the FA Cup final but apparently he is fit ahead of schedule. Probably because he is more than a man, but less than a god, like Hercules. It would be great to see him improve on his nine goals from last year and be in the teens. Mainly I just want the guy to stay healthy.
OK, prediction time. Who will finish in the top four and qualify for Champions League?
Well Liverpool and Manchester City are essentially locks. You can bank that. The other two spots I see once again going to Chelsea and Manchester United. I know predicting the same top four as the year before isn’t exactly the HOT SPORTS TAKE people want, but given a catastrophe or a huge surprise – which obviously happens – I don’t see it going any other way.
Who says bye bye and gets the ol’ relegation?
I have to tread lightly here because two of my best friends support Newcastle and Fulham who both could VERY easily get sent down. I think West Brom are as good as dusted. They will be going down along with….Aston Villa and Newcastle (sorry Dylan).
Top 6! Go!
1. Liverpool – Repeating is tough, but I think they have what it takes to do it again. Winning in a more traditional year (with supporters, without a couple month break) is a nice added incentive.
2. Manchester City – They will give Liverpool a much better run than last year but come up short in the end. I have a feeling it comes down to the final week or two of the season.
3. Chelsea – They added enough offensive talent that they could score about 9 goals a match. The problem with adding all that goal scoring talent is that none of them play defense or keeper so they could also give up 10 a match.
4. Manchester United – Honestly, they could easily finish third but I am a bit biased so I put them fourth instead.
5. Leicester City – They gave United and Chelsea everything they had in the race for Champions League a year ago but I think the Foxes are on the outside looking in again.
6. Wolverhampton – You didn’t really think I was going to put Spurs or Arsenal here, did you?
Alright, a couple quick hitters to wrap this up. One word answers. Will Jose Mourinho get sacked?
Do you still think Harry Kane has the most punchable face on earth?
Who wins the Golden Boot?
Will you still tweet “I am never watching sports again for the rest of my life” anytime anything even remotely bad happens to Chelsea and then continue to watch Chelsea every match after you tweet that?
Thank you, Dana, for letting me, Dana, conduct this mock interview with you. Enjoy the season!
You too, Dana! Enjoy the season, friends. Always hit me up if you want to talk football or if you are a newcomer to the league and have any questions. No snobbery here from me. Like I said earlier, more people at the party the better. Keep the Blue Flag Flying High!