The hype for matchday one of the 2017/18 season is at fever pitch heading into August.
Matchday 1 provides 23 goals and 4 red cards – with the pick of the games at Goodison park, where Burnley turn over Everton 2-0, Vincent Janssen grabbing a goal on his debut.
Ryan Giggs’ Nottingham Forrest play out a lively 0-0 draw with Norwich – two red cards in this one. Whilst Chelsea thump Newcastle 4-1 on the Toon’s return to the top flight.
In the Championship, wins for Bournemouth and Watford get the newly relegated teams on the board. On the contrast, Swansea decide to limp to 1-0 at home to Leeds.
Birmingham player/manager Tomasz Kuszczak grabs his first win of the season – no clean sheet for the big man though, sparking a range of emotions in the dressing room.
Speaking of emotions, it’s only misery at Manchester United as a dabbing Paul Pogba damages his Achilles tendon in training and is out for an estimated 4 months. This misery is further compounded, as heading into the international break, they lose 2-1 at home to Burnley.
England return from international duty with 2 wins from 2 with victories over Malta and Slovakia – no doubt ITV went all out on the coverage for those games.
Curtis Davies watch: The Hull City defender returns from Sierra Leone duty in an indifferent mood as his side pick up a draw and a loss from their two matches – what’s more worrying for him though, is that his manager only decides to call up 6 players to the senior squad. If only they could prise John John away from Trinidad and Tobago…
Fans across the land rejoice as the international break ends and the Champions League restarts – much to the dismay of Arsenal fans, who lose 2-1 to Bayern Munich in their first meeting in the group stage.
Liverpool’s return to the Champions league gifts them the group of death – alongside PSG, Atletico Madrid and Celtic. (Poor Celtic, they can’t even catch a break in FM).
In the Europa League, Manchester United, Stoke and Burnley all record wins out of the international break.
Giggs’ Forrest suffer back to back 4-1 thumpings before travelling to Old Trafford for the first time under Giggs. Unfortunately the game also marks Pogba’s rather speedy return from injury – it proves to be the difference with the Frenchman scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 for United.
Unfortunately for Burnely, their luck and goalscoring dries up – 6 loses on the bounce coasts Sean Dyche his job as Burnley slip to 18th in December. Pep Coltet (Yep, that guy) replaces him.
Tony Pulis leaves West Brom to be replaced by Swansea manager Paul Clement, whilst Eddie Howe takes the now vacated job at Swansea heading into Christmas.
Déjà vu strikes as Liverpool top the table again at Christmas, with Sunderland propping up the rest. Mourinho’s tenure at Manchester United is looking increasingly under threat as his side sit 9th. Meanwhile in the Championship, Bournemouth sit comfortably in first position, with Watford a few points behind.
Next up: January transfers, sackings galore and the second half of the season.