Premier League Table 2013 Week 1: Teams Guaranteed to Start Season with a Win
The English Premier League is set to kickoff on Saturday, August 17, with Liverpool and Stoke City squaring off to open the season. When looking at the schedule for Week 1, it's clear there are some teams who are a lock to start off with a perfect record.
Manchester United will open its bid to become champions for a second straight year with a match against Swansea City on Saturday. Also on the season's opening day, Arsenal will take on Aston Villa as the Gunners continue to look to improve their squad during the August transfer window.
On Monday, August 19, Manchester City will look to recover after a disappointing result in last year's final when taking on Newcastle in the lone match for that day.
Let's take a closer look at each of these matchups and why Manchester City, Swansea City and Aston Villa are all certain to emerge victorious.
You can check out the Premier League table on the official Premier League website.
The Gunners are still looking to make improvements to their roster before the September 2 deadline hits, and thanks to some key injuries, the Gunners may be at a huge disadvantage before this match starts.
Per Jack Fox of the Metro, both Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna are in doubt for Arsenal's opener, while Mikel Arteta is likely to miss the first match. The Gunners are also going to be without Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal and Aaron Ramsey.
These will be huge blows to Arsenal on both offense and defense. The Gunners will be at far less than full strength for this first match and will need the excitement and adrenaline of the first match of the season to overcome such difficulties.
Villa won't have the same injury concerns, however. The squad will be much healthier to start the season and only have to do without Charles N'Zogbia thanks to an achilles injury.
In its last three matches, Arsenal hasn't fared so well after only one win, although it was against Manchester City in its last match. Meanwhile, Villa are coming into the season on a bit of a hot streak thanks to four consecutive wins to finish the preseason in quite the impressive fashion.
With health and momentum on their side to start the 2013-14 campaign, Villa look primed to take a 1-0 record into Week 2 after topping Arsenal.
Manchester United are beginning the quest to become repeat champions of the EPL, but that road will start off rocky thanks to a ton of injuries and a tough match at Liberty Stadium.
David Moyes' squad is looking at a lengthy list of players who are likely to miss the first match of the new season. Michael Carrick, Javier Hernandez, Nani and Ashley Young have all been unable to play in recent matches thanks to their respective injuries, according to Goal.com.
Per the same report, Wayne Rooney is also in question despite playing in England's recent friendly win over Scotland during the week. Rooney has missed the entire preseason for United, though. Adding to the loss of Rooney, Darren Fletcher's return date is still in question and Rafael still has one more game to go to complete his suspension.
Which squad is most likely to win its first match of the season?
Those injuries will likely affect United on both sides of the ball and make for a less-than-stellar performance.
Swansea City are in a totally different boat on the injury front. According to the same Goal.com report, the club expects to be without Jonathan de Guzman following a head injury; other than that, it looks like smooth sailing for Swansea City.
On top of that, Michael Laudrup's Swans were busy during the transfer window and added Wilfried Bony, Jonjo Shelvey, Jordi Amat and Jose Canas. Those key moves will help pad the loss of De Guzman in the season opener.
While United had a pedestrian preseason, Swansea City have been nothing short of spectacular and should be even sharper than their opponents after two Europa League matches that resulted in one draw and one win. Swansea City haven't lost a match in their last four.
Like Villa, Swansea City are healthier than their Week 1 opponent and are playing at a higher level coming out of the preseason.
Manchester City had a great season in 2012-13, but their finish wasn't exactly ideal after dropping the Premier League title to United. After their failed attempt, City will be chomping at the bit to get this season started and return to regain their crown.
For starters, Manchester City have owned Newcastle in the past. In the pair's last 13 matches both home and away, City are unbeaten and have won the last seven. This has clearly been a matchup that City doesn't mind.
Health shouldn't be a concern for City, either.
Striker Sergio Aguero will be available to play after healing his knee injury, so that leaves Matija Nastasic as the only player who can be counted out for the season opener for Manchester City, per John Ley of the The Telegraph.
The newest additions to the squad (Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic) will all be available and give City an incredible advantage in the depth department for this match.
Meanwhile, Newcastle will be without Loic Remy, per the same report. That will be a devastating blow to Newcastle's offense as the forward netted six goals in 13 starts in Premier League play last season for his old team, Queens Park Rangers.
Newcastle ranked as one of the worst teams in scoring during the 2012-13 season.
Manchester City's talent is already too much for Newcastle to overcome, but add in the fact that Newcastle have an injury to one of their key players and this match spells victory for City.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?