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It may well be, then, that the signing of the impressive, energetic Glen Johnson at full-back turns out to be a more significant bit of transfer business than the much criticised decision to sell Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid.
With the arrival of Johnson, Liverpool have found an extra man who can torment well-packed defences and the evidence was there in the 4-0 win over Stoke City last week.
What a difference from the two goalless draws Liverpool had against The Potters last season, as Johnson scored one and provided another.
UPDATE: Have added the panel predictions that were emailed to me on Friday night/Saturday before kick-offs. (Mike Collett loses 10 points for shamelessly trying to predict Saturday’s scores on Sunday morning … and getting them all spot on.)
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So come on, be honest, who was expecting Burnley to beat Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday?
Never let it be said that we at Reuters Soccer Blog shirk a challenge. Our attempts at score prediction on the opening weekend produced results that were modest at best but never fear, we’re straight back in for another shot (that’ll doubtless be blasted over the bar).
Once again, please send in your own predictions … they can scarcely be any worse than ours, and if you do especially well, we’ll gladly let you lord it over us here on the blog.
Last November Spurs beat Liverpool 2-1 at White Hart Lane just after Harry Redknapp took over a side that had slumped to the bottom of the table. Redknapp admitted after that game that Spurs had been lucky to win after being battered by Liverpool, who squandered an early lead and then hit the woodwork three times before losing.
Spurs beat Liverpool 2-1 at White Hart Lane again on Sunday and this time there was no doubting that Spurs deserved their victory.
How did you get on? I expect it was better than most of us… As a look back to Friday lunchtime’s post will attest, our efforts at predicting the score on the opening weekend of the Premier League covered few of us in any glory.
UPDATE: Now with added rollcall of shame! Click here for full details of just how badly our panel did…
The new Premier League season is upon us and this year we at the Reuters Soccer Blog have decided to stick our necks out as never before.
At last, Real Madrid have got their man. Liverpool agreed on Tuesday to sell Xabi Alonso, a Real target going back at least six years, for a reported 30 million euros.
It’s decent money for a player Rafa Benitez appeared happy enough to consider selling 12 months ago but Alonso is the sort of assured holder and passer of the ball who is hard to replace at any price.
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez fought long and hard for greater control of the Anfield club’s transfer funds and first through the door since he agreed his new contract is Portsmouth’s Glen Johnson. He didn’t come cheap, either.
At a reported 17 million pounds, Johnson is an expensive acquisition for a player who never quite made it at Chelsea, and has only recently found success in the England team after raiding down Portsmouth’s right hand side last season.
The new Premier League season kicks off on August 15 and the first real eye-catching fixture is at Old Trafford a fortnight later when Arsenal visit champions Manchester United for the first twist in the title race.
United manager Alex Ferguson will clash with new Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge on November 7, two weeks after visiting rivals Liverpool at Anfield.
Manchester United have captured their 18th English league title after securing the point they needed in a 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal.
It was a subdued display by United but the celebrations began when the final whistle sealed a hat-trick of titles and moved them alongside Liverpool as England’s most crowned club.