Friday, 12 August 2011

Your match by match verdicts as South African and English Premier Leagues kick-off

So Arsenal have lost Samir Nasri (£22m to Manchester City) and Cesc Fabregas (£35m to some club in Catalunia) but apparently Jadson, the 27-year-old Brazilian from Shakhtar Donetsk, is arriving for £12m. Given Gervinho's arrival for a similar fee last month, that makes a cool profit of around £13m for Arsene Wenger.
But he's not a banker, he's a football manager. And Arsenal are without a trophy for six years. Perhaps the only way that will change will be a brief foray in to the London for a quick bit of silverware looting as our slightly doctored picture shows.
English experts are saying Manchester United will win the Premier League again this season, with big-spending rivals Manchester City runners-up. Chelsea in third, with Liverpool edging Arsenal for the fourth Champions League spot. That leaves Spurs in sixth, possibly Aston Villa seventh. Relegation looms for promoted pair Swansea and Queens Park Rangers plus perrenial strugglers Wigan, though Wolves may howl too. Norwich, up as champions, should survive.
In South Africa, so much depends on those two big European striker signings. Will Benni McCarthy roll back the years (and confound West Ham fans) at Orlando Pirates? Can Bernard Parker thrive in a Kaizer Chiefs zebra shirt? I think both will do okay if fit.
That puts Chiefs and Pirates in the top two with Mamelodi Sundowns and Ajax Cape Town completing the top four. Ajax without Thulani Serero may struggle to stay ahead of Supersports United and Gavin Hunt's new-look outfit. Jomo Sono's Cosmos will go straight back down with Platinum Stars, backed by the Bafokeng mining millions, the surprise package.
But for a match by match verdict, have a squint at this... then get down to the betting shop:

English Premier League


Blackburn 2 Wolves 0 (Arsenal regret not signing Samba)

Fulham 2 Aston Villa 2 (Darren Bent both goals for Villa)

Liverpool 3 Sunderland 2 (Gyan can't do it alone, King Kenny magic)

QPR 0 Bolton 0 (Yawn)

Tottenham v Everton (postponed, riots stopped play)

Wigan 1 Norwich 2 (Canaries singing)

Newcastle 1 Arsenal 0 (Wenger offers to resign)


Stoke 0, Chelsea 3 (Torres hat-trick)

West Brom 1, Manchester United 1 (Rooney injured, Fergie fuming)


Manchester City 6, Swansea 0 (Welsh rabbits in the spotlight)

South African Premier League

Santos 1 Moroka Swallows 2 (Ingesund revival continues)

Black Leopards 0 Orlando Pirates 1 (McCarthy comes on for ten minutes)


Free State Stars 2 SuperSport United 2 (Gavin Hunt’s new boys settling)

Platinum Stars 1 Ajax Cape Town 2 (But they miss Serero)

Golden Arrows 1 Bloem Celtic 2 (Arrows off target)

Kaizer Chiefs 4 Jomo Cosmos 2 (Majoro the hero, not Parker)


Mamelodi Sundowns 3 AmaZulu 1 (Killer Mphela on the loose)

Maritzburg Utd 0 Bidvest Wits 0 (Yawn)

That's it. I'll put the Crystal ball away.

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