Saturday August 8
The first day of the EPL season is in the books, here's what we're thinking now that the matches are over:
• Spurs came out hot to open the game, with Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane showing some great chemistry. Then came the own-goal by Kyle Walker (Rooney earned a late assist), and Spurs went into their now-familiar shell that they seem to always go into after going down early at Old Trafford.
• Matteo Darmian was by far the strongest United defender on the pitch today, even during the initial flurry by Spurs. If fantasy managers look to pick up a Man U defender, Darmian is the one to own. Memphis Depay showed quite a bit of promise, even if he did not earn managers any fantasy points. Morgan Schneiderlin had a rough go of it today, and did not look very sharp at all.
• Leicester City came out swarming today and played with a chip on their shoulder: Riyad Mahrez led the way with a brace as LCFC spanked a hapless Sunderland. Will be interesting to see how long they can carry the "Noone believes in us!" mentality before their defense (which had several mental lapses today) lets them down.
• Everton defense struggled once again, and looked very shaky in their home opener against Watford. John Stones made some critical errors, and they certainly missed the presence of Leighton Baines who was out with an ankle injury (which is rumored to be a two- or three-month injury). The Toffees looked much better in the second half, with sub Kone (1 goal, 1 assist) being the spark they desperately needed to salvage the draw.
• Bournemouth looked very solid in their debut against Aston Villa, outplaying the Villans in every facet of the match (especially in the first half) except for on the scoreboard. Tim Sherwood's men showed some surprising resilience defensively and played a much better second half, but absence of former striker Christian Benteke was very noticeable - they will certainly need to make a move before the transfer window is over.
• The Crystal Palace midfield proved to be the main source of offensive production once again, with Zaha, Cabaye, Puncheon and McArthur each producing a goal or an assist. Should they add a striker before the close of the transfer window, Alan Pardew's men will have quite the potent offense indeed.
• New signing Andre Ayew notched his first goal as a member of Swansea, and his presence added another dimension to their attack and really allowed them to open up and stand toe-to-toe with the defending champs. Bafétimbi Gomis showed a penchant for making great runs to the net, but was just a hair offsides about 75% of the time... as the season goes on, should his timing improve, he will certainly be a fantasy threat. Dreadful start for the 11.37% of fantasy managers who own Thibaut Courtois on the FPL website after he was sent off for fouling a breaking-away Gomis in the penalty area.