The waiting is almost over, as football fans breathe a sigh of relief as the Premiership returns with Paddy Power reporting plenty of support for their new free bets offer of money back if there is a red card during any game in England this weekend.
It’s sure to be a spectacular start to the season, made all the more interesting with Robin Van Persie’s move to Old Trafford and Manchester Utd.
Arsenal begin their bid for the Premier League title this weekend when they host Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It has been an eventful summer for the Gunners of course. They have done some excellent transfer business, but unfortunately for them, it has been overshadowed by Robin Van Persie’s move to Old Trafford.
The Gunner’s are sure to miss last year’s top goalscorer, however Arsene Wenger has made some shrewd signings during the summer.
As for the transfer business Arsenal have done this summer, they have brought some genuine quality with Lukas Podolski, Oliver Giroud and Santiago Cazorla arriving to boost Arsene Wenger’s squad.
Now, it is all about a positive start. They have all the ingredients in place to at least launch a title challenge and a victory this weekend would be a good platform to build on. They don’t want to be playing catch up.
With regards to Sunderland, they have been in the news a lot this week for their failed attempts to agree a fee with Wolves for striker Steven Fletcher. This shows that they haven’t quite assembled the squad they wanted to by the start of the new campaign.
This gives the current crop a chance to fight for their place though. They will want to prove to manager Martin O’Neill – in charge for his first full season – that they should be in his plans for the next few months.
Not too many people have been talking about Sunderland’s chances this summer, but it seems fair to say that their expectations are of a comfortable mid-table finish.
As for this weekend’s game specifically, they will go in with nothing to lose and hope to take advantage of some early season nerves from the home side.
If Arsenal come out of the blocks as everyone knows they can though, it could be a long afternoon for the Black Cats. They are capable of competing though, so it could be an intriguing opening day encounter.