SOCCER

Premier League Gifts Fans Midweek Match As Competition Returns

Feb 8, 2022, 10:54 AM

LEEDS, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Assistant Manager of Newcastle United, Jason Tindall (L) gives instruc...

LEEDS, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Assistant Manager of Newcastle United, Jason Tindall (L) gives instructions as Eddie Howe, Manager of Newcastle United looks on during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Elland Road on January 22, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s been a while since the English Premier League was in full swing. With the international break, FA Cup weekends, EPL play has been on the back burner. There was also the African Cup of Nations that was won on Sunday by Senegal for the first time.

The transfer window closed on the last day of January for most of the world, and the EPL saw a flurry of activity. As expected, the team with the new money brought in some much-needed reinforcements as Newcastle will look to get themselves out of trouble.

Everton got themselves a new manager and then added a couple of attacking midfielders…And that leads us to Tuesday’s match.

Newcastle United v. Everton

A 12:45 p.m. kick on Tuesday will be found on Peacock. And quite honestly, I don’t know what to expect.

Two teams that will change over the coming weeks and months.

Eddie Howe has his claws into this team and has now added quality to look and steer them to EPL safety. Will it be enough time? I’m not sure, but they addressed some very big needs. Kieran Trippier arrived first and the England international was a huge get, and I feel was a catalyst for the other arrivals. The right-back will provide experience and a much-needed attacking threat from deep.

The arrival of local (ish) lad, Dan Burn from Brighton adds central defensive needs, and also a player that is comfortable with the ball at his feet, and at 6’6″ his aerial presence won’t hurt either.

They added Matt Targett at left-back in what was a glaring need as they’ve shipped 43 goals through 21 games. Only Norwich has allowed more. They added target man Chris Wood from Burnley and he could prove vital. Not only chipping in with goals, but his ability to bring others into play could help shoot Newcastle up the table. I fully expect the main man on Tyneside, Allan Saint-Maximin to take full advantage of Wood’s presence up top to help him find more space to operate in.

Finally, and I think most importantly, the midfield signing of Brazilian Bruno Guimarães from Lyon in France. A full Brazil international and a Champions League caliber player, this was for me a little glimpse of what Newcastle can and will attract over the coming seasons in what is going to be an interesting project. The Brazilian will add much-needed presence in the central midfield areas, a passing range that will help not only launch attacks quickly but also find pockets of space that will make Newcastle less one dimensional, and most importantly, he will provide excellent protection in front of the backline in what is another move to shore up the defense.

Everton added two excellent fullbacks and then promptly fired Rafa Benitez, a move in itself that left me scratching my head. But as a slew of players started to return from injury, plus those two arrivals I fully expected Everton to make a positive impact on the league in the second half of the season. .

So, we find Frank Lampard at the helm of the Toffees, and on deadline day they added Dele Alli from Tottenham, in what was an initial free transfer that will have add ons and could eventually net Spurs around $55 million.

And finally Manchester United misfit, Donny van de Beek joined on loan for the rest of the season. How this all works I don’t know. It’s a melting pot of new ideas, players, and excitement along with the dread that if it doesn’t gel quickly then both teams will be looking over their shoulders.

I expect both teams to attack, but it might be a little disjointed at times, a messy game with flashes of brilliance.

Prediction: This one is going to be exciting. More the anticipation of what these players can do. Eddie Howe developed his Bournemouth team to pass and move, and I expect Newcastle to eventually adopt that approach. With Lampard, he’s been afforded riches at Derby and then Chelsea. In both instances they were better going forward than defending.

With Saint-Maximin for Newcastle and Richarlison for Everton, we might just get moments of greatness, but I can’t separate the teams. Either way, it will be entertaining.

That’ll do it for the midweek round. There are plenty of games through Thursday to choose from, and we’ll be back Friday to preview the weekend’s round.

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Premier League Gifts Fans Midweek Match As Competition Returns