x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Armchair football fans in UAE have a treat ahead

Is it possible that the UAE is the best place in the world to watch the English Premier League? Every single game is televised live and in the first month of the season there are some superb matches. We pick five of them.

Perhaps football fans in the UAE will not be as excited as Cheik Tiote, scoring a goal against Arsenal, but maybe they should be.
Perhaps football fans in the UAE will not be as excited as Cheik Tiote, scoring a goal against Arsenal, but maybe they should be.

Is the UAE the world's best country to watch the English Premier League?

Every single game is televised live here - if you fancy a bit of Wigan Athletic against Bolton Wanderers on a Monday night, you are in luck - so that is probably a yes, then.

And in the first month of the season, there are some superb matches. Here are our picks for the top five games in August:

Man City v Swansea City

Monday, 11pm

It's the world's richest club against the new boys from Wales.

The superstars taking on a squad of journeymen, many of whom have never played in the Premier League before.

Surely, this can only have one outcome, but what a chance for Swansea to make their mark.

If Manchester City are going to win the league, then games like this should be dealt with in the minimum of fuss.

Arsenal v Liverpool

Saturday, August 20, 3.45pm

Do you remember the days when these two were genuine title-challengers? Times have changed for these giants, however, this is still one of the games of the season.

This game could start to answer many of the questions hanging over the two squads. Can Liverpool build on the momentum of the second half of last season? Has Arsenal's team spirit been affected by a summer of speculation surrounding Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. And has either team got what it takes to be champions?

Man United v Tottenham

Monday, August 22, 11pm

The champions have strengthened since last season, while Spurs have done well to keep Luka Modric so far. The Croat may still play in this game, but possibly even in a red shirt.

United have made it clear that this season is all about winning title No 20 and closing that all-mighty gap on Barcelona in Europe. As for Spurs, manager Harry Redknapp seems a bit deflated after missing out on Champions League qualification after a thrilling run in the tournament last season. A win at Old Trafford would get the juices flowing again.

Tottenham v Man City

Sunday, August 28, 4.30pm

And then Spurs entertain City, who they drew with in this corresponding fixture last season.

The Abu Dhabi-backed club want to hit the ground running. To do that, they must improve on last season's displays in tricky away games like this.

After a top-three finish, City will now be marked men, as if they were not before. Beating them is a feather in the cap for any side, especially one with title ambitions of their own, such as Spurs.

Man United v Arsenal

Sunday, August 28, 7pm

This is always one of the first games you look for on the calendar.

United are annoyed because in their third Champions League final in four years, they fell short to Barca, arguably one of the best teams of all-time, a week after they won a record 19th title.

Arsenal have not won a trophy since 2005. That is a pretty big difference. In the days of Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira, this fixture usually brought with it controversy and a red card or two.

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger now appear to get along, but the Scot would love nothing more than to put his old foe to the sword, just for fun.