Optus Sport producer and host Richard Bayliss believes Aaron Mooy and Huddersfield Town will have the tougher of times in the 2018-19 Premier League season that Maty Ryan’s Brighton.
The new Premier League season kicks off on Friday night – Saturday morning Australian time – when Manchester United host Leicester City at Old Trafford.
Brighton kick off the season away to Watford, while Huddersfield have a tougher assignment at home to Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.
The games mark the beginning of both the Seagulls’ and the Terriers’ second seasons in the top flight after they staved off relegation.
Bayliss predicted Brighton would stay up again, and that Ryan would enjoy another fruitful season as the No.1 gloveman.
One team returns to the Premier League and another have a point to prove this season.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) August 10, 2018
“I think Maty Ryan’s geared up to have a good season, he had a pretty solid World Cup despite conceding in every game,” Bayliss said on Friday’s Daily Football Show.
“He’s very much with his feet under the table at Brighton. He’s a fan favourite, he won a lot of awards last year with the club as well and they love him.
“Twelve months ago we were sitting here going ‘is Tim Krul going to take his spot?’ Well Tim Krul’s gone, and for a goalkeeper of that stature to be forced out of the club by Maty says a lot about how he went.”
Ryan will have Jason Steele and David Button as competition in the goalkeeping ranks.
Meanwhile, Bayliss expected Huddersfield would have a tougher time maintaining their Premier League status, though the ‘Pasty Pirlo’ looks set to carry on as their main man.
David Wagner’s side stayed up by the skin of their teeth last term, with 37 points – four above the drop zone – doing the job.
“Aaron Mooy, it’s interesting for him … they’ve brought a lot of guys in at Huddersfield, no one that I think will take his spot if Aaron plays well,” Bayliss added.
“But it’s always that second year syndrome.
“Huddersfield as a club could be under a lot of pressure and they’ll need Aaron Mooy to play well, and from our perspective we want him to as well.”
Optus Sport’s Premier League coverage is free until the end of August.