Arsenal vs BurnleyEmirates Stadium, LondonSaturday, 17-08-2019 @2:30pmReferee: Mike DeanArsenal got their campaign off to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Newcastle United, a result that must have impressed everyone associated with the clubs after registering a clean-sheet at the end of the day.Unai Emery also handed debuts to three of his summer acquisitions and the home game against Burnley who also won on opening weekend presents the Spaniard with a chance to probably start record signing Nicholas Pepe, who came off the bench at St. James.Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac trained this week and are in contention to play after srcurity concerns. Granit Xhaka has a bruised back and leg and will be assessed, while Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Dinos Mavropanos remain out.Danny Drinkwater will not be involved for Burnley but Charlie Taylor is now fit and has travelled with the squad. Steven Defour and Robbie Brady have returned to light training following respective calf and rib injuries.Burnley have lost nine successive league meetings – the longest losing streak in their top-flight history against a particular opponent. Their only victory in the past 19 away games against Arsenal in all competitions came in September 1974. Arsenal have won all seven encounters at the Emirates Stadium by an aggregate score of 21-4.Arsenal are looking to begin a league campaign with two straight wins for the first time since 2009-10. The Gunners have lost their opening home league match of the season in five of the past eight seasons. Only Manchester City and Liverpool claimed more home points than the 45 accrued by Arsenal last term. They have lost only one of their past 25 league games when scoring first, winning 20 of them. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored scored eight goals in his last six games in all competitions.Aston Villa vs AFC BournemouthVilla Park, BirminghamSaturday, 17-08-2019 @5pmReferee: Martin AtkinsonThe away side has won the two previous Premier League meetings between these two sides, including Bournemouth’s 2-1 victory at Villa Park in April 2016. The two clubs are in the same division together for only the fourth season.Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz could make his first start, while full-backs Frederic Guilbert and Matt Targett are pushing for debuts. Jonathan Kodjia is out with a sprained ankle and joins James Chester and Kortney Hause on the sidelines.Bournemouth winger Arnaut Danjuma is still nursing the foot injury which has delayed his start to the season. Lloyd Kelly, David Brook, Dan Gosling, Simon Francis, Lewis Cook and Junior Stanislas remain unavailable.Brighton vs West Ham UnitedThe American Express Community Stadium, East SussexSaturday, 17-08-2019 @5pmReferee: Anthony TaylorBrighton report no fresh injuries, with summer signing Neil Maupay among those pushing for a start after he scored as a substitute last weekend. The only certain absentees for the Seagulls are Jose Izquierdo, Yves Bissouma and Ezequiel Schelotto.Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson are doubts for West Ham after receiving some heavy challenges last weekend. Mark Noble remains absent because of a calf injury but Jack Wilshere is fit after overcoming a dead leg.Brighton are unbeaten against West Ham in four previous Premier League encounters, winning three – their most victories against one particular team. West Ham have lost all four top-flight away visits to Brighton. The Hammers have not beaten Brighton since a 6-0 Championship triumph in April 2012.Everton vs WatfordGoodison Park, LiverpoolSaturday, 17-08-2019 @5pmReferee: Lee MasonWatford enter into the contest winless in all 13 away matches against Everton (D2, L11), despite leading in three of the last four fixtures at Goodison Park. Everton won six of the first nine Premier League meetings but have failed to win the last three.Everton face a selection headache in central midfield with Andre Gomes a major doubt due to an ankle injury sustained last weekend. Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended and Fabian Delph is sidelined with a groin problem, meaning Jean-Philippe Gbamin is set to make his full debut.Watford’s record signing Ismaila Sarr has begun training but is not yet fit. Fellow new arrival Danny Welbeck is available, along with midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah.Norwich City vs Newcastle UnitedCarrow Road, NorfolkSaturday, 17-08-2019 @5pmReferee: Scott AttwellNorwich winger Onel Hernandez has been ruled out for three months after injuring his knee in a fall, while Josip Drmic, Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann are also absent. Kenny McLean is a major doubt but Alex Tettey, Ibrahim Amadou and Mario Vrancic are all available.Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is fit but Allan Saint-Maximin is a doubt because of a hamstring strain. Andy Carroll remains sidelined, as do Florian Lejeune and DeAndre Yedlin.Norwich have won just one of the last nine meetings (D3, L5). However, they are on a six-match unbeaten Premier League home run against the Magpies. The only away win in 14 Premier League matches between the sides was Newcastle’s 2-1 victory at Carrow Road in January 1994. The last four encounters have produced 24 goals – an average of six per game.Southampton vs LiverpoolSt. Mary’s Stadium, KitendeSaturday, 17-08-2019 @5pmReferee: Andre MarrinerLiverpool started from where they left off last season, walloping Norwich on opening weekend and then edging Chelsea on penalties to win the European super cup.Jurgen Klopp’s side look a little heavy, much to their participation in major tournaments during the season break but it should just be a matter of time until they click again.With the front three of Salah, Mane and Firmino starting to gel, the Kops should be targeting all three points off a Southampton side that lost on opening day.Southampton have a fully-fit squad, with captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg now recovered from sickness. Summer signings Kevin Danso and Moussa Djenepo are in contention to make their debuts.Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who was ever-present in the Premier League last season, could miss up to six weeks with a torn calf. Adrian is also a doubt due to an ankle injury, meaning 35-year-old Andy Lonergan could make his Reds debut.Southampton have lost their last four Premier League matches against Liverpool, conceding 11 goals and scoring just once. Liverpool have been defeated in only one of the last six Premier League away meetings, having lost four of their first five fixtures at St. Mary’s. However, they have lost three matches against Southampton under Jurgen Klopp in all competitions, equalling his highest number of defeats against one club.An 11th successive Premier League win on Saturday would equal the club’s record. The Reds could also match the club top-flight record of scoring multiple goals in 11 consecutive matches. Their only loss in 41 games in all competitions was January’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester City (W32, D8). Liverpool can secure five straight league wins on the road for the first time since a run of six victories ended in April 2014. Trent Alexander-Arnold could become just the third player in Premier League history to register an assist in six consecutive matches. Mo Salah has scored in all four of his Premier League appearances against Southampton.Man City vs Tottenham HotspurEtihad Stadium, ManchesterSaturday, 17-08-2019 @7:30pmReferee: Michael OliverAfter United vs Chelsea on opening weekend, Premier League fans are in for another treat as two other top-6 sides clash this weekend with City at home to Spurs.Both side collected maximum points last weekend with City hitting West Ham for 5 while Spurs had to come from a goal down to defeat Aston Villa 3-1 at home.The two sides clashed four times last season with City winning thrice while Spurs registered one victory-in the Champions League quarter-final.Pep Guardiola’s side have the beating of Spurs and should be favourites going into Saturday’s game.Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho could play his first game since the summer’s Copa America, while Sergio Aguero is in contention for a recall. Benjamin Mendy, who is continuing his rehabilitation after knee surgery, and Leroy Sane are long-term absentees.Spurs are still without injured pair Dele Alli and Ryan Sessegnon and the suspended Son Heung-min and Juan Foyth. Ben Davies is nearing fitness and Giovani Lo Celso may be involved after his first full week’s training.Manchester City are vying to win five consecutive league games against Spurs for the first time. Tottenham have taken just four points from their last nine Premier League visits to the Etihad Stadium (W1, D1, L7).City have gone 30 years without defeat in their opening home league match in a top-flight season. They have won 16 and drawn eight since losing to Southampton in 1989. Pep Guardiola’s side have won 15 successive top-flight games. It’s a run that has only been bettered by City themselves, with 18 straight victories between August-December 2017. Manchester City won all five Premier League home matches against established top-six opposition in 2018-19, by an aggregate score of 15-3. Gabriel Jesus has scored 13 goals and provided five assists in his last 10 starts for City in all competitions. Raheem Sterling has scored four goals in his last three home games against Spurs in all competitions. Sergio Aguero has failed to scored in each of his last seven Premier League appearances against Spurs. He scored 10 goals in his first seven league matches versus them. Oleksandr Zinchenko has finished on the winning team in all 23 of his Premier League appearances, equalling the record set by David Silva two seasons ago.Spurs could equal the club Premier League record of seven consecutive away defeats, set from August to December 2000 under George Graham. They only earned seven points against other established top-six sides last season, the joint-worst record with Manchester United in that mini-league. Tottenham went through the entire 2018-19 season without drawing a top-flight away game – the first time that has happened since Norwich City did likewise in 1980-81. Mauricio Pochettino was the first manager to win away from home against Pep Guardiola in a league match, doing so in February 2009 with Espanyol against Barcelona. Harry Kane has four goals in his past three Premier League appearances in August, having failed to score in any of his first 14 top-flight fixtures in the month.Comments Tags: arsenalMan Citypremier leaguetoptottenham hotspurs
Mark Ellingson spent 27 years as the pastor of the rural Holmes United Methodist Church as well as helping out at rural Lutheran Churches. In 2010 he became a Chaplain working with Hospice Care and then, in 2014, became Manager of Pastoral Services at Altru Health System in Grand Forks, ND. Mark has worked extensively with resilience especially in the context of disaster and trauma. He became a Board Certified Chaplain in 2013, fills in on Sundays at various small churches and continues to enjoy playing ball with the Holmes Softball Club. He is married to Betty, a Speech Pathologist in the schools and has five grown children and two grandsons. by Mark EllingsonThe church I served for 27 years was settled in the midst of the country, surrounded by trees, crops and wildlife. I always lived in the parsonage next door. About a mile away was our ballpark where softball teams came to play the church ball club sometimes with a deer watching from behind the left field fence.Military families from the nearby air force base found this setting inviting. We would usually have some Air Force folks who would find a rural home or farmstead to rent or buy instead of living on base.We learned some things about the military personnel who came among us. For one thing they would improve the homes in which they lived. Places which had been vacant for years would be mowed and painted and cleaned. The whole community looked better.As an established church of generally German background we had learned to accept the occasional Norwegian (like me as the pastor). Our military families brought different backgrounds and travel experiences which enriched, challenged and interested everyone.Many of the families discovered our church, attended and became active. They were great to have in church for they offered something often in short supply: initiative. If we had something which needed doing I could expect a volunteer from among my military members or their families. They were used to getting things done and seemed to thrive on completing a project. I remember when our church council talked about a new church sign to point the way to the church. Within a week one of my military men, one soon to be transferred, had the sign built and paid for.I enjoyed many times of working with my air force friends and fellowshipping at their homes. But I also learned some of the unique stresses they faced.Deployment was one stress. The military folks would tell about the places they visited and show souvenirs they had collected. But sometimes they would also share about the challenge of being apart from family and, perhaps even more difficult, coming back together after months of learning to do things on their own.Military living had other stresses, including issues of life and death. They had unique expectations and were looked at differently by civilians. As I spent time with my military families I learned some things which helped them.Participation in a group. I’ve already noted the value these families had for our church. But a group – church or other – which valued the contributions of military families helped those families deal with the other stresses. The families which sought us, or another group, were the better for us. As were we. Staying connected during deployments. When someone from our church was deployed we tried to stay connected. Sometimes it was a care package or just letters. If those letters and contact came from genuine caring they made a difference. And we also made efforts to affirm and support the family who stayed behind.A real welcome (or welcome back). Our middle-sized country church enjoyed having military families and welcomed them into the fellowship. When someone returned after deployment we also invited them to tell their stories and our people would turn out to see pictures and ask questions. Communication Skills for re-introduction after deployment. Perhaps the greatest challenge for deployed military is coming home and putting the family back together. Both the deployed and those left behind have learned to get along apart. How do they work that out?1. Patience in getting back together. Perhaps some families just “picked up” right where they were before the deployment. But, more often, the family had to take time to get to know one another again. The things the family learned to do weren’t immediately unlearned. So that took …2. Listening. Actually taking time to listen to one another is a skill everyone could work on, but all the more here. Listening was the best thing the church could do for everyone involved and a needed skill when the family is coming back together. While listening it was important to be …3. Acknowledging Changes. Some changes are obvious: the baby started to walk while dad was gone, the teenager grew three inches, the spouse grew out her hair. Other changes are less obvious having to do with new experiences the family had separately. Sometimes those experiences change a person. Such changes need to acknowledged and worked through. A military wife I knew learned to be very independent while her husband was gone and didn’t want to give back some of the things she’d begun to do on her own. The couple needed to work that through. They weren’t successful. Others, by listening with patience, created a stronger relationship.In looking back at our relationships with military families, I recognize the thing we did right was to include them. Inclusion means more than stopping by to invite them to church, though invitation is important. A person feels included when they are welcomed to bring in their uniqueness to the group. We welcomed the unique skills, background and experiences of our military families and only hope they learned as much from being part of our church family as we learned from them.