John Barnes in town, Reem Shahwa tips Reds to win title

TO MARK the start of the new Premier League season, one of England’s all-time great players, John Barnes, is in Kuala Lumpur.

The Liverpool star will be at Wow Plaza in LaLaport Bukit Bintang City Centre, where he will appear as a special guest at an Astro viewing party for the Fulham vs Liverpool game today.

He will be joined on stage by Astro SuperSport host Reem Shahwa and the company’s chief executive officer (TV) and group chief operating officer Euan Smith.

Commenting on the event, Reem said: “This is the best Premier League season kick-off experience with Astro – a money-can’t-buy match viewing party with a legend of the game, John Barnes.”

With this, Footnotes presented Reem with a Q&A, which she responded rather timely to. The following are excerpts from the interview:

Q: What should we be excited about in the new season?

Reem: A new season always brings with it new possibilities and hope for both the club and fans alike.

This season should be no different. It should be interesting to see how the dominance and rivalry between Man City and Liverpool develops.

Can Spurs’ Antonio Conte bridge the gap? With the newly promoted teams too, you can always expect one to cause a few upsets here and there.

I think Nottingham Forest will be the next Brentford.

Q: Which new signings in the top six stand out for you?

Reem: Erling Haaland, with all that he’s achieved in the Bundesliga and the hype surrounding his transfer to City. It’s hard to look past him or how he’ll make his mark on the league.

Q: What about the chances of the favourites, Liverpool and Man City, and where do Man United fit in (if they do)?

Reem: Liverpool have been criticised for not scoring when it matters (three cup finals last season), and Man City for their failure to get Harry Kane, and then not having enough firepower to win the Champions League. They’ve answered that with the signings of Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland respectively.

They are both looking in good shape, and remember, City will have an eye on Europe too.

Man United will be bolstered by their new manager Erik ten Hag taking over, and remain a competitive top-six club. They are in transition, so expectations can’t be too high.

Q: What do you make of Liverpool’s Community Shield win last Saturday?

Reem: The Reds looked like a fitter squad, with better communication, and this could be down to having played more than double City’s pre-season matches.

City on the other hand, are used to playing without a striker, so this squad could use more game-time to get the dynamics right.

Q: England’s women’s team had a wonderful tournament at Euro 22. What are your thoughts on their triumph?

Reem: As the country’s national sport, it’s beautiful to see the wider community celebrate the Lionesses’ success, and I know it will be celebrated by both men and women alike.

We all know the last time England beat Germany in a final at Wembley was back in 1966 (World Cup) – that was when women were banned from playing football.

Q: Lastly, who will win the league title this season?

Reem: Liverpool. After missing out by just a point last time, I expect them to be primed for a 20th league title.

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