Hull City v Leicester City
Hull City are not exactly starting the EPL the same way they ended the Championship. No manager, a loss of other backroom staff and have lost arguably their best player to Newcastle, Mohamed Diame. Several transfer targets have been identified, including Hal Robson Kanu (Free); however Hull City have not managed to sign anyone. Essentially, the Tigers are one of the favourites to go back to the Championship and unless they manage to attract major signings and a strong head coach, this will definitely be on the cards.
Their first game is against the reigning champions, Leicester City. Although recently losing to Barcelona in the International Champions Cup and Manchester United in the Community Shield, Leicester have looked strong. Ahmed Musa has shown he can score against the best, after netting 2 against the Liga BBVA champions. The Foxes have managed to keep all but one of their key players during the transfer window, and considering their form last season – Hull shouldn’t be tough opponents for the reigning champions.
Suggested bet: Leicester Win @ 1.91 odds
Burnley FC v Swansea City
The winners of the Championship will be looking to get their Premier League season off to a good start when they welcome The Swans on Saturday. Burnley are still unbeaten since a loss to Arsenal back in January, and even though they have lost last season’s player of the season (Joey Barton) to Rangers; The Clarets have been extremely strong in pre-season having won 4 and drawn 2.
Swansea have now made 8 signings in the transfer window, most recently Borja Baston from Atletico Madrid for a club record fee of £15m. However, The Swans have lost their captain Ashley Williams to Everton and Andre Ayew to West Ham, two important players in last season’s campaign. It will be interesting to see how the transfers affect the Swansea side.
This will be a very close game, with the most likely result being a draw.
Suggested bet: Both teams to score @ 1.91 or Full Time Draw @ 3.15
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion
Crystal Palace looked last season like they were going to do quite well, challenging the top of the table at the start. However this quickly dwindled away and they finished the campaign 5 points above the relegation zone in 15th. The Eagles are currently without a main striker, with talks of Christian Benteke still floating about however nothing is set. A few injuries and the loss of Dwight Gayle could leave Palace open to some poor results during the first set of games.
West Brom finished 1 point above Crystal Palace last season, and had a very boring campaign. The Baggies missed out on Diafra Sakho which would have sparked their attacking options, and they are now interested in Watford’s Odion Ighalo. Either way it will be a struggle to sign a striker before Saturday which leaves their attacking options extremely weak.
West Brom do not score many goals when they have their strong squad, and Palace are no pushovers. This will be a close game which will most likely end in a Palace win or a draw.
Suggested bet: Palace to win either half @ 1.50
Everton v Tottenham
Goodson Park welcomes a strong Tottenham side on Saturday, and Everton will be looking to improve on their 11th place finish at the end of last season. However, it will be difficult for The Toffees to pick up points in their first game due to the strong opponents as well as the fact that they have now lost John Stones and could lose Romelu Lukaku before Saturday. Ronald Koeman has made some summer signings who hopes will make an impact; goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and midfielder Idriss Gueye.
Tottenham will come into this game with a strong squad and minimal injuries, as well as the additions of Vincent Janssen and Victor Wanyama. Spurs have had a poor pre-season but have had tough opponents. Pochettino’s men will be looking to start the season with 3 points and although this game will be close, it’s hard to see a way for Everton to defeat the league second runners up.
Suggested bet: Tottenham win 2.36, safer option Tottenham Double Chance 1.40 or BTS @ 1.78
Middlesborough v Stoke City
Middlesborough shone in the Championship last season and were unlucky to finish 2nd after a poor finish to the campaign. The Boro have signed a number of players including Victor Valdes, Alvaro Negredo, Antonio Barragan, Viktor Fischer and are still lining up bids for players. Middlesborough clearly plan to stay in the Premier League and I have high hopes for them.
Stoke finished the season 9th and have held back slightly this transfer window, however one key signing for The Potters is Joe Allen from Liverpool who was outstanding at the Euros. Mark Hughes’ side will be looking to start the campaign strong and are always a tough team to break down. Both teams will want the win and this promises to be an exciting fixture.
Suggested bet: Stoke City to score @ 1.45
Southampton v Watford
Southampton have lost a number of key players this transfer window, including Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama and Graziano Pelle. With the departure of Ronald Koeman, The Saints will be starting afresh and trying to replicate their good form in recent seasons. With pre-season wins against PEC Zwolle, FC Twente and Groningen; Southampton don’t look like they’re missing those players.
Watford had a strong season which was mainly down to the partnership of Ighalo and Deeney, netting 28 goals between them. It did dwindle off towards the end, resulting in them finishing 13th. With a new manager, Walter Mazzarri leading The Hornets, there is hope that they can improve on last season. There are rumours that West Brom want Ighalo, but I can’t see him leaving Watford especially with a partner like Deeney.
If Ighalo and Deeney are on form, there is definitely potential for both teams to score.
Suggested bet: Both teams to score @ 1.90
Manchester City v Sunderland
Pep Guardiola has come into Man City and spent over £110 million with the aim to win the Premier League during his 1st season in charge. Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane will be looking to start their campaign with a win and Man City as a club will want to improve on their pre-season form. There could be no Kompany, Gundogan and De Bruyne so it will be up to the new signings to show that they can fit into the City team. It could be that it takes a couple of weeks for the squad to improve on their pre-season form.
Sunderland have had a strong pre-season and have adapted to losing Sam Allardyce well. Sunderland and Man City both drew with Borussia Dortmund during pre-season, which could lead to this game being an entertaining one. Sunderland have been quiet during the transfer window but their squad played well with each other last season so clearly they don’t think they should change. Although the blue side of Manchester looks to be winning comfortably @ 1.25 odds, Defoe is likely to be fit for Saturday’s game which will help The Black Cats.
Suggested bet: Man City no clean sheet @ 1.74
Bournemouth v Manchester United
Man United’s changes this season could see them challenge for the title. Mourinho, Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Mkhitaryan to name the main additions are certainly going to add some excitement to the Red Devil’s team. Pre-season has been what Mourinho would have hoped, including the Community Shield win over Leicester last weekend. It will be tough for Bournemouth to stop Man United scoring some goals.
Suggested bet: Over 1.5 Man United goals @ 1.81
Arsenal v Liverpool
Arsene Wenger has continued his lack of spending during this transfer window, especially compared to the teams around him. Xhaka is the only big spend of Arsenal’s window, yet they have been extremely strong during pre-season. Injuries may also be a concern for The Gunners so it will be good to see if they can continue their good form into competitive matches.
Liverpool will also look to continue their good form into the season, after their 4-0 win over the Liga BBVA champions Barcelona. Their new signing Sadio Mane grabbed a goal in that victory and will hope to contend this season with high goal scorers. These two side drew both games last season, with it ending 0-0 with Arsenal at home but 3-3 away. With both teams missing defenders, you cant help but think there will be a few goals.
Suggested bet: Both teams to score @ 1.61
Chelsea v West Ham
Antonio Conte has been brought in to improve on the dismal season Chelsea had last season. After seeing his style of management with Italy at the Euros, you can’t help but think he is going to shake this team into place. By adding players such as Batshuayi and Kante to the mix, it could be a promising season for the Blues.
West Ham had their best season for a number of years and have been able to keep Dimitri Payet, their key player. There hasn’t been any major signings for The Irons this season however they will feel they simply want to build on last season’s success; especially in their new stadium. Last season Chelsea couldn’t beat West Ham in either fixture, however both teams scored in both games.
Suggested bet:West Ham to score @ 1.48
Have a profitable betting season pals!