After three long, long months, the Premier League is back.
All 20 teams have a fresh start, with 14 of them in action this Saturday.
Watford vs Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping his side can put the distractions of the Philippe Coutinho saga aside, though the Brazilian is ruled out of the trip to Vicarage Road with a back injury. Fortunately, Liverpool’s attack looks frightening regardless. New signing Mohamed Salah is at 5/2 to score and win, while Sadio Mane looks an equally good bet to score first at 9/2.
Chelsea vs Burnley
Antonio Conte’s squad looks alarmingly thin, and he could have as few as 14 players to choose from against Burnley. Nevertheless, the Clarets were woeful on the road last season and that’s unlikely to change against the champions, who are 2/9 on to get the three points.
Everton vs Stoke
It’s been a remarkable summer at Goodison Park in terms of signing, but Ronald Koeman has still not found a proper replacement for Romelu Lukaku. That does raise the question of where the goals are going to come from, even if we’re backing a home win with over 2.5 goals. The pressure will be on new boy Sandro Ramirez, who is at 9/4 to score and win. Wayne Rooney is at 5/2 as first team goalscorer, though it’s worth remembering he netted just five times in the league for Manchester United last season.
Crystal Palace vs Huddersfield
Huddersfield should give a good account of themselves, but with Frank de Boer in charge, Palace should be set for a much more promising season. Given some of the players at their disposal, the Eagles ought to do much better – for example, Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke are at 11/2 and 7/2 respectively to score first. Palace to win and both teams to score is at 3/1.
Southampton vs Swansea
Mauricio Pellegrino has confirmed that on-strike Virgil van Dijk will not feature against Swansea. That not only casts a big cloud over Southampton’s preparations, it gives the visitors a much better chance of getting on the scoresheet – even if they are themselves without wantaway Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Brighton vs Manchester City
Chris Hughton could not have anticipated a more testing start to life among the big boys. Unsurprisingly, few bookies are giving Brighton much hope, placing them at 17/4 to even get a point.
West Brom vs Bournemouth
Perhaps not the most riveting fixture of the opening weekend, but there could well be goals. Since they arrived in the Premier League, Bournemouth have lost to the Baggies just once, winning two and drawing one. Two of those occasions have brought over 2.5 goals. In fact, only six teams scored more goals than Eddie Howe’s men last season, with the Cherries even outscoring Man United.