Newcastle vs Tottenham
Mauricio Pochettino could not have imagined a more stressful week in the run-up to Spurs’ season opener. Danny Rose’s extraordinary decision to air his concerns in the Sun is casting a massive cloud over the Lilywhites’ preparations, particularly amid reports that a number of other players share his grievances.
On a more positive note, Harry Kane has a fantastic record against newly-promoted sides, scoring 20 goals in his last 19 appearances. As Tottenham have still not signed any more attacking players, they will be relying on the 24-year-old to banish the demons of the 5-1 mauling they suffered at St James’ Park last time they played there.
Newcastle are 4/1 to win, but perhaps those odds should be shorter given their impressive record against Spurs. In their last ten league meetings, they’ve only lost four, winning five and drawing one.
Manchester United vs West Ham
West Ham are at 17/4 to grab a draw at Old Trafford. In theory, that should be a long shot, but it remains to be seen if United have learned to convert their chances after drawing 15 games last season.
Javier Hernandez will be hoping for a glorious return to the Theatre of Dreams. The Mexican is at a decent price of 3/1 to score in 90 minutes, or 10/1 as first goalscorer. For the hosts, the obvious choice is Romelu Lukaku, but there’s little value there as he’s priced at 8/13 to get on the scoresheet.
Slaven Bilic has been savvy in the transfer market, bringing in key signings like Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic to address last season’s shortcomings. It’s not inconceivable that the Hammers will get something here.
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