MatchDay 8 - Saturday
Liverpool and Manchester United kick off the Premier League's return with what is always one of the most anticipated games of the season.
While it's too early for anything to be decisive, this is a fixture that could have huge ramifications later on and Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho will be well aware of that.
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Is it too early to talk about Liverpool being out of the title race? Based on their start to the campaign, it certainly looks as if they have a long way to go before they're ready to seriously challenge. Their preparations for the United game also took a huge knock this week when Sadio Mane was ruled out for six weeks because of an injury suffered on international duty.
Interestingly, the hosts are at the same odds - 13/8 - to win as their bitter rivals, but the price looks a lot more tempting when it comes to the Red Devils. Jose Mourinho's side have been in frightening form, scoring eight goals in their last two games. The key battle will be Romelu Lukaku versus Liverpool's centre-backs, as Dejan Lovren's recent form has been particularly poor.
The Reds won't draw too much inspiration from their recent history at home to United, as they've only won three of their last ten league meetings at Anfield. United have had the better of proceedings, winning five and drawing two.
Tottenham vs Bournemouth
Wembley has proved a scene of misery yet again for Tottenham this season, and what's particularly frustrating is that it's holding back their away form. Mauricio Pochettino needs to arrest their difficulties at home quickly if his side are going to be contenders at the top. The visit of Bournemouth should be a good chance to do that, as the Cherries sit 19th.
Harry Kane has been continuing his goalscoring exploits for England, scoring the winners against Slovenia and Lithuania. There's no value in the striker scoring in 90 minutes for obvious reasons, though he's at 6/4 to score a brace or 9/4 to score a hat-trick. He's scored more than once in five of the Lilywhites' last six games. The other big talking point will be Jermain Defoe's return to his old club, with Bournemouth's record signing at 9/4 to score.
Burnley vs West Ham
Slaven Bilic will have enjoyed the respite of the international break, but the pressure is still very much on the beleaguered Hammers boss despite victory over Swansea last time out. West Ham are having the start to the season many predicted Burnley would endure after losing several key players in the summer. They do have an impressive record against the Clarets, winning their last five meetings and they're generally better on the road than they are at the London Stadium. That makes them a decent price at 9/5, even though Burnley are riding high.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
Roy Hodgson essentially predicted that Palace would lose their opening eight games of the season and he's likely to be right. At least after this weekend they will have a couple of more appealing fixtures against Newcastle and West Ham. Chelsea's test will be to see how many they can put past them, as Manchester City scored five against the Eagles and United four. The Blues are at 7/2 to win 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2, but without Alvaro Morata, there's a chance this won't be one of Palace's heavier defeats.
Manchester City vs Stoke
Pep Guardiola will hope his side haven't lost momentum over the last fortnight. Stoke took a point off United not long ago and have already beaten Arsenal this season, so they represent a potential if not altogether convincing banana skin. The Potters have beaten City twice and drawn once in their last six meetings, so an upset shouldn't be ruled out entirely. City are at 1/7 for a reason, however, and they should extend their gap at the summit.
Swansea vs Huddersfield
Huddersfield have started to falter, but this could be a great opportunity for them to get back on track. The Swans are favourites at 23/20 despite the fact they haven't won since August. As for the Terriers, they may have lost 4-0 in their last outing, but that was against a Spurs side who looked in unstoppable form. They've done reasonably well at picking up points from the teams likely to be around them at the end of the season.
Watford v Arsenal
Watford would usually be expected to be at longer odds than 4/1 against Arsenal. Marco Silva has changed that as the Portuguese is quickly establishing the Hornets as one of the most solid sides outside the top six. They won their last game against the Gunners too, back in January. The good news for Arsene Wenger is that this is the sort of game where Alexandre Lacazette tends to excel, and the Frenchman is at 3/1 to score first.
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