Premier League Opening Weekend Preview
The Premier League is back this weekend after much of the summer has been focused around international football for many of us. This has been a strange summer, with the World Cup overtaking proceedings and the early transfer window meaning there is little to get excited about other than the games taking place themselves. Despite that, anticipation is around the 20 teams taking part this season, and as the first ball is kicked, they will all be hoping to have a successful campaign.
Those at the top will have it all to do if they want to topple the winners from last season Manchester City, who look primed to defend their title. Liverpool have strengthened well this summer and after the struggles Manchester United have had bringing in defensive help, and no moves from Tottenham, they appear in pole position should City slip up. Outside of the top four, Arsenal and Chelsea will both see the lack of improvement in Manchester United and Tottenham and be hoping they can leapfrog them to return to Champions League football next season.
Down at the bottom, two out of the three new clubs have spent big money in the hope of not only surviving the Premier League this season but flourishing in it. Wolves and Fulham are the big spenders, and it would be no surprise to see them finish mid-table and be clear of any relegation scrap. Cardiff, however, may find things a lot tougher and although they look like they will be hard to play against, they don’t appear to have the quality on board like their two fellow promoted teams. Huddersfield and Brighton both escaped the drop last season but look likely to be sucked in again this season, and don’t forget about Newcastle, a team who have struggled to make their mark this summer. Discontent is already brewing around the club and a bad start will only help to grow that movement.
Televised Premier League on Saturday and Sunday
Newcastle vs Tottenham – Saturday 12:30, Sky Sports Premier League
This has been a strange summer for Tottenham, with no new faces brought into the club despite a solid top-four finish last season. They will want to preserve that, although it remains to be seen whether they can do so with the same squad or not. They put a lot of emphasis onto retaining players this summer, something they have, and may have taken their eye off the ball when it comes to improving.
Newcastle could find themselves in all sorts of problems in a few weeks from now. They have not brought in the right quality according to boss Rafa Benitez, and discontent continues to surround owner Mike Ashley. A bad start would only make things worse and looking at the teams they are playing, Newcastle are going to struggle in August and September.
While Tottenham may regret not buying anyone this summer, they should get off to a good start and they can take this game, giving Newcastle a defeat to think about on the opening day of the season.
Wolves vs Everton – Saturday 17:30, BT Sport 1
Wolves have come up from the Championship this summer with the intention of having a real good go at the Premier League. They already had a good squad of players, but have since added to that to give them not only a great chance of staying up but genuine possibilities of finishing mid table or maybe even better. Their toughest task will be to get everyone on the same page and ready for the battle ahead that is the Premier League, do that and they have a fantastic chance of performing well this season.
Everton have again spent a lot of money this summer and they will be hoping to get better than last season. The reason they struggled last season was because of their very poor start, something they can’t afford this season. New boss Marco Silva needs to get his players together quickly, if he does then there is no reason Everton won’t be able to finish in the top half and with a bit of luck there is a chance they could challenge the top six. Having said that, playing away to a newly promoted team on the opening day is difficult, especially a team like Wolves who have spent so much.
Both of these teams should be challenging for the top half this season, but with excitement surrounding the club, I’m taking Wolves to nick this one.
Liverpool vs West Ham – Sunday 13:30, Sky Sports Premier League
If there is one team who have done things to challenge Manchester City this summer then it has to be Liverpool. They have brought in some very good players during the transfer window, and deserve their place as second favourites in the outright Premier League betting. If they do want to challenge City then they have to be almost perfect at home, and games like this one at home to West Ham are must-win games.
West Ham were very poor at times last season, but when you look down their squad they are not as bad as we saw from them. Things took a turn for the worse off the field and I think that really affected the players last season, something that cannot happen again. They would love nothing more than a good start to the season to get some belief and confidence in the club again, but a trip to Anfield is as tough as it gets so they haven’t been lucky with that.
If Liverpool do want to challenge for the title this season they have to get off to a good start, this is a game they have to win and one I think they will win comfortably.
Arsenal vs Manchester City – Sunday 16:00, Sky Sports Premier League
Arsenal have made big chances this summer, although they are still definitely work in progress and are taking the long-term route to where they want to be. Fans will be excited at the start of the season, and while they would have preferred an easier start, this is a great test for them early in the season.
Manchester City are odds-on favourites to lift their second Premier League title in a row and you wouldn’t back against them after seeing them romp to victory last season. They haven’t done too much with their squad, which may give them a slight advantage over their main challengers Liverpool early in the season.
This is the game of the weekend for me, but despite Manchester City having a superior team, I think Arsenal can nick a draw out of this one. For the first time in a few seasons, there is genuine excitement around the Emirates, and that can be enough for them to come here and get a draw out of this one.
Premier League Betting Odds
Accumulator punters may find it hard to nail down too many selections from the Premier League this weekend in what looks to be an extremely tough betting weekend. Chelsea at 8/13 away at Huddersfield will be the main one that appeals to people on Saturday, but aside from them the only other teams who are odds on this Saturday are Bournemouth, who are 10/11 at home to Cardiff. Liverpool are 1/4 on Sunday afternoon and I can see them being the centrepiece for many accumulators this weekend.
Those searching for value at bigger prices are going to have many teams to consider this weekend. Tottenham can get the weekend off to a good start, and surprisingly they are odds against at 21/10 to beat Newcastle who could well struggle this season. Fulham play Crystal Palace in their opener on Saturday and the 6/4 available for them to win is more than fair, there is plenty of expectation surrounding Fulham this season.
The Saturday evening game will divide opinions, many out there will think Wolves are a bet at 11/8, while plenty will be queueing up to back Everton at 23/10 despite being away from home. The big game of the weekend is at the Emirates on Sunday, where Arsenal are 3/1, the draw is 14/5 and Manchester City are 10/11.
Premier League Betting Offers
A Goal to be Scored – Arsenal vs Manchester City @ 28/1 with Coral
If you are looking for a new betting account this weekend when the Premier League action starts then this offer from Coral is a great one to take advantage of. They are offering 28/1 to their new customers that a goal will be scored in the Arsenal vs Manchester City game on Sunday. This appears almost certain to happen, with two attacking teams taking each other on.
The bet you place is valid to a maximum stake of £1 and winnings are paid in free bets but this is a great way to build a betting bank at the start of the new season.
0-0 Money Back on Every Premier League Game with 10Bet
If you want to sign up with a bookmaker that gives you an offer every week of the season then 10Bet are a great bookmaker for Premier League fans to use. They have a goalless draw promotions where you get your money back as a free bet if the game finishes 0-0. This is for correct score and goalscorer bets, it is valid up to £10 and you will receive your money back as a free bet.
If you are looking for a new bookmaker to give you something every week then 10Bet are a great choice for Premier League fans.