The first weekend of the Premier League was high on excitement and drama as last season’s champions, Chelsea, lost 3-2 at home to Burnley, Liverpool drew 3-3 with Watford, Arsenal beat Leicester City 4-3 and Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur all flexed their muscles with comfortable victories. The second round of games promises to be just as exciting with a huge fixture between the two teams who finished first and second last season taking place on Sunday afternoon, but in this preview I’ll be looking at Saturday’s matches and putting together an accumulator bet for you.
Swansea vs Man Utd
The first game of the weekend sees Swansea City host Manchester United at The Liberty Stadium. This one has away win written all over it and Manchester United were extremely impressive last weekend in beating West Ham United 4-0 at Old Trafford. New signings Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic were both superb and Paul Pogba looked a different player than last season. I’m expecting Man Utd to sweep a goal-shy Swansea City side away here and I think there are goals for Mourinho’s side in this one.
Manchester United (-1) – 21/20 (Ladbrokes)
Burnley vs West Bromwich Albion
Burnley won just one game away from home all of last season, but they stunned the football world by beating Chelsea 3-2 last weekend at Stamford Bridge. Sean Dyche’s side were helped by Gary Cahill’s first half sending off, but they were still impressive in the way they went about their work. This weekend they come against a solid Tony Pulis team who also won their first game of the season. Burnley are tough to beat at home, whilst West Brom are tough to beat anywhere, so I’m going for a draw in this one.
Draw – 21/10 (Ladbrokes)
Leicester City vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Leicester City might consider themselves unfortunate to have lost to Arsenal in the season opener on Friday night after ceding a 3-2 lead to lose 4-3 thanks to a late Olivier Giroud goal. Jamie Vardy scored twice and was impressive in the way he tormented the Arsenal backline and he’ll be licking his lips at the prospect of taking on Brighton this weekend. Brighton lost 2-0 to Manchester City on Sunday and whilst they managed to limit the goals conceded, they were never really in the game. I’m expecting them to struggle again this weekend, so I’m going for a Leicester City victory.
Leicester City to win – 7/10 (Ladbrokes)
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace are something of a bogey team for Liverpool, having beaten them in each of the last two seasons. Jurgen Klopp’s side picked up an important victory in the Champions League qualifier against TSG Hoffenheim on Tuesday night and I think that confidence will help them in this game. Crystal Palace looked awful against Huddersfield Town, losing 3-0 at home to the newly promoted side. New manager Frank de Boer will have to organise his side better if they are to have any chance this season and I think they will lose at Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool to win – 1/3 (Ladbrokes)
Stoke City vs Arsenal
Stoke is traditionally a tough place to go, but under Mark Hughes, the team have lost their way somewhat and no longer play the same brutal style of football that Tony Pulis employed whilst managing the club. Mark Hughes leads the way in the First Manager to be Sacked markets and he saw his side lose 1-0 to Everton on the opening weekend of the season. Arsenal come into this game off the back of a 4-3 victory over Leicester City, a game in which they showcased their brilliant attacking play and porous defence. I fancy Arsene Wenger’s side to win this one quite comfortably though, so I’ll be backing Arsenal here.
Arsenal to win – 3/4 (Ladbrokes)