The drama of the Premier League returns for a 26th release this weekend with the stakes – and transfer fees – higher than any time in recent memory.
For an opposition at present abiding in a level of sentimentality, on the event of its 25th birthday celebration, the opinion is in incomprehensible but typically short supply at the best end of English football.
Only 83 days after Chelsea win the Premier League, Arsenal and Leicester commence the new season on Friday night with a shower of goals in a 4-3 thriller at the Emirate, every one of the 20 teams essentially and desperately looking forward as opposed to in reverse.
The Premier League is back, Cheapgoals brings you few hints and predictions for the first batch of games to be played this weekend.
- WATFORD VS LIVERPOOL
Minnows Watford go into this game after a humble off-season, whilst Liverpool will not be able to field their bone of contention on the transfer market Philippe Coutinho as his injury will keep him out of this tie. Liverpool are rumoured to be refusing almost £100m for their star attacker. Meanwhile, Salah will start the match alongside Mane and Firmino with Sturridge out injured again. Troy Deeney will be out for Watford as he is also nursing an injury. Liverpool has won their last 4 EPL openers and we expect them to get their 5th winning start on this one. Keep in mind that Liverpool’s midfield will be without Lallana (injured).
Liverpool over 1.5 team goals
Over 4 first half corners
Salah to score anytime
- SOUTHAMPTON VS SWANSEA
Manuel Pellegrini will be at his first game in charge this Saturday in what promises to be a nice season for the Saints. Swansea, on the other hand, will be somewhat having a 38 game relegation battle as their best player Sigurdsson sits this one out as it seems he is on the way to Everton. Their next best player, Fernando Llorente is also out with a broken hand. This means that their scoring power is at an all time low. On the other hand, Southampton are dealing with want away defender Van Dijk but are still likely to stay on form with Gabbiadini up front.
Southampton to win outright
Match goals Under 2.5
Southampton over 1.5 goals
- CHELSEA VS BURNLEY
Fresh off a disappointing loss at the hands of Arsenal last Sunday, Chelsea comes to this encounter wanting to start their title defence on the right foot. Alvaro Morata wants to get his scoring rhythm going and wants to prove his price tag. He was a promising striker at Juventus and Real Madrid so no reason why he shouldn’t be successful in the Premier League. Hazard will be out for this one whilst nursing an injury. Moses will be in and also Rudiger. Chelsea will win this one hand down and will get off to an encouraging start. Nothing much to say about Burnley unfortunately. They seem destined for the drop.
Chelsea to win by 2 or more goals
Chelsea to score in the first half
- BRIGHTON VS MAN CITY
Newly promoted seaside outfit Brighton come into this game knowing it is an uphill climb but a first chance at proving the doubters wrong. On the other hand, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola will be looking for nothing less than a convincing statement win. Guardiola has really spent good money this summer fortifying his backline. The defence really let him down last season bagging a number of comeback goals when being in the lead. Expect all but Mendy in the defensive line to be on display this Saturday when they take on Brighton at the Falmer stadium. With Gabriel Jesus and Aguero expected to start this match, we expect nothing short of annihilation.
Man City to win and over 2.5 goals
Over 1.5 half time goals
Gabriel Jesus to score anytime
- EVERTON VS STOKE CITY
Wayne Rooney’s coveted return to the Toffees is finally here. Having left as a boy and returned as a man, Rooney will be gunning for his first official Everton goal in a competitive match. He will be alongside Sandro Ramirez and most likely Calvert-Lewin. Everton will be missing some key players such as the outgoing Ross Barkley and obviously their main hitman for the last three seasons, Lukaku, now at Manchester United. On the other hand, Stoke City do not come into this match at full force. Rather they really miss their important players such as newly signed Yannick Bolasie, Funes Mori and Coleman are all out with long term injuries. Arnautovic is no longer there after having moved to West Ham and he will likely be replaced in the lineup by Max Choupo-Moting. This may mean good news for Stoke as he better suits the running free flowing football that Hughes likes to implement. Lots of corners in this one.
Everton to win outright
Wayne Rooney to score anytime
Over 2.5 goals
- MAN UNITED VS WEST HAM
This week Real Madrid showed their class against an improved Man Utd side. Mourinho’s second year at any club has always been his strongest. With the signings of Lukaku, Matic and Lindelof, expect a strong campaign from Mou’s boys. West Ham comes into this season with some new signings. Namely Arnautovic and Zabaleta. This will definitely feature in the line up on Sunday to give Man Utd a run for their money. Bilic’s men will look to make life tough for Man Utd but we only see one winner here.
Man Utd over 1.5 team goals
Lukaku to score anytime
Over 9 total corners
- NEWCASTLE VS TOTTENHAM
The first of Sunday’s two games is a tough fixture to call. Newly promoted Newcastle under Rafa Benitez’s care look to stick it out this season. Perhaps looking to advance in the EFL or FA cup whilst keeping a decent mid-table spot. Tottenham, on the other hand, come off an impressive 2nd place last season to a very disappointing summer transfer market that saw them lose Kyle Walker to Man City and not signing a single soul to improve their squad. Nevertheless, it was always recommended to not change a winning horse. Harry Kane will bag loads of goals this season and this is the only way Tottenham can hope to avoid anything worse than 6th place in a direct encounter with Everton. All teams placing 1st to 8th last season have improved their squad, whilst the spurs have not moved an inch. Bore draw in this one.
Draw game – no winners here but high odds
Harry Kane to score anytime
Over 3.5 yellow cards