We are now just a few days away from the start of the new FA Premier League season, with some mouth watering fixtures straight up. In addition to United and Leicester playing the curtain raise, former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri takes his new Chelsea team to Huddersfield Town.
But the truly exciting games look set to take place on the first Sunday of the new campaign. Jurgen Klopp has spent big to turn Liverpool into title contenders and they will take on West Ham, while Pep Guardiola will take on Unai Emery when Manchester City visit Arsenal.
First things first
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The very first game of the new season sees Manchester United host Leicester City on Friday, 10 August. Mourinho’s men came second last term but were still a massive 19 points behind runaway winners Manchester City.
The Red Devils have now been handed the perfect chance to make a clear statement of intent and are the clear favourites, at 1.44, to win this game. A narrow, 1-0 win for Manchester United is priced competitively at 7.00, according to Oddsshark.
The following day sees Italian Maurizio Sarri’s first taste of the Premier League. He takes his Chelsea team to Yorkshire and Huddersfield Town in a game he will be expected to win – in addition to Sarri, Chelsea have also brought in Jorginho to add some creativity to the midfield.
David Wagner has done a fine job at Huddersfield, and he kept the club up last season, with the Terriers finishing four points above the relegation zone. However, they are at 6.00 to make a winning start to this campaign, while Chelsea are the clear favourites at 1.53 to pick up three points.
For the home side, their best chance of a result may well be trying to close the game out and hope for a draw, with a stalemate priced at 4.00. Chelsea should have too much technical ability for their hosts however, with a comfortable 3-1 win for the visitors priced at 15.00.
O the Sunday, Liverpool open their Premier League campaign against West Ham United, and the Anfield Road outfit should be worth keeping an eye on this season. Klopp guided the Reds to fourth place last term and drew plaudits for his entertaining style of football – only champions City netted on more occasions than Liverpool.
West Ham, meanwhile, struggled to a 13th place finish and it came as no surprise when they parted ways with unpopular boss David Moyes. In his place is Chilean boss Manuel Pellegrini and the board moved quickly to bring in Brazilian playmaker and record signing Felipe Anderson from Lazio.
However, there is no escaping the fact that Liverpool are the favourites for this one, and Pellegrini could well be in for a baptism of fire. Klopp’s side are at just 1.28 to make a winning start to the season, while West Ham are all the way out at 11.00 to pull off a shock victory on the road.
A comprehensive 3-0 win for Liverpool is priced at 9.00, which would mean close to a ten-fold return on any investment. Such is the expectation of Liverpool’s dominance in this game, you can back them to be leading at both the interval and the full time whistle at just 1.83.
And the main event of the opening weekend has been saved for last. Unai Emery, the first new coach Arsenal have had in over two decades, makes his Premier League cow against current champions Manchester City and Pep Guardiola.
City won the league by close to 20 points last season – an absolute landslide – and there remains the distinct possibility that they could simply pick up where they left off in May. Regardless of the new main in the Arsenal dugout and the shape he is trying to give the team, it is City who come into the game as favourites.
Guardiola’s side are at just 2.00 to pick up an opening day win, but Emery may well have other ideas with his team priced at 3.50 to walk away triumphant. A 2-1 win for the Gunners is priced at 13.00
Premier League Round 1 fixtures
Friday, 10 August
(1.44) Manchester United x Leicester City (7.50); draw (4.50)
Saturday, 11 August
(2.00) Bournemouth x Cardiff City (3.60); draw (3.50)
(6.00) Huddersfield Town x Chelsea (1.53); draw (4.00)
(2.25) Wolverhampton Wanderers x Everton (3.20); draw (3.30)
Sunday, 12 August
(1.28) Liverpool x West Ham United (11.00); draw (5.00)
(3.50) Arsenal x Manchester City (2.00); draw (3.60)