The Premier League returns this weekend! The standout match of the week sees Spurs host City while United get the ball rolling with a home tie against Leeds.
I cannot wait for this season, almost every club has strengthened and not only is this the most exciting league in the world, but it now also houses some of the greatest players of this generation.
I wish us all a profitable and positive league season! Here’s how I think it will get underway and I’ve even included a sultry 13/1 quad.
Friday 13 August
Arsenal have endured a terrible build-up to this season, and yet they have managed to remain under the radar. That could largely be down to what clubs around them have managed to do both in the market and on the pitch.
Brentford will get a taste of the good life when they host a Premier League fixture at Brentford Community Stadium. It must be said that it is incredible to see a South African company from the shores of Durban as the kit sponsor for Brentford Football Club: Well done Hollywoodbets!
Arsenal at 9/10 (for a straight win) is way too short for me. The atmosphere at Brentford will be electric and Brentford will be up for it. I think both teams to score is worth a look at 7/10 – considering Arsenal have seemingly adopted a buffet style approach to defending recently.
Saturday 14 August
Manchester United 5/10
This will be an absolute feast to start your Saturday afternoon! The history, rivalry and early jitters could be rife! Package all that into 90 minutes, in front of a filled up Old Trafford, and what you get has all the makings of being something truly special.
Leeds should be proud of what they achieved last season but given the tenacity with which Marcelo Bielsa built his side, I wouldn’t be surprised if many in that camp were disappointed. Their bold approach split opinion, but their consistency deserves only admiration.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now put together a side capable of challenging for top honours. He has allowed the many United fans around the world to dream again, even amidst all the negativity associated with the Glazer family.
United have the squad to crush Leeds and whilst I have the greatest respect for the Yorkshire outfit and Bielsa – even 5/10 is a price I would get seriously stuck into.
This will be an interesting game – Leicester have a fantastic squad and Brendan Rodgers won’t want to reinvent the wheel this season. Space and pace will underpin the Foxes’ season and rightly so, it’s what gives them the highest chance of success in my opinion.
Bruno Lage will usher in a new chapter for Wolves Football Club and I’m not too sure what to make of him yet. In his first interview with Sky Sports, he remarked that whilst he acknowledged the success Nuno Espirito Santo and what his team achieved at Molineux, this is a new cycle.
I usually enjoy getting behind a side with a new manager, but I can’t find any real substance to advise against Leicester even with the massive loss of Wesley Fofana.
Crystal Palace 10/1
Chelsea will be a side to be reckoned with this year. I’m very excited to see Thomas Tuchel have a full season in the league and given that he had an impressive taste last season, who’s to know what that side could achieve this time.
The imminent return of “Big Rom” to London places Chelsea in championship conversations. I’ve said before that the missing piece at Chelsea was a traditional, back-to-goal number nine. In Lukaku, they have a talisman which (in my opinion) puts them on par, if not surpasses, the very best in England.
At odds of 1/4, I can’t suggest you back the Blues. However, a really shrewd bet early on might be found within the ‘home team to score in both halves: yes’ market – which is trading at even money. I know it’s the first game, but I can’t see past Chelsea absolutely dominating.
Aston Villa 12/10
Given that Jack Grealish has being announced as a Manchester City player, there’s a lot being currently said about what Aston Villa will look like this season… I’m inclined to say that Villa is bigger than Grealish but then I am reminded of what happened to Villa last season when Grealish was injured. They were a completely different team.
Danny Ings will add some value on the pitch, but even more in the changeroom, and if the rumours are true about securing Tammy Abraham, then I think Villa can remain competitive.
Watford, on the other hand, will be back to their scrappy, route one best. You know they will want to get into your face and make the game as much a physical battle as a tactical irritation.
The Hornets haven’t had a great preparation either, but I think when the season kicks off and the fans are once again nestled into Vicarage Road, they can make life difficult for anyone. Watford on the Win/Draw Double Chance is the way to go for me. Get on at 6/10.
Which Everton side is going to show up this season? Much like this season, last time out Everton had an incredibly exciting side and yet only flattered to deceive. Rafa Benitez is an incredible manager, so long as he’s able to completely focus on Everton, and if things get off to the right foot on Merseyside, he could do special things at Goodison.
Given Danny Ings’ departure from St. Mary’s, Southampton have acted like a rather amateur club. They seem shocked and even caught off guard at the striker moving on and are seemingly now scrambling for a replacement before the window shuts. It certainly doesn’t look like the Southampton we have come to expect in the window and certainly not like a club with one of the best academies in the land.
I don’t completely trust Everton and I would be hesitant to have a straight punt on them, I would suggest going for Rafa’s side on the Win/Draw Double Chance + Over 1.5 Goals at 11/20.
This game could quite literally go either way. Both sides have squads with very limited international commitments and would have been able to enjoy the break and return for a full pre-season programme.
I wouldn’t rush into including this game into any extensive multiples for the weekend, but if you must have a punt, I would favour going for Under 2.5 goals. You can get about 11/20 from Hollywoodbets.
We know that Turf Moor is not likely to produce too many thunderbolt encounters. Couple this with the fact that Brighton isn’t exactly the most prolific in front of goal, and you get the perfect recipe for a low scoring affair.
A repeat of the 2019/2020 season opener, Norwich once again welcome Liverpool to Carrow Road. These sides both have a seriously competitive attacking side and are usually happy to sacrifice their defensive stability for push the play forward.
I think we could see a very open affair come Saturday evening and I really think there is value in backing a high-scoring and open game in the totals market.
Liverpool fans will be confident about their chances this season and you might start to hear the annual ‘dare to dream’ narrative start to rear its head once more – but if the likes of Virgil Van Dijk can get back to their best and Anfield’s potent attack remains in place, their message might not be that far-fetched.
Over 3.5 goals at 11/10 is a seriously generous gift, get on.
Sunday 15 August
West Ham 12/10
Newcastle have had an acceptable pre-season, but nothing to write home about. They have managed to score and ask questions of any opposition defence. West Ham, on the other hand, have seemingly picked up where they left off last season. David Moyes will be a very confident manager come Sunday afternoon and why wouldn’t he? Could West Ham be the closest to gatecrashing the top of the Premier League table? I’m not sure I would entirely dismiss them if I’m honest.
West Ham to collect all three points at 12/10 should be a banker.
West Ham 12/10
QUAD @ 13/1
Manchester United Win 5/10
Chelsea To Score In Both Halves 1/1
Norwich vs Liverpool: Over 3.5 Goals 11/10
West Ham Win 12/10