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English Premier League: Gameweek 1 Preview

Jurgen Klopp at the home of the reigning champions: Anfield

A new chapter in the Premier League book begins this weekend as the 2020/21 season gets underway. Liverpool defend the Premier League title for the first time after the Reds ended their 30-year wait to lift England’s top-flight trophy. Jurgen Klopp’s men have a tricky test against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United in their opener, while Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti lock horns in what looks to be the most mouth-watering fixture of the bunch as Tottenham host Everton. Elsewhere, Europa League hopefuls Sheffield United and Wolves battle it out on Monday, the same time Chelsea visit Brighton. First up, though, Fulham and Arsenal kick-start proceedings in the first London derby of the new season.

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Saturday 12 September

Fulham 9/2
Draw 32/10 
Arsenal 11/20 
(13:30)

Fulham have been welcomed back to the top flight with a stern test against Arsenal at Craven Cottage. The last time the Cottagers were in the Premier League, they were trounced 5-1 and 4-1 by the Gunners. Arsenal seem to have a spring in their step lately. Under Mikel Arteta, they’ve won the FA Cup and recently lifted the FA Community Shield, beating Liverpool on penalties. The Gunners seem to have a fully fit squad to start off the new campaign, while the likes of Willian and William Saliba could make their first competitive appearance for the club. The Away Totals – Over 1.5 Goals looks the way to go at 6/10.

West Ham 23/20
Draw 49/20
Newcastle United 24/10
(16:00)

After a great push at the end from West Ham, David Moyes’ men maintained their top-flight status and weren’t sucked into any late drama regarding relegation. This time around, the Hammers will want to get their season off on a positive note. Newcastle have done great business ahead of the upcoming season. The Magpies are closing in on Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser from Bournemouth, while Jamal Lewis could be on his way to Tyneside as well. With the natural improvement being made by both clubs, you get the feeling that they both could be safe this season. As for this tie, my money is on Both Teams to Score at 15/20.

Crystal Palace 19/10
Draw 22/10
Southampton 31/20
(16:00)

Known for their strong starts to the season, Crystal Palace get their campaign underway at Selhurst Park against one of the most exciting teams in the league, Southampton. The Eagles have kept hold of Wilfried Zaha, while they’ve also added highly-rated Eberechi Eze from Queens Park Rangers. Roy Hodgson’s men are still short in defence with Patrick van Aanholt, Gary Cahill, James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho all out. Southampton were one of the best teams on the road last season, winning nine of their 19 trips. The tough test for Ralph Hasenhuttl this term will be to see how his charges perform without Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in midfield after the 25-year-old Dane completed his move to Tottenham. With this being the first game into the new season and players not yet at full match fitness, I expect these sides to cancel each other out.

Liverpool 3/10
Draw 47/10
Leeds United 17/2
(18:30)

The Premier League champions, Liverpool, give new boys on the block, Leeds United, a taste of what the top flight is all about when the two English giants do battle at Anfield on Saturday evening. Jurgen Klopp’s men have the most impressive home record across all of Europe, last losing on their ground back in 2017. Leeds have made the necessary signings to challenge in the top half of the league, bringing in Spanish and German internationals, Rodrigo and Robin Koch. They also have one of the most respected coaches in football, Marcelo Bielsa. Sadly, though, as much as I see them giving Liverpool a scare, there’s usually only one winner at Anfield. Take the Reds to Win & Both Teams to Score at 31/20.

Sunday 13 September

West Brom 11/4
Draw 51/20
Leicester City 1/1
(15:00)

Sunday’s action kicks off with last season’s surprise package, Leicester City, travelling to the Hawthorns to take on newly-promoted West Brom. The Foxes look a bit depleted for numbers at the moment, with the likes of Ricardo Pereira, Jonny Evans, Christian Fuchs and James Maddison all out. Leicester City will also have to do without Ben Chilwell after he made the move to the blue side of London to join up with Chelsea. West Brom have kept most of the squad that earned promotion with the club, while they also haven’t been in a rush to spend big and unsettle their current players. The Baggies on the Win/Draw Double Chance looks the way to go for me at 15/20.

Tottenham 17/20
Draw 26/10
Everton 33/10
(17:30)

There’ll be high hopes for Tottenham and Everton this season with both Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti given a fresh start from the beginning of the campaign. With Spurs completing deals for Hojbjerg and Matt Doherty from Southampton and Wolves, you get the feeling that we could see a new-look Tottenham under Mourinho this campaign. Everton have done some superb business so far, snapping up Allan from Napoli, while the Toffees are also closing in on James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure. Ancelotti’s side is almost close to completion, while Spurs look to be a few weeks ahead of them. They also have a fully-fit squad to choose from. My money is on Tottenham to Win or Draw & Both Teams to Score at 23/20.

Monday 14 September

Sheffield United 24/10
Draw 2/1
Wolves 13/10
(21:00)

Monday night’s showdown begins at Bramall Lane with Sheffield United and Wolves looking to continue from their emphatic display last season, where the pair finished ninth and seventh respectively. Consistency will be the name of the game for Sheffield as they can look to Wolves as inspiration after what Nuno Espirito Santo has done with the West Midlands side. It’s usually a tight contest between these two sides whenever they meet, with more of the same expected in Monday night’s encounter. I’ll back a draw at 2/1.

Brighton 39/10
Draw 3/1
Chelsea 13/20
(21:00)

It promises to be a big season for Chelsea with high expectations put on the shoulders of Frank Lampard after the Blues spent over £200m during this transfer window. Unfortunately, not all of their big-money signings could feature on Monday with Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech unlikely to be given their debuts, while Thiago Silva is a doubt due to a lack of match fitness. Brighton have added some experience to their squad in the shape of Joel Veltman from Ajax and Adam Lallana from Liverpool, however, they lost one of their best players in Aaron Mooy as the Australian has opted to continue his playing career in China. Without knowing what you going to get from Chelsea in their first game, Over 2.5 Goals looks more of a certainty than anything at 7/10.

TREBLE @ 8/1 
West Ham vs Newcastle BTTS 15/20 
Liverpool Win & BTTS 31/20
Tottenham Win/Draw & BTTS 23/20

Written by Jesse Nagel