Five games to watch this weekend: Can Leeds shock Liverpool on their Premier League return?
Odds and preview for this weekend’s biggest games
The new Premier League season is finally upon us, just seven weeks after the final weekend of Liverpool’s title-winning campaign.
The opening weekend sees 16 teams in action, with Manchester City and Manchester United granted special dispensation for an extended break following their involvement with the Champions League and Europa League respectively.
With business booming so far in the transfer window, we’ll finally find out whether those clubs who stayed in the top flight have done enough to better last season’s campaign, while also discovering whether the three who have made the jump from the Championship are good enough too.
Throughout September, every Premier League game will be shown on live television, and ahead of the action, we’ve picked out five games across the weekend that could be worth a watch.
Fulham v Arsenal (Sat, 12:30)
This season’s Premier League curtain raiser gives us a London derby, with FA Cup winners Arsenal travelling to newly-promoted Fulham, who are hoping for a better Premier League campaign than the last time they were in the top-flight.
A tricky first fixture back awaits, with the Cottagers at 5/1 to win. The Gunners are odds-on 4/7 favourites to start with three points. Fancy early-season nerves to get the better of this fixture? The draw is 16/5.
Both sides boast goalscoring machines up front in the form of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with 48 goals scored between the two in their respective campaigns last season.
It’s the Arsenal man who is 23/10 to score first, while you can find 8/11 on him anytime. As for Mitrovic, he’s most likely if Fulham can find the net. The Serbian striker is 9/2 to break the deadlock, or 17/10 anytime.
Liverpool v Leeds United (Sat, 17:30)
For the first time since the 2003/04 campaign, Leeds United are back in the big time, and they’ll get a warm welcome back from defending Premier League champions Liverpool at Anfield. Could they have been given a tougher first game?
The odds suggest not, as we’ve got Liverpool as odds-on 1/3 favourites to start their title defence with three points, while the Whites are 9/1 underdogs to win on their return.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane scored 37 goals between them last season, just under half of the Reds total. We’ve got Salah at 14/5 favourite to score first, while there’s even money on Mane scoring anytime.
Leeds have spent big on an out-and-out striker for this season, bringing in the experienced Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia. He’s 10/1 to score first, or there’s 10/3 about him scoring anytime.
West Ham United v Newcastle United (Sat, 20:00)
It’s been a weird summer break for these two, with Newcastle’s prospective takeover being blocked and evident discord in the West Ham camp. Despite that failed takeover, the Magpies have seen significant financial backing in the transfer window to drastically improve their squad.
The same can’t be said for West Ham so far, who could still lose the likes of Declan Rice too. Despite that, the Hammers are 23/20 to win at home, with Steve Bruce’s side out at 5/2 to leave London with three points. There’s 12/5 about a draw at the London Stadium.
Michail Antonio ended last season on a goalscoring spree, finding the net eight times in the last nine games. He’s 10/3 to score first, or 13/10 anytime. New Magpies signing Callum Wilson has an eye for goal against the Hammers. You can find 11/2 on him scoring first or 9/4 anytime.
West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City (Sun 14:00)
Will Leicester City be as strong this season as they were in the previous campaign? Only time will tell, but they’ll need to start well against newly-promoted Midlands rivals West Brom to start gathering momentum.
The Foxes are the even-money favourites to win at The Hawthorns, while Slaven Bilic’s Baggies are 29/10 to bag three points on their top-flight return. If you think the honours will be even, you can find the draw at 5/2.
Unsurprisingly, last year’s Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy is the favourite to break the deadlock here at 14/5, or there’s even money on him scoring anytime. Charlie Austin is still in line to provide the threat up front for the Baggies, and he’s 23/10 to score during the 90 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton (Sun, 16:30)
There’s a summer of change at Everton, with three massive signings to bolster their midfield options in the form of James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Tottenham have made improvements of their own, with Matt Doherty and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg joining the North London side.
Jose Mourinho’s side are the odds-on 10/11 favourites to win their opening game but depending on whether the Toffee’s new signings gel straight away, the 16/5 underdogs could spring a surprise here.
Spurs front line have several threats, namely Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. Kane’s the 14/5 favourite to score first, or 21/20 anytime, while Son is 2/1 to score in 90 minutes. For Everton, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are 5/1 to score first, or 21/10 anytime respectively.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.