The 2017-18 English Premier League season kicks off this weekend with all 20 teams in action. It’s time for the speculation and intrigue to stop and for the football to begin.
In another summer of extraordinary spending, all of the big teams look to have strengthened their playing squad, whilst some of the teams on the fringes of European football have also splashed the cash in the hope of troubling the established order. With big sums of money filtering down to the lesser teams too, every club has a big budget to work from which suggests this season is going to be very entertaining.
With only pre-season form to go off, predicting tactics, formations and starting XI’s is always tough but hopefully our tips will prove profitable.
We’ll provide a tip for each EPL match taking place in round 1 plus a match accumulator bet which is where the big money can be won.
Here are our picks for the opening round of fixtures in the EPL:
All odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. New signups can claim a $501* bonus bet with Sportsbet by clicking HERE.
04:45 Arsenal vs Leicester – Emirates Stadium
The season kicks off officially on Friday night with a mouth-watering tie at the Emirates.
The Gunners will be hoping to gain confidence from their controversial penalty shootout win over Chelsea on Sunday and kick on with home advantage. New signings Alexandre Lacazette and Sead Kolasinac look to have strengthened the team in key areas and with Arsene Wenger contracted to 2 more years at the helm, they’ll be hoping to get off to a flyer.
2015/16 champions Leicester will be looking for a season of stability following last season’s rollercoaster campaign. Craig Shakespeare has landed the manager’s job on a full-time basis and looks to have the players on board. Summer arrivals Kelechi Iheanacho, Vicente Iborra and Harry Maguire will add a youthful look to a team which seemed to age quickly last year.
This is the perfect way to get the EPL season up and running. Leicester are always a threat and will fancy their chances of grabbing a goal but with home advantage, Arsenal should pick up the 3 points.
Betting tip: Arsenal to win and both teams to score ($3.00) BET NOW
Arsenal to win 2-1
21:30 Watford vs Liverpool – Vicarage Road
Saturday’s early kick off sees Liverpool travel to Watford in a tricky looking opening tie.
Watford have recruited Marco Silva to hopefully restore some confidence in the squad following their dramatic slide in form towards the end of last season. The Hornets have invested in youth with Will Hughes, Nathanial Chalobah and last season’s loanee, Tom Cleverley joining the ranks on a permanent basis.
Liverpool will be hoping to build on last season’s impressive 4th place finish and combine a run in the EPL with Champions League football. Jurgen Klopp has managed to bring in Mohamed Salah to add some pace to the forward line. The rumours around Phillipe Coutinho moving to Barcelona won’t subside though and it will be interesting to see if the Brazilian is involved on Saturday.
Liverpool had a very strong away record last season but Watford are sure to be up for it. If Liverpool play anywhere near their best though, they should have too much here.
Betting tip: Liverpool to win and keep a clean sheet ($3.61) BET NOW
Liverpool to win 2-0
00:00 Chelsea vs Burnley – Stamford Bridge
2016/17 champions Chelsea get their campaign underway with a home clash with Burnley.
It’s been a strange pre-season for the Blues, with speculation about Diego Costa making the most of the headlines coupled with the arrival of Alvaro Morata and the departure of Nemanja Matic, it’s hard to gauge where Antonio Conte’s squad are at.
They will be confident of beating Burnley though who continue to operate miracles on a shoestring budget. The Clarets have signed Jack Cork and Jonathan Walters but lost Michael Keane to Everton which is sure to be a big loss.
Chelsea should blow Burnley away here and will be looking to do so in style.
Betting tip: Chelsea to score in both halves and win both halves ($3.34) BET NOW
Chelsea to win 3-1
00:00 Crystal Palace vs Huddersfield Town – Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace ($1.83)
Huddersfield Town ($5)
Frank de Boer’s opening match in charge of Crystal Palace is an interesting tie against newly promoted Huddersfield Town.
De Boer’s Palace look to be a very strong outfit these days with the likes of Benteke, Cabaye and Townsend who can all cause huge problems for opposition teams. The arrival of Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan from Chelsea also underlines their ambition.
Huddersfield’s remarkable promotion last year, was masterminded by David Wagner who combined his knowledge of European football with some home grown talent, to create a dangerous outfit. Summer arrival Aaron Mooy from Manchester City will look to be their star man once again (after impressing on loan last term) and Town will be hoping to get points on the board as soon as possible.
This looks a tall order for Huddersfield but they have nothing to lose. De Boer and Palace however will be desperate to get off to a winning start.
Betting tip: Christian Benteke to score anytime and Crystal Palace to win the match ($4.6) BET NOW
Crystal Palace to win 2-0
00:00 Everton vs Stoke City – Goodison Park
Stoke City ($5.50)
Everton’s summer transfer activity has been remarkable and they will be hoping they can hit the ground running against the Potters.
Most of the EPL transfer activity has centred around the Toffees with Romelu Lukaku leaving Merseyside to join Manchester United for £75 million whilst Everton have brought in Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and managed to get the prodigal son Wayne Rooney to return to Goodison.
Mark Hughes’ Stoke have yet to spend any money in the window as yet but look to have definitely tightened up things with the arrival of Kurt Zouma on loan from Chelsea and Darren Fletcher on a free transfer from West Brom. The loss of Marko Arnautovic to West Ham though could lessen their creativity in games.
Everton will be hoping to get going quickly here but Stoke like to frustrate their opposition and could cause a few problems for the Blues.
Betting tip: Match to end in a draw – ($3.75) BET NOW
00:00 Southampton vs Swansea City – St Mary’s Stadium
Swansea City ($6)
With a summer of uncertainty and another change of manager at St Mary’s, Southampton will be hoping to start with a positive performance against Swansea. Mauricio Pellegrino has been given a chance to prove himself in the EPL and has a strong squad down on the south coast. Jay Rodriguez has departed for West Brom but they will be hoping to keep Virgil Van Dijk and kick on this term.
Paul Clement achieved the great escape last season with the Swans and has rightfully been given a crack at EPL management. Much like the Saints, it will be interesting to see if star man Gylfi Sigurdsson is involved on Saturday as he’s been the subject of multiple bids from Everton and was integral to their survival last season. Clement will be hoping new arrival Tammy Abraham can provide some much needed support to Fernando Llorente up front.
With home advantage Southampton are the heavy favourites but with a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment – the start of the season may have come too early for them.
Betting tip: Swansea to upset the bookies and win away from home ($6) BET NOW
2-1 win for Swansea
00:00 West Bromwich Albion vs Bournemouth – The Hawthorns
West Brom ($2.5)
West Bromwich Albion look to have steadied the ship under Tony Pulis who is beginning to build an exciting team. They will be looking to build on their 10th place finish this term and have recruited in the forward department in an attempt to fire their way up the table. Jay Rodriguez has joined from Southampton and will be looking to lead the line for the Baggies.
Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth ripped up the form guide once again last season with a comfortable mid-table finish. Their brand of slick, attacking football has won them many plaudits and they have strengthened again this summer. Asmir Begovic has been brought in – in goal, Nathan Ake will be hoping to carry on where he left off last season and the prolific Jermain Defoe will provide some much needed fire power.
The odds in this one suggest it could go either way and with such a contrast in playing styles there could be goals at the Hawthorns.
Betting tip: Over 3.5 goals in the game ($3.5) BET NOW
02:30 Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester City – American Express Community Stadium
Man City ($1.33)
Brighton have finally reached the promised land of the EPL and they couldn’t have asked for a tougher start. The Seagulls will be hoping to carry on their great form in the Championship last season as they test themselves against the big boys. Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven and Isaiah Brown from Chelsea headline their list of summer acquisitions but their priority will simply reaching the 40 point mark to stay in the EPL.
Pep Guardiola will be hoping he can provide the EPL trophy to the City fans after and inconsistent first term in charge. He has removed a lot of dead wood within the squad and has spent nearly £120 million on full backs (Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo) so will be hoping those signings can have a big impact on the way his team perform.
City look strong favourites for this one but it’s the EPL so anything can happen.
Betting tip: Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne to score anytime as a double pays ($6.49) BET NOW
Man City to win 4-1
22:30 Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur – St James’s Park
Newcastle are another promoted side who will be looking to secure their place in the EPL next season. Rafa Benitez did a great job in orchestrating their return to the EPL and the first attempt and looks to have a squad capable of staying up. Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune and Christian Atsu have all joined the club in the off season and Benitez will be hoping the can propel towards Newcastle EPL safety.
Tottenham had a remarkable season once again last year – finishing 2nd in the table. Their consistent performances and results from a young team suggest the future is bright. They will be playing their home games at Wembley this year which they struggled with in European football last season but they will be hoping to have enough quality to kick on and maybe go one better this term.
Spurs have a few defensive injury worries going into this one but should have too much for Newcastle.
Betting tip: Under 2.5 goals in the game and Spurs to win pays ($3.66) BET NOW
Tottenham to win 2-0
01:00 Manchester United vs West Ham – Old Trafford
Manchester United ($1.28)
West Ham ($12)
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have splashed the cash once again in pursuit of trophies. Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic have all joined the Red Devils for significant sums of money. Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have left the club in what looks to have been a transitional summer for Mourinho’s men.
West Ham have also been spending big with Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez, Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta joining the ranks. Slavan Bilic’s men had a disappointing first season at the London Stadium last term and will be hoping to develop some consistency this time around.
Despite being outclassed by Real Madrid in the European Super Cup, United look a real threat in the EPL and should get up and running her.
Betting tip: Manchester United to win and Romelu Lukaku to score anytime ($2.22) BET NOW
Manchester United to win 3-0
EPL Week 1 multi bet:
We are going with a five-leg outright winner multi this week at a betting stake of $50:
All teams to win pays $5.64 – BET NOW
A $50 wager would pay out $282 at current odds, if successful.
Once again, all odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. New signups can claim a $501* bonus bet with Sportsbet by clicking HERE.