The Premier League is back! And with eight games to look forward to over the opening weekend there’s plenty for us to get our teeth into.
The first day of the season often throws up a few odd results and it’s the time when Premier League 2020 betting markets try to make sense of the summer transfer activity, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each team in the top flight. Promoted teams are the unknown, but they often start well on the crest of the wave that won them promotion the previous season.
The new boys are used to winning and it’s a habit they can continue, though they often get found out during the long winter when injuries and suspensions start to kick in. Our SBOTOP tips have more to work on when we’re ten games or so into the campaign, so this is the time for shocks.
Liverpool vs Leeds United
Well it’s been a long time coming but after Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United finally gave Yorkshire some representation in the Premier League, Leeds United have made it after a 16 year absence.
Head coach Marcelo Bielsa inspired his team to play attractive and adventurous football, a far cry from the ‘Dirty Leeds’ legends of the 1970s. And the sleeping giants have a number of players ready to step up to the top flight, notably wing-back Luke Ayling and midfield maestro Pablo Hernandez. The Whites won their last six games and have momentum, while 2020 champions Liverpool had an underwhelming end to the season.
The Reds were magnificent last term but they are capable of throwing in a poor performance. Jurgen Klopp’s side was unbeaten until the end of February when it was stunned by Watford in a 3-0 reversal. The Hornets were ultimately relegated of course.
This is a fantastic clash to open the season, evoking memories of classic games of yesteryear, and if Bielsa’s boys can spring a surprise then they will dominate the Premier League 2020 news headlines on Sunday…no doubt about that!
Leeds are at 8.68 to win or 5.22 to snatch a draw.
Player to watch: Kalvin Phillips
The 24 year old defensive midfielder has been a fixture in the Leeds side over the past four seasons and has plenty of Premier League quality.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Chelsea
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have taken the summer transfer window by storm, and after finishing his first season as boss in fourth place and with an FA Cup final appearance he’ll hope to take his beloved club a step further this season.
Brighton survived again last term, the first for Graham Potter as head coach, and during the first half of the campaign they played some attractive football and looked relatively comfortable. They play without fear and drew this fixture 1-1 last season.
In a pre-season game, in front of 2,500 fans, the Seagulls held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw again. Blues summer signing Timo Werner got off the mark for his new club with just four minutes on the clock, while fellow recruit Hakim Ziyech went off with an injury; but in the second half the hosts gave Chelsea a tough time. Neal Maupay missed a penalty before Pascal Gross converted one to give Brighton a deserved draw.
The weight of expectation will be on Chelsea and that could prove to be too heavy on the opening day.
Brighton are at odds of 4.36 to win and 3.68 to earn another draw.
Player to watch: Adam Lallana
The former Liverpool star should be a shrewd signing if he stays fit, and he could certainly give the Chelsea defence a run around.
West Bromwich Albion vs Leicester City
Well the boing boing Baggies are back in the big time and they open the campaign with a mouth-watering clash against Midlands rivals Leicester City.
These two teams have had some great tussles in the Premier League and have been pretty well matched. The Baggies have won eight of the meetings to Leicester’s nine and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of them drawing level this weekend.
West Brom have plenty of Premier League experience in the shape of skipper Jake Livermore, goalscorer Charlie Austin and winger Kamil Grosicki, while head coach Slaven Bilic has unfinished business in top flight. He was sacked by West Ham in 2017 having guided the Hammers to seventh position in his first season and 11th in his second; but the West Ham board failed to back him when his team made a slow start to his third season in charge.
Leicester had a terrible run of form at the end of the last campaign and slipped out of the top four on the final day, and they have lost England wing-back Ben Chilwell, one of Chelsea’s expensive recruits.
The Baggies are at odds of 3.35 to win with the draw at 3.30 and, you know what? On balance I’d say the biggest chance of a shock result this weekend will be at the Hawthorns
Player to watch: Grady Diangana
The Congolese attacking midfielder has just signed from West Ham where the sale has been heavily criticised by Hammers skipper Mark Noble.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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