The first Saturday of the new Premier League season offers up six matches for us to enjoy in the top flight as 12 teams get their campaign underway all dreaming of the three points which will settle them nicely into their work.
This might be a new season but the schedule for it hasn’t changed in that we have a TV game to open up the action and bookend it and then the four matches in the middle will all have the regular updates.
Early Kick Off
After the champions Manchester City cruised to victory on Friday evening, we get the chance to see the reply of their nearest challengers last season in Arsenal. They open up the Saturday show in the lunchtime kick off when they welcome Nottingham Forest to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal head into the game off the back of winning the Community Shield last week while Forest are hoping to avoid the second season syndrome. This feels like an intriguing starter for both teams.
Two of the three promoted sides begin a new Premier League season on Saturday afternoon when Luton Town and Sheffield United are in action. The Hatters will be embarking on a first campaign at this level for some 31 years and head to Brighton and Hove Albion to celebrate the occasion. It hasn’t been quite as long between drinks for Sheffield United but Bramall Lane will be packed to the rafters and full of hope when they entertain Crystal Palace.
It is hard to say that a match on the opening day of the season can be termed a relegation six-pointer but neither Bournemouth nor West Ham United will want to lose to each other when they meet in a clash both might think they can win at the Vitality Stadium. Another side who flirted with the drop last season are Everton and they open up their campaign at Goodison Park where a Fulham side who have a few doubts hanging over them are the visitors.
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We conclude with two teams who qualified for Europe last season rounding off the action on Saturday when Newcastle United, with the Champions League to look forward to later in the campaign, host Aston Villa who will be going at it in the Europa Conference League. Both teams finished in the top seven last season and look to have made sufficient progress since then so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out up at what is likely to be an expectant St James’ Park given the incomings in the summer.
I’m very much in assessing the runners and riders mode at the minute so I’m not going to go too mad on Saturday but on my metrics I have Bournemouth slightly better than West Ham this season and so I’m a little surprised that we can get the Cherries on a draw no bet line at a pick ’em price. West Ham have lost their best player and yet to replace him whereas Bournemouth have gone well in the market and ate expected to show significant improvement under their new boss. West Ham rarely float my boat away from home and while they did a job on the Dorset side here last season I expect Bournemouth to get revenge here.
Back Bournemouth to beat West Ham (DNB) for a 3/10 at 1.91 with William Hill
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