Premier League Round-Up: Saturday 11/08/18

Premier League Round-Up: Saturday 11/08/18

Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur – 12:30

Newcastle’s season gets underway this weekend with the visit of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham. After a promising season last time out where the Magpies finished 10th, manager Rafa Benitez will be hoping his side can emulate that this term with another top-half finish. However, after much unrest off the field continuing to surround the finances of North East club, it’s unclear how they’ll perform this term. After losing striker Aleksander Mitrovic to Fulham, the hosts for this encounter have brought in Salomon Rondon from West Brom in a swap deal that has seen Dwight Gayle move the other way on a season long loan. Rondon is expected to start this clash against Spurs, so it will be extremely interesting to see if he can get off the mark with his new side at the first time of asking.

Tottenham’s lack of spending throughout the transfer window is cause for concern, they’ve got fantastic quality within their ranks however are lacking cover in certain areas. With both the Premier League and Champions League to compete in this term, Spurs could have done with bringing in one or two more players, but after Aston Villa rejected their move for midfielder Jack Grealish, Pochettino’s men will head into this forthcoming campaign with the same squad that finished last season. These two sides met at St James’ Park on the opening day of last season, where Spurs came out on top 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Dele Alli and and Ben Davies. Will we see a repeat performance this weekend? We think yes.

Recommended Bet: Tottenham to win & BTTS at 10/3 with Bet365

AFC Bournemouth vs Cardiff City – 15:00

AFC Bournemouth’s first challenge of the new campaign comes in the form of Premier League new boys Cardiff City. This will be the Cherries fourth consecutive season in the top-flight, and thus far their experience has gone pretty smoothly. Last term they finished in a very respectable 12th place, so will be looking to go one better this term and break into the top half of the division. With an exciting, attack-minded squad, Bournemouth have plenty of assets going forward. Players like Junior Stanislas, Jordon Ibe, Josh King, Jermaine Defoe and new signing David Brooks all pose such a threat at the top end of the pitch, however their were some concerns about Bournemouth’s defensive quality last term. This has led to Eddie Howe bringing in 23-year-old holding midfielder Jefferson Lerma from Levante and left-back Diego Rico from Leganes, which will certainly help to sure up the Cherries back line.

After finishing as runners-up to Wolves in the Championship last term, Cardiff will head into this new Premier League campaign hopeful that they can avoid a repeat of their last season in the top flight, where they finished rock-bottom back in 2014. Neil Warnock’s men proved to be a hugely resilient side last season, conceding just 39 goals in 46 matches, however know the challenge they face in the top-flight will be much tricker. It’s games against sides like Bournemouth that Cardiff will view as winnable, so a solid performance on the opening day is pivotal in their quest for survival this term. Summer signing Bobby Reid lit up the Championship for Bristol City last time out, but can he do it for the Bluebirds? We’re certainly excited to find out.

Recommended Bet: AFC Bournemouth to win at 10/11 with William Hill

Fulham vs Crystal Palace – 15:00

Fulham have caught the eye this summer by bringing in some fantastic signings. The Cottagers have acquired the services of central midfielder Jean Michaël Seri from OGC Nice, striker Aleksander Mitrovic from Newcastle, winger Andre Schurrle from Borussia Dortmund and defender Alfie Mawson from Fulham ahead of their first season back in the top-flight since 2013/14. They have also brought in Arsenal defender Calum Chambers on loan for the season, making them a real threat this term. Last season’s Championship Play-Off winners have an exciting manager at the helm in the form of Slaviša Jokanović and are clearly aiming for more than just survival this season. We think the West London club could be the Premier League’s surprise package this time out, and after they made Craven Cottage somewhat of a fortress last term, reckon they might just start their campaign with a win here.

Crystal Palace will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season, where they failed to register a single goal or point in their opening seven games. This time around though it’s sure to be a completely different situation, with the hugely experienced Roy Hodgson in charge Palace will be looking to cement a top half finish this season, potentially even challenging for a Europa League spot. Their main threat comes in the form of winger Wilfried Zaha, who will remain at the club at least until January after the Eagles fended off interest from the likes of Tottenham and Everton for his signature this summer. The visitors will look to get Zaha on the ball as much as possible here, and he won’t think twice about finding the net if presented with half a chance in front of goal.

Recommended Bet: BTTS at 4/6 with SkyBet

Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea – 15:00

Huddersfield face a huge task this weekend when they welcome Chelsea to the John Smith’s Stadium. The Terriers are among the favourites to be relegated to the Championship this term, and with a small squad packed full of fairly inexperienced players, it’s easy to see why. Last season they were saved by a string of spirited performances towards the back end of the campaign, but whether or not they can remain in the Premier League for another season still remains to be seen. The hosts actually managed a point against the Blues the last time these two sides met at the end of last season thanks to a goal from Belgian front man Laurent Depoitre, however with the recent turn of events at Stamford Bridge, we’re struggling to see Huddersfield getting anything out of this game.

Chelsea head into this clash as firm favourites after a summer of change at the Bridge. New boss Maurizio Sarri will be determined to start his career in the Blues hot seat with a win, and with a solid pre-season under their belt will feel confident in their chances of obtaining all three points in West Yorkshire. The visitors have made just one outfield signing this summer, with Italian midfielder Jorginho following Sarri to West London from Napoli. The 25-year-old is due to start this match after some solid performances in pre-season, so it’ll be very interesting to see how he gets on in the Premier League. Keeping hold of Eden Hazard is also a massive boost for Chelsea, he’ll be key in their title challenge this season and will be looking to get his campaign off to a flier with a top class performance here.

Recommended Bet: Chelsea -1 handicap at 13/8 with Betfair

Watford vs Brighton – 15:00

Watford were one of the Premier League’s most inconsistent sides last season, frequently upsetting the odds by beating the division bigger sides, but then slumping to defeats to the teams around them. Javi Gracia has brought in winger Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona on a permanent basis, after the 24-year-old’s successful loan spell at Vicarage Road for the second half of last season. This will give the Hornets a much bigger attacking threat in wide areas, as Deulofeu will look to provide leading striker Troy Deeney with the opportunities in front of goal. Aside from that, full-back Adam Masina has joined the club from Serie A side Bologna, winger Ken Sema has arrived from Swedish outfit Ostersund and Spanish right-back Marc Navarro has signed from Espanyol to help pad out Watford’s squad. Will these signings be enough to steer them away from a relegation battle though?

Brighton had one of the worst away records in the Premier League last term, winning just three matches on the road all season. Chris Hughton’s side finished the campaign in 15th last time out, which considering it was their first ever season in the league can be deemed a huge success. Their aim for this season will be to just remain in the division, however their form away from home must be ironed out if they’re to achieve this. Another campaign registering just three away wins will surely put the Seagull’s in huge danger, so a win here at Vicarage Road on the opening day would do their confidence the world of good heading into the rest of the season.

Recommended Bet: BTTS at EVENS with Coral

Single

Wolves vs Everton – 17:30

Wolves took the footballing world by storm last season when they coasted to the Championship title, and will this season be looking to prove their worth against the country’s elite in the Premier League. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have a squad ready for the top-flight, with players like Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota, Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricia all expected to start their first match against Everton in Saturday’s late kick-off at Molineux. The West Midlander’s have also brought in winger Adama Traore from Middlesbrough to bolster their options in midfield, so look as though they could be one of the surprise packages this time out. A top half finish will be the aim for Wolves are spending upwards of £40million on new signings, however looking at their squad, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them pushing for a Europa League spot come the end of the season.

Everton are another side who have spent a great deal of money on new signings over the past two seasons, and really need to start recouping it in silverware. The Toffees will be keen to put last season behind them after a disastrous start saw manager Ronald Koeman relieved of his duties. David Unsworth had a brief spell in the hot seat, but did no better before renowned ‘troubleshooter’ Sam Allardyce was brought in to steady the ship. That’s exactly what Big Sam did, guiding the Merseyside club to a very respectable 8th place finish, however the football on show was far from impressive. Direct football will now be a thing of the past at Goodison Park, as former Watford boss Marco Silva has taken the reins in the hope of reinstating European football. With only one win in pre-season under their belts, Everton take little confidence into this tie, which leads us to believe that a home win for Wolves could be on the cards here.

Recommended Bet: Wolves to win at 5/4 with Bet365