Premier League 19/20 MatchDay 1: Previews, Predictions, and Picks as Liverpool Kick’s off the Season Featuring Chelsea’s visit to Manchester United

MATCHDAY 1 BETTING ODDS

Liverpool vs. Norwich City

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PREVIEW
Friday is the day! If you haven’t taken off from work yet I suggest you do so. Or, at least ask for a half-day in the office because you need to be at the bar before that whistle blows at Anfield as the crowd is singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to christen the new season. Recently promoted Norwich will have a handful to deal with as they look to steal a point away from Liverpool. Norwich has a blistering attack featuring finish striker Pukki who is also looking to make a quick impact in his first Premier League start. Liverpool suffered an agonizing defeat against Manchester City in the Community Shield. Although Liverpool lost on penalty kick’s, the Red’s managed to overcome their first-half struggles and dominated the game in the second half.

KEY STATS

  • Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane led Liverpool in scoring with 22 goals each
  • Liverpool conceded the least amount of goals last year conceding 22 goals
  • Norwich scored 93 goals in the Championship with the help of Teemu Pukki’s leading 29 goals
  • Virgil van Dijk has been dribbled passed for the first time after 65 matches
  • Liverpool have been unbeaten at home for 37 games straight

PREDICTION
Last season all the recently promoted teams (Cardiff, Wolves, Fulham) didn’t get a win on Matchday 1 with exception of the Wolves tying Everton. But this isn’t Everton. This is Champions League winner Liverpool. Norwich is facing a ninety-degree hill visiting the Reds at Anfield where Liverpool hasn’t lost in 37 games. Klopp’s men look to transfer last season’s form as Liverpool fans hope they can win the league for a change, and Norwich will be the perfect confidence booster to continue last seasons trend. The oddsmakers don’t make it easy for me to pick a good bet but pick the Under 3.5 (-136) with Liverpool winning 3:0.

UNDER 3.5 -136 at SugarHouse

West Ham United vs. Manchester City

PREVIEW
Manchester City travels to the Olympic Stadium in London for their early Saturday matchup against West Ham United. West Ham finished mid-table last season resulting in the departures of Marco Arnautovic and Pedro Obiang. However, West Ham went deep into their pockets this summer for Pablo Fornals and spent $45 million on Sebastian Haller who had an incredible season with Eintracht Frankfurt and clearly would rather play in the Premier League than the Europa League (I’m a non-biased die-hard Frankfurt fan and am NOT MAD). Manchester City comes off a victory over Liverpool for the FA Community Shield where it seems like that Pep and his boys have picked up right where they left off. City also made a big signing of Rodri from Atletico Madrid who is looking to replace club legend David Silva in the future.

KEY STATS

  • Manchester City was the most offensive team last season scoring 95 goals
  • Manchester City has the second-lowest number of goals conceded with 23 goals
  • Manchester City is a very scary Premier League team
  • Previous matchup: Man. City 4:1 West Ham at the Premier League Asia Trophy

PREDICTION
West Ham United is going to have to change their uniform colors to baby blue, change their name to Manchester City and sign all of the current Manchester City players to their Manchester City team so they can beat this Manchester City team. Ya get me? West Ham has no chance in beating the Premier League champions. City is simply too strong and although West Ham is somewhat tough to beat at home, the Cityzens will steamroll past The Hammers with a score of 4:1.

Over 3.5 +128 at SugarHouse

Bournemouth vs. Sheffield United

PREVIEW
Bournemouth will welcome Sheffield United into the Premier League after a twelve-year absence from the top flight. Sheffield United was a defensive juggernaut in the Championship as it helped them progress into the top flight with Jack O’Connel and John Egan controlling the defensive line. Bournemouth is a tough team to beat at Vitality Stadium as they also have a strong defensive line led by Nathan Ake, Steve Cook, and goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Callum Wilson, Ryan Frasier, and Joshua King will be running down Sheffield’s throats with their speed and effectiveness on the pitch.

KEY STATS

  • Bournemouth haven’t beaten Sheffield since 1987 playing 8 games in between and losing most recently 1-0 in 2013 during League One
  • Lys Mousset on Sheffield will play against his old club Bournemouth
  • Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, and Joshua King have scored 33 goals and 27 assists combined

PREDICTION
I would have assumed that Bournemouth was going to be heavy favorites in this game as they have a scary front 3 in Fraser, King, and Wilson. But I made an ass out of you and me because Sheffield is a +285 to win. Some people have some serious hope for Sheffield United, but I think playing away on your first top-flight match is an uphill battle mentally. The oddsmakers didn’t make the O/U line more attractive than the Bournemouth money line. Thus I would give Bournemouth an early congratulations for their first win of the season. Bet the Bournemouth Money Line as they will beat Sheffield 2:1.

Bournemouth Money Line +100 at SugerHouse

Burnley vs. Southampton

PREVIEW
Southampton starts their 19/20 Premier League campaign at Turf Moor as both sides look to improve from last season. Burnley finished one point ahead of Southampton with nothing much else to separate the two sides except for the fact that Southampton has conceded three fewer goals than Burnley last season. Burnley lost their starting keeper Tom Heaton to recently promoted Aston Villa but welcome back Ashley Barnes and Ashley Westwood as they look to continue Burnley’s Premier League run. Danny Ings returns to Southampton after Liverpool successfully sold the striker as Southampton look to continue their offensive consistency along with Nathan Redmond, Shane Long, and James Ward-Prowse.

KEY STATS

  • Burnley and Southampton’s last three Head-to-Head’s resulted in draws (1-1; 0-0; 1-1)
  • Burnley haven’t lost at home to Southampton since 2007
  • Burnley is winless in their last four 18/19 Premier League games
  • Southampton is winless in their last six 18/19 Premier League games beating Wolves 3-1 mid-April.

PREDICTION
All the stats are leading toward a fourth consecutive draw between Burnley and Southampton. But then the smart side of me is saying that the fourth draw in a row is more unlikely. Which means we have to double down on our bets! It could be the stupidest yet most brilliant bets this week, which makes the matchup only more exciting for us degenerates to watch. I’m going to bet the Southampton +175 Money Line along with the 2.5 Over +114 with a 2:1 Southampton win. It’s the stupidest yet most brilliant double wager you’ll make this week! And with that

Southampton Money Line +175 & Over 2.5 +114 at SugerHouse

Crystal Palace vs. Everton

PREVIEW
The Toffees are starting their 19/20 Premier League campaign at Selhurst Park Stadium, home to Crystal Palace. Everton has made some recent big news signing the Juventus youngster Moise Kean along with Andre Gomes from Barcelona and Premier League veteran Fabian Delph. Andre Gomes should fill the midfield hole left by Idrissa Gueye as the Toffees look to finish in a Europa League spot. Crystal Palace just bolstered the defense adding Chelsea’s Gary Cahill to the squad who will try and balance the defense after losing Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United and the unknowing future of Wilfried Zaha. Everton finished five points higher than Crystal Palace last year beating Palace 2-0 and the drawing 0-0 last season.

KEY STATS

  • Crystal Palace hasn’t beaten Everton since 2014 and has drawn 5 out of 9 previous meetings.
  • Everton’s Sigurdsson and Richarlison scored 26 goals combined last season
  • Crystal Palace won 3 out of their last 5 Premier League games last year

PREDICTION
If Everton didn’t accomplish the signing of Moise Kean, this would have been the game that would end in a tie because I’m THAT guy. But since Everton did sign the kid, they will pull away for their first 3 points of the season. The offensive power of Richarlison, Sigurdsson, and Kean will be a lot of power and speed that Palace can not keep up with. Bet on the Everton Money Line +140 as Everton will win 3:1.

Everton Money Line +140 at SugarHouse

Watford vs. Brighton & Hove Albion

PREVIEW
Brighton survived by the skin of their teeth last season giving themselves another go in the Premier League. Brighton’s top scorer Glen Murray received some attacking support during the transfer window to help with Brighton’s lack of offense. Championship standout Neal Maupay and KRC Genk’s winger Leandro Trossard join the Seagulls as they visit a powerful Watford team. Although Watford finished in 11th place, they are still one of ‘The Best of the Rest’ alongside Wolverhampton. Some unlucky results add to Deulofeu’s and Troy Deeney’s hunger as they look to challenge for a Europa League spot with the absence of youngster Dodi Lukebakio. Watford will be looking to redeem themselves after being thrashed by City 6-0 in the FA Cup final.

KEY STATS

  • Watford proved themselves in preseason fixtures beating Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad
  • Brighton escaped relegation by 2 points last season
  • Brighton won 2 out of their last 3 Premier League games
  • Watford scored 17 more goals than Brighton last season

PREDICTION
Although Brighton looked resilient and tough in the FA Cup, their struggles in the Premier League will continue this year as it’s a game of survival. Coming into Watford who have a great attacking force, and who is playing at home lacks my confidence for Brighton to pull off a result. Watford aren’t heavy favorites into this game, but I would be the Watford Money Line -103 as they will win 1-0.

Watford Money Line -109 at SugarHouse

Tottenham vs. Aston Villa

PREVIEW
Tottenham will get to open their season at their new Tottenham Stadium after bidding farewell to White Hart Lane in 2017. Championship playoff winners Aston Villa will get to play the Spurs in their new billion-dollar home and potentially surprise the Champions League finalists. Villa broke the bank during the summer transfer window spending on players that replaces their starting eleven with Wesley Moraes, Douglas Luiz, and keeper Tom Heaton. The Spurs made their big-name signing in Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon as Christian Eriksen’s future is uncertain after talks with Manchester United have stopped. Kieran Trippier also went abroad to play for Atletico Madrid providing more pressure for Harry Kane to provide upfront, as long as he is healthy.

KEY STATS

  • Tottenham has the 3rd least number of goals conceded last season (Tied with Chelsea)
  • Tottenham only drew 2 games last season
  • Aston Villa conceded 61 goals in the Championship

PREDICTION
I have 3 words for you. Kane, Lucas, Dele. These are your three goalscorers in this matchup as I know the Spurs will send Villa back to Birmingham. Even though Hueng-min Son has a 3 match ban, this won’t affect the Spurs attacking flow too much. Jack Grealish will be that annoying mosquito the Spurs can’t see but can hear buzzing around looking to attack and annoy somebody. But that won’t be enough to make Tottenham flinch. Bet the 2.5 Over as Tottenham wins 3-0.

Bet the Over 2.5 at -152 with SugarHouse

Leicester City vs. Wolverhampton

PREVIEW
Wolverhampton Wolves travel to Leicester as Raul Jimenez and the Wolves squad reach for a Europa League spot with the addition of Lazio’s teenager Pedro Neto. The Wolves proved themselves that the belonged to the Premier League last season managing to beat the Top 6 teams at least once last season. As they weren’t offensively effective, they made their opportunities count finishing 7th last season. Jamie Vardy and his Foxes look to stay in the top 10 this season with new buddies Ayoze Perez and Youri Tielemans help achieve that goal. Leicester will have some defensive issues as they look for a replacement for Harry Maguire.

KEY STATS

  • Wolves scored the least amount of goals in comparison to the top 12 teams.
  • Raul Jimenez is injured until Aug. 18
  • Vardy scored 18 goals last season
  • Leicester beat Wolverhampton 3 out of their last 4 games

PREDICTION
This is a tough game to predict because the Wolves top scorer will not be playing this Sunday fixture. Meanwhile, crackhead Jamie Vardy will be looking to christen Leicester’s new season with a goal as they start without their late owner. But I believe Wolverhampton’s defense and their goalkeeper Patricio can handle those hit from the Foxes. This game will result in a tie!

Bet the Tie +225 with SugarHouse

Newcastle vs. Arsenal

PREVIEW
Arsenal will be looking to finish in the top 4 as they failed to do so since Wenger has left the club. With the additions of Nicolas Pepe, Dani Cabellos and the potential arrival of Philippe Coutinho, Arsenal will have the confidence to return to the Champions League next year. Newcastle is sitting on a hot seat because they didn’t agree with Rafa Benitez’s future plans for the club following the departure of their star striker Perez, but making room for Bundesliga striker Joelinton who wants to make an instant impact for the club.

KEY STATS

  • Arsenal has won 12 out of their last 13 fixtures.
  • Aubameyang & Lacazette scored 35 goals combined.
  • Ozil is finally in the mix!
  • Newcastle lost their top goalscorer

PREDICTION
Number don’t lie. Arsenal clearly has dominated Newcastle in every competition in the last seven years. Aubameyang and Lacazette looked sharp and synced together during their preseason tour. Ozil is looking more comfortable in the team along with the addition of Nicolas Pepe making the departure of Laurent Koscielny less crucial than anticipated. Bet the Arsenal Money Line at -132! A guaranteed winner! (Famous last Words El Oh El)

Arsenal Money Line -132 with SugarHouse

PREVIEW
The FA has blessed us football lovers with this gem of a matchup. The Blues visit the Red Devils in the final game of the opening weekend, they say to save the best for last. As Chelsea are currently in a transfer ban, they retrieved their loaned out players as they try and fill the whole Eden Hazard including American Christian Pulisic as he looks to make an immediate impact with the Blues. Manchester United bolstered their defense purchasing Harry Maguire and Bissaka as the city of Manchester loves to throw money at defenders. Spending money works with cross-town rivals City being a prime example, so it could work with United this season. Chelsea got the last laugh last season finishing above the Red Devils.

KEY STATS

  • Chelsea and Man.Utd drew both their Premier League matchups last season (2-2;1-1)
  • Man.Utd scored 3 more goals than Chelsea last season
  • Chelsea conceded 15 fewer goals than Man.Utd last season
  • Chelsea doesn’t have Hazard

PREDICTION
It’s Sunday afternoon, the last few hours of your freedom before your shitty Monday morning starts, and you need to cap off your weekend with an exciting game of football. The Manchester fans are chanting “the Reds go marching on!” and you are spilling your afternoon beer with every goal opportunity that presents itself on the television. The changes Chelsea are going through is a distraction to this game and will be a tough barrier to overcome, especially in the first game of the season. I would bet A LOT of money on the United Money Line at +120.

Manchester United Money Line +120 with SugarHouse

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