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Premier League Preview Week 1

Tottenham v Everton

The Premier League is back. After a short break less than two months, the action begins this weekend with newly promoted Fulham hosting a resurgent Arsenal in the early Saturday kick-off at craven Cottage. Champions Liverpool have been handed a tough start to their defence of the league title as they face Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United, who won the Championship last season. Tottenham play Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with both sides hoping to put behind their disappointing 2019/20 campaigns. Last season’s over-achievers Wolves and Sheffield United also go head to head at Bramall Lane while there’s a Midlands derby between Leicester City and the final promoted side West Bromwich Albion. Manchester United and Manchester City will not be in action this weekend as they were provided an extra week break to recover from their extended European commitments.

All odds are from bet365 and subject to change.

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Fulham v Arsenal

Fulham ended their Championship campaign strongly and were unbeaten in their last seven league games. In this run, they kept four clean sheets and scored 12. Scott Parker’s side were particularly strong at home, picking up 47 points and winning 15 of their 23 games at Craven Cottage. Fulham have only gained one point from Arsenal in their last six league meetings, a 3-3 draw back in 2012.

Arsenal put together a get run of form towards the end of the season, losing just two of their remaining eight matches in all competitions. However, the Gunners struggled away from home last season in the Premier League and only managed four wins on the road all season. Mikel Arteta’s side have scored plenty of goals against Fulham in recent years, in their last five meetings, the Gunners have found the net 18 times.

Fulham have a fully fit squad with no injuries or suspensions. Arsenal will be without defenders Shkodran Mustafi (thigh), Pablo Mari (ankle), David Luiz (neck), Calum Chambers (knee) and Gabriel Martinelli (knee).

Arsenal will be on a high after their recent FA Cup and Community Shield triumphs and should prove too strong for Fulham.

Fulham – 9/2

Draw – 16/5

Arsenal – 11/20

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Liverpool v Leeds United

Despite an imperious season overall, Liverpool’s form dipped slightly towards the end of the season as they dropped points in four of their final nine league games. But Jurgen Klopp’s side were unbeaten at home all season, winning 18 and drawing just one game. Liverpool have not faced Leeds for four years, their last meeting ended in a 2-0 win for the Reds at Anfield.

Leeds went on an excellent run towards the end of their Championship campaign, losing just one of their nine fixtures after the restart and winning their final six. They were free scoring, finding the net 21 times in their last. Bielsa’s side found form more difficult to come by away from home last season, losing six away games and drawing four on the road.

Jordan Henderson could feature for Liverpool after suffering a knee injury. New signing Konstantinos Tsimikas won’t be available after testing positive for COVID-19 and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) and Xherdan Shaqiri (knock) are also ruled out. Gaetano Berardi is the only absentee for Leeds with an ACL injury.

This will be an intriguing fixture with both teams preferring high tempo football. However, Liverpool should have a bit more quality to comfortably earn an opening day victory over Leeds.

Liverpool – 1/4

Draw – 5/1

Leeds United – 9/1

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Tottenham v Everton

Tottenham progressed well under Jose Mourinho towards the end of the 2019/20 season and picked up 14 points from their last 18 available in the Premier League. Spurs also finished with the third best home form in the league across the season, losing just four of their 19 matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Everton endured a terrible end to their Premier League campaign. During the last ten fixtures, Carlo Ancelotti’s side only picked up 12 points and scored just seven goals, only Norwich and Crystal Palace scored less in that period. New signings James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure may help to rectify the Toffee’s goal scoring problems.

Tottenham have no fresh injuries or players suspended and have a full squad to choose from. Mason Holgate (ankle) and Andre Gomes (knock) are doubtful for Everton while Cenk Tosun has been ruled out with an ACL injury.

Tottenham improved a lot towards the end of last season and Mourinho began to make his mark. However, Everton have made a number of top-quality signings so a score draws between these two is likely.

Tottenham – 4/5

Draw – 13/5

Everton – 10/3

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Sheffield United v Wolves

After racing to the Champions League places in March, Sheffield United’s form tailed off in the later stages of the season. The Blades lost their final three Premier League matches, scoring just two goals. In their final 11 games, Chris Wilder’s side only won three games and conceded 14. However, Sheffield United picked up four points against Wolves last season.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves side played more games than any other English side last side, clocking up 59 games in all competitions. Wolves still finished eight last season and had one of the toughest defences in the league, conceding just 39 all season. They were slightly inconsistent by the end of the Premier League season, winning two, losing two and drawing one of their last five games.

Lys Mousset (ankle), Sander Berg (knee), David McGoldrick (knock) and Simon Moore (broken finger) could feature for Sheffield United but remain doubtful. Wolves will be without Jonny who suffered an ACL injury in August while Adama Traore withdrew from the Spain squad last week after testing positive for COVID-19 so he will not feature.

Both of these sides were extremely strong defensively last season, which contributed to their success. There were few goals between the two sides when they met last season and another tense, defensive match could take place on Monday with a draw likely.

Sheffield United – 23/10

Draw – 11/5

Wolves – 5/4

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