Brentford vs Arsenal
The English Premier League returns at last, with newly promoted first-timers Brentford hosting Arsenal in the season’s first game. Mikel Arteta’s performance last season was manifestly underwhelming, and it is not clear he has undergone, within just three months of break, the tactical improvement he needs to stand toe-to-toe with the big six teams.
This tactical inadequacy then raises doubts about how he will fare this season, beginning with his first game away at the Brentford Community Stadium. The last time both sides met was in a September 2018 League Cup that ended 3-1 in Arsenal’s favour at the Emirates. Will Arsenal start the season strongly with an emphatic and outright win over Brentford? Or will Arteta crumble under expectation? Will Arsenal receive an early shocker from the EPL minnows? Or will they launch a comeback into the top 4 race from their first kick of the ball? The bookmakers’ predictions favour an Arsenal win.
Manchester United vs Leeds
Manchester United hosts Leeds United in what promises to launch Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s ambitious bid for the league title. Solkjaer’s progress in the last two seasons has been obvious, even if incremental: from third in 2019 to second in 2020. Given this past, his natural trajectory is top of the table. This is even more so with the arrival of winger Jadon Sancho who was signed to strengthen the team’s already impressive attack line. Real Madrid defender Raphaël Varane’s transfer to United is almost complete, promising to tighten a defence that was sometimes shaky throughout the last campaign.
Although it is doubtful that Varane will be available for the Leeds game due to his mandatory Covid-19 isolation in Manchester, having travelled from Spain; but even without Varane on the line-up, this encounter is naturally United’s game, which is why betBonanza bookmakers gave them a 74% chance of winning. Betting on a Manchester United win will be you going with the bookmakers.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
Chelsea, the reigning European Champions, will face Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, in the presence of an electrified fan base likely to fill the stadium. Chelsea are expected to enter the new season with their previous season’s solid form, bulldozing their way through opponents and obstacles.
Last season, Thomas Tuchel managed to create magic with a Chelsea team that had no established striker. This season, with Romelu Lukaku, a prolific striker, added to the squad at a whopping £98m, the blues appear set to bid for the domestic league and a fierce defence of their European title.
Of course there is also the chance of an upset, no matter how slim. But history favours Chelsea to come out tops. Their last encounter was in April, and it ended 1-4 in Chelsea’s favour. For a chance at winning or even a draw, Palace should have studied Tuchel’s tactics and hope he does not tweak his last season’s style so much. If they do and manage to counter him, they may leave the encounter with something – point or pride. But overall, Chelsea is still considered the overwhelming favourites to win the game.
Tottenham vs Manchester City
Tottenham will host Manchester City with striker Harry Kane’s future still undecided. City have tried to sign him this transfer window, but club Chairman Daniel Levy insists Kane would go nowhere, placing a £150m price tag on him. Kane has tried to force Levy’s hands, staying away from training. But that has yet to change anything. It is doubtful the vice-captain will feature in the team’s opening game against City. And even if he does play, it is also doubtful he will bring his A-game to the encounter.
All of this will put Manchester City in a pole position to leave the game with a win. First, City are going to Spurs with an addition to their squad – the £100m sensational signing - Jack Grealish. Secondly, City are going as the reigning champions, with momentum on their side.
But their history makes the match slightly open, because in their last eight meetings, City won four while Spurs won three. They drew one. It is there possible for Tottenham to give them trouble and even defeat them, but that possibility is blurred by a team that just got a new manager, whose key player is also unsettled. Manchester City is favoured to win.
Liverpool vs Norwich City
Liverpool will be going to Norwich City. And they may come out with a winner. The injury woes that upended their title defence last season have all but abated, and centre back Virgil van Dijk started in a friendly with Bologne last week.
He is stepping up his fitness routine in readiness for the new season. With a full squad comes the full expectation of a Liverpool win at Norwich,especially because the last time Norwich defeated Liverpool was in 1993, about 28 years ago.
So betBonanza's bookies give it a near perfect odd that Jorgen Klopp’s men will leave the game with three points. The bookmakers favour a Liverpool win.