All 3pm kick-offs
Bournemouth to win v Cardiff
BTTS: Fulham v Crystal Palace
Huddersfield v Chelsea to win
This Saturday, August 11: Premier League Acca has a bit of everything in the mix. A BTTS, a home win and an away win for one of the league’s big boys.
Bournemouth last met Cardiff in the 2014/15 Championship season in which Bournemouth won the league and have kept their spot in the Premier League ever since. A 12th placed finish last campaign represented another good year for Eddie Howe’s men. Surviving on a small budget, he has once again made some shrewd signings. Diego Rico, turned down Borussia Dortmund to join the smallest club in the Premier League from Levante for £10.7m. David Brooks, the 21-year-old Wales international from Sheffield United, is the other signing for £11.5m.
Their visitors Cardiff City are the only odds on Premier League side to go down to the Championship. We don’t expect the newcomers to start well against an organised and handy Bournemouth side.
Fulham had one of the highest BTTS records in the Championship last season. 59% of their games saw both teams score and they come up against a Crystal Palace side who had a 50% BTTS strike rate last campaign. Their last five head-to-heads (including friendlies) have ended with both teams netting. This should be quite an evenly matched game with newly promoted Fulham playing an attacking brand of football, especially at home. Palace, who finished 11th last season, are also known for their attacking prowess with Zaha and Benteke leading the front line. It should be a goodun!
Sarri not sorry!
Chelsea took a little bit of a beating on the weekend but the community shield is not high on anyone’s agenda. They look to top last season’s (dare we say it, disappointing) 5th place finish. Critics have been saying new manager Maurizio Sarri’s task is a big one but let’s look at it realistically. He has inherited a good side, with a big spending budget, and has the support of the die-hard fans. Let’s also not forget, they won the league in 2016/17. Sarri’s tactics could result in some entertaining football from Chelsea, something that has been lacking in the last 12 months. His 4-3-3 with attacking philosophy worked phenomenally for Napoli last season but who knows if he can recreate that at Chelsea. The arrival of ‘Sarriball’ could be the biggest hit of the 2018/19 season.
They travel to a Huddersfield side who will certainly let Chelsea play their football, looking to hit on the counter attack. They are one of the favourites to be in the relegation mire this season and playing Chelsea first game is not ideal for them. This fixture last season resulted in a 3-1 win for Chelsea in a game they dominated from start to finish.
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