Liverpool to win v West Ham (1:30pm)
BTTS No: Southampton to win v Burnley (1:30pm)
BTTS Yes: Arsenal v Man City to win (4pm)
This Sunday, August 12: Premier League Acca has two home wins and one away for the league champions. There’s a couple of BTTS picks in the mix too!
Liverpool to win the league?!
Liverpool fans think this is their year and they might be right. They have added £170m in personnel to a squad that reached the Champions League final three months ago. Naby Keïta, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson fills the question marks from last season. A goalkeeper and midfielder, plus some strength in depth. The front three – Salah, Mané and Firmino – are right up there with the best in the world. Van Dijk and Lovren are class at the back and will have a world-class keeper behind them.
A start against West Ham at home is fairly straightforward for them although the Hammers could be a dark horse this season. With Manuel Pellegrini in charge, a new director of football in Mario Husillos and eight new signings, there’s every reason for the fans to be optimistic, for once. £36m man Anderson is a strong signing and Yarmolenko looks good in pre-season. Diop and Balbuena look solid at the back, Arnautovic looked class up top for the back-end of last season, and and a lot will depend on Wilshere’s fitness, but the signs are there for a top ten finish.
A trip to Liverpool will probably be their toughest test. An unsettled side, new manager, up against a class act. We’re backing a comfortable home win.
Saints might march in
Southampton have made some decent close-season signings – Vestergaard looks like he has the potential to be the new defensive leader while Elyounoussi replaces Tadic. They host a Burnley side who unbelievably finished 7th last season. How did that happen?! Dyche captured Jack Cork, Jeff Hendrick and Aaron Lennon showing that they are at least looking to build on last season. However, we think they might struggle. It is a small squad and injuries could derail their campaign. A new look Southampton will be favourites to win here. We’re backing them to win without conceding here. Why? Burnley can’t score goals. They finished ten places above Southampton last season but still scored fewer goals.
City to start strong
Arsenal versus Man City should be a belter. Two very attacking sides with quality all over the pitch. Last year’s sixth placed Arsenal have a new manager, Emery, and a host of new players. Stephan Lichtsteiner, the right-back from Juventus, 17.7m Greek centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Borussia Dortmund, and the £26.5m signing of the talented Uruguayan midfielder Lucas Torreira from Sampdoria shows their intent to build a squad of depth and quality. Bernd Leno will probably replace Petr Cech, after joining from Leverkusen for £19.2m. Can they top last season’s efforts? Maybe but a home game against City could be a harsh lesson for the new-comers to the side.
The reigning champs look strong. They have only really added £60m man Riyad Mahrez to their squad but even finding a slot for him will be difficult. They are odds on favourites to retain the title and rightly so. They’re a class act and settled with plenty of experience. We’re backing Arsenal to score but the away side to romp home to victory in their opening game.
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