Premier League Fixture Preview #1

We edge ever closer to the start of the new Premier League season day by day. Despite having Euro 2016 and Olympic Football to watch over the summer, nothing quite compares to the thrill and excitement of England’s top league.

Clubs have been busy over the summer with squad and managerial changes all in the hope of improving on their 2015/16 campaign. Leicester shocked the world with their heroic title triumph last season but the competition for the Premier League trophy looks fiercer than ever.

We preview the opening games for the Premier League…

Hull City v Leicester City

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KO: 12:30pm – Saturday 13th August
Odds: Home – 3/1, Draw 12/5, Away 19/20 (SkyBet)

The Foxes start their title defence in the early kick-off against newly promoted Hull City. Leicester suffered defeat to Manchester United in the Community Shield but will hope to start their season with a win against the Tigers. Speculation regarding Riyad Mahrez continues but the club have managed to keep the majority of their title-winning squad together. Meanwhile, Hull are a club in disarray. Steve Bruce has left the club without a manager meaning no new players have been recruited. Suffering from ownership troubles, it could be a long, hard season for Hull fans.

TBG predicts: Leicester win

Everton v Tottenham

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 13th August
Odds: Home 2/1, Draw 9/4, Away 7/5 (SkyBet)

Ronald Koeman begins his Everton reign with a tricky fixture against Tottenham Hotspur. Mauricio Pochettino’s side surprised everyone with their title bid last season with Harry Kane and Dele Alli in tremendous form. The Lilywhites slipped to third but managed to secure Champions League football at White Hart Lane. On the other hand, Everton disappointed meaning Roberto Martinez lost his job. The Toffees will be hoping to conclude a deal for Yannick Bolasie to add to summer signings Idrissa Gueye and Ashley Williams, who may feature on Saturday.

TBG predicts: Draw

Southampton v Watford

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 13th August
Odds: Home 4/5, Draw 5/2, Away 18/5 (SkyBet)

Southampton against Watford pits two new managers against each other in the opening weekend of the season. The Saints lost Koeman to Everton meaning Claude Puel was recruited on a three-year-deal. The Hornets decided to replace Quique Flores with Walter Mazzarri despite a solid season under the Spaniard. Watford haven’t lost their opening game in the last six seasons and will be hoping for a strong start to the season against a team with hopes of retaining a European place.

TBG predicts: Southampton win

Middlesbrough v Stoke City

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 13th August
Odds: Home 5/4, Draw 21/10, Away 12/5 (SkyBet)

Middlesbrough face Stoke at the Riverside after earning automatic promotion under Aitor Karanka. Both sides have improved their squads in the summer as Boro have brought in the likes of Alvaro Negredo, Victor Valdes and Marten de Roon. Stoke have bolstered their ranks with the £12m signing of Joe Allen from Liverpool as well as promising winger Ramadan Sobhi. Mark Hughes will be hoping to improve on a ninth-place finish whilst Boro may have hopes of top-half finish after some shrewd business in the transfer window.

TBG predicts: Stoke win

Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 13th August
Odds: Home 19/20, Draw 9/4, Away 16/5 (SkyBet)

Crystal Palace failed to build on an impressive start to the season last campaign and ended the season in lowly 15th following five winless matches in their last six. The Eagles have strengthened during the summer with solid additions such as Andros Townsend, James Tomkins and Steve Mandanda. Alan Pardew will be also hoping to finalise a deal for Liverpool’s Christian Benteke. The Baggies have been the subject of a takeover bid which has restricted transfer plans to the sole signing of QPR’s Matt Phillips. Both sides will be hoping to start the season in the best possible way.

TBG predicts: Draw

Burnley v Swansea City

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KO: 3:00pm – Saturday 13th August
Odds: Home 11/8, Draw 11/5, Away 21/10 (SkyBet)

The Championship holders, Burnley begin their Premier League season against Swansea in what promises to be an interesting tie at Turf Moor. Sean Dyche has lost a host of players over the summer and will be relying on the goals of Andre Gray to fire the Clarets to Premier League survival. Swansea will be hoping to impress in Francesco Guidolin’s first full season with the club. Despite losing Andre Ayew, the Swans have brought in Fernando Llorente and broke their transfer record to sign Borja Baston from Atletico Madrid to bolster their attacking options.

TBG predicts: Burnley win

Manchester City v Sunderland

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KO: 5:30pm – Saturday 13th August
Odds: Home 1/4, Draw 19/4, Away 11/1 (SkyBet)

Pep Guardiola gets his first taste of the Premier League when Manchester City face Sunderland in the evening kick-off at the Etihad Stadium. The Spaniard has invested £150m into his new squad which could see the likes of John Stones and Leroy Sane make their home debuts. Sunderland have also changed their manager after Sam Allardyce left the England job meaning David Moyes was brought in as a replacement. The former Everton boss is hoping to build on the Allardyce’s good work with the Black Cats and retain their Premier League status.

TBG predicts: Manchester City win

Bournemouth v Manchester United

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KO: 1:30pm – Sunday 14th August
Odds: Home 18/5, Draw 5/2, Away 4/5 (SkyBet)

Bournemouth welcome Manchester United to Dean Court after securing Premier League survival under Eddie Howe. The Cherries have added to their squad with the signings of Jordon Ibe and Lewis Cook. Howe will also welcome Calum Wilson back to full fitness, whose goals will be crucial over the course of the season. The Red Devils welcome a host of new players to the squad with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba likely to start for their new club. Jose Mourinho’s side have been tipped as title favourites and will be hoping for a win in a tricky away fixture on the south coast.

TBG predicts: Manchester United win

Arsenal v Liverpool

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KO: 4:00pm – Sunday 14th August
Odds: Home 13/10, Draw 12/5, Away 2/1 (SkyBet)

A Super Sunday contest pits Arsenal against Liverpool in a huge opening weekend fixture. The Gunners are expecting to complete the signing of Shkodran Mustafi in time for the game where Granit Xhaka is expected to feature. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez should also feature after returning to full fitness. Jurgen Klopp has a wide range of options available but could be without Daniel Sturridge due to a hip injury. Sadio Mane will be looking to build on an impressive pre-season with a strong performance against the Gunners.

TBG predicts: Arsenal win

Chelsea v West Ham

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KO: 8:00pm – Monday 15th August
Odds: Home 4/6, Draw 14/5, Away 4/1 (SkyBet)

Chelsea and West Ham begin their Premier League season in a Monday night fixture that promises to excite. The Blues, under new manager Antonio Conte, have invested heavily in bringing the likes of N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi to Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard has enjoyed a strong pre-season under the Italian and many tip the Belgian to return to top form. West Ham will welcome back star man Dimitri Payet after his extended break following Euro 2016. The former Marseille man is crucial for the Hammers and will be hoping to hit the ground running. New signings Sofiane Feghouli and Havard Nordtveit should also make their Premier League debuts.

TBG predicts: Chelsea win

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