It’s been a quite incredible start to the 2017/18 Premier League, with some remarkable games and great storylines emerging from the opening weekend of the season.
Arsenal and Leicester kicked things off with a barnburner at the Emirates on Friday…
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 11, 2017
…and Watford and Liverpool followed suit on Saturday with a 3-3 draw.
But that wasn’t all.
Burnley upset the form book – and title hopefuls Chelsea – at Stamford Bridge as Antonio Conte’s men were sent down to nine men after the dismissals of Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas.
Newly-promoted Huddersfield proudly top the league after an impressive 3-0 away win at Crystal Palace, and there was even a goal for Wayne Rooney as he capped his return to Everton with a goal on his second Premier League debut for the Toffeemen.
ROOOOONNEYYYY for Everton! pic.twitter.com/uJJG4q7D0M
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 12, 2017
Now it’s the turn of Newcastle, Tottenham, Manchester United and West Ham to keep things going.
No pressure, lads.
The lunchtime kick-off sees Tottenham travel to newly-promoted Newcastle looking to get their season off to a flyer. Unusually for a pair of well-supported EPL sides, both teams go into their opening game having not really strengthened their squads during the summer – and that’s a bigger worry for the Toon that it is for Spurs.
A Tottenham win is the clear pick here, with Newcastle failing to register a single opening day win in the last NINE seasons.
Over 2.5 Goals can be had at 4/6 (Betfair) and that’s a solid pick for today’s early game. But backing a Spurs win is actually marginally better value at 8/11 (BetStars).
If you’re on the hunt for a little more value, take a look at the Half-Time/Full-Time market, where you can back Mauricio Pochettino’s men to be leading at the break and again at full-time at 17/10 (BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral).
We’re also expecting goals in the afternoon kick-off as Manchester United play host to West Ham United at Old Trafford.
While cross-town rivals City have been splashing the cash, United have been less flashy with their spending this summer, but have made some crucial acquisitions that may well turn them from fringe contenders to bona-fide title challengers once again.
The arrivals of Romelu Lukaku up front and Nemanja Matic in midfield instantly give United a stronger spine, while providing added firepower and defensive protection from midfield. Both will be key men this season.
The historical stats all point to a United victory. Mourinho has never lost an opening day fixture in England (he’s also never lost a Sunday home game… ever!).
On the flip side, the Hammers have the worst opening day record in the Premier League, having lost 10 season openers in the EPL.
The pick here is a straight-up United win. 1/3 is widely available, and doubling them up with a Spurs win should give you a winning parlay for the day.
I’m expecting a strong start from the Red Devils today, but we’ve often seen United start slowly, then build up steam to win games late.
So for a cheeky value punt at outstanding odds, take a peek at the Half-Time/Full-Time market, where you can back the Hammers to lead at half-time and United to win the match at a huge 28/1 (BetVictor).
Given the crazy start we’ve had to the season so far, I don’t think that’s a terrible side bet at all.
[Photo Credit: © Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports]