Premier League Week 1: Ultimate Game by Game PredictionsPublished August 11, 2016
The start of the new Premier League season is firmly on the horizon, with only two days to go until reigning champions Leicester face Hull at the King Power stadium in the opening game of the 2016/17 campaign.
In the build up to the big kick-off, we at Free Bets, take a closer look at all the opening weekend fixtures, as we predict every result from the first week of Premier League action.
Leicester v Hull – Saturday August 13
Claudio Ranieri couldn’t have asked for an easier way to start the defence of Leicester’s Premier League crown.
The Foxes host managerless Hull on Saturday, with the Tigers still looking to find a replacement for the departed Steve Bruce.
Leicester looked impressive during their 2-1 Community Shield defeat to Man United last week, and with Hull in all sorts of trouble on and off the pitch, there will only be one winner.
Burnley v Swansea – Saturday 13 August
Turf Moor will be electric come Saturday afternoon, and the home crowd may end up playing a vital role during Burnley’s first encounter back in England’s top-flight.
Both teams have looked in pretty good form during pre-season, and whilst Swans boss Francesco Guidolin worked wonders last season, the sale of Ashley Williams to Everton could cost the Welsh side dearly.
Crystal Palace v West Brom – Saturday 13 August
Both Crystal Palace and West Brom will be eager to get off to a good start, as both sides look to avoid another season battling relegation.
Whilst Baggies boss Tony Pulis may be content with gradually building his side year on year, Palace boss Alan Pardew will be demanding more from his side this season.
Expect this to be an extremely tight affair, and back Tony Pulis to come away from Selhurst Park with a very decent point.
Everton v Spurs – Saturday 13 August
Everton approach their first game of the new season still in transition, as Ronald Koeman looks to re-shape his squad between now and the end of the transfer window on August 31.
The Toffees may have signed Ashley Williams, but the departure of John Stones and the uncertainty of Romelu Lukaku’s future at Goodison Park, will certainly be felt for the next couple of weeks at least.
Unusually for fans at White Hart Lane, their side approaches the start of a new season in a very relaxed manner, having had a rather settled summer in terms of transfer arrivals and departures.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has strengthened in key areas, and it is the North London side who look more prepared for the start of the new campaign.
Middlesbrough v Stoke – Saturday 13 August
Newly promoted Middlesbrough hope to get their Premier League campaign off to a good start, when they face Mark Hughes’ Stoke side on Saturday.
Boro boss Aitor Karanka hasn’t wasted any time in strengthening his squad, with the arrivals of Victor Valdes and Alvaro Negredo, signed to provide genuine Premier League quality, whilst the Spaniard also spent nearly £20 million on Ajax winger Viktor Fischer and midfieder Marten de Roon.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes has been less extravagant then he was last season with his summer signings, but the arrivals of Joe Allen and highly-rated teenager Ramadan Sobhi has still got fans at the Bet 365 stadium excited for the upcoming season.
Both sides are known for their attacking qualities, and this could be the game of the weekend.
Southampton v Watford – Saturday 13 August
Whilst both sides enjoyed steady campaigns last year, both Watford and Southampton approach the new Premier League season with an element of the unknown surrounding their new managers.
Saints boss Claude Puel arrived at St Mary’s from Nice this summer, following the departure of Ronald Koeman, whilst Hornets boss Walter Mazzarri was the surprising choice to replace Quique Sanches Flores, after the Spaniard departed Vicarage Road in the summer.
There will certainly be a bedding in period for both managers, but Southampton are used to managerial departures by now, and have constantly proved the doubters wrong, when their Premier League credentials have been questioned.
Man City v Sunderland – Saturday 13 August
The Pep Guardiola era officially begins this weekend, as Man City face David Moyes’ Sunderland at the Etihad this weekend.
Guardiola’s arrival, coupled with the signings of the likes of Ikay Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sanes, and John Stones has seen City installed as one of the favourites for the title with the bookmakers.
David Moyes’ arrival on Tyneside has been less documented than that of Guardiola’s, but the 53-year-old will be determined to prove his doubters wrong this season.
The Premier League wouldn’t be the best league in the world without it’s unpredictability, and that’s why Sunderland could just be the ones to spoil the beginning of the Guardiola era at Eastlands.
Bournemouth v Man United – Sunday 14 August
Man United will hope to start the new Premier League season, the way the last one ended, with victory over Bournemouth.
The Reds are a completely different outfit to the one that triumphed over the Cherries in May, with the arrival of Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford hotseat, and the signings of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba.
Whilst all eyes will be on Pogba and co, Bournemouth will certainly be no pushovers, and Eddie Howe will take great inspiration from his side’s 2-1 victory against United last season.
Arsenal v Liverpool – Sunday 14 August
The Gunners are in somewhat of a defensive mess as they prepare to kick-off their Premier League campaign against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Sunday.
Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel are all set to miss out with injury, with Mertesacker and Gabriel thought to be out of action for the long-term.
Liverpool look nearly as light as Arsenal in defensive areas, but the Merseyside club boast one of the most exciting forward lines in the Premier League, and the arrival of Sadio Mane from Southampton will give them another dimension upfront.
With both sides defensively depleted, this could be a real classic.
Chelsea v West Ham – Monday August 15
Chelsea kick-off the new Premier League season with a tough home clash against London rivals West Ham on Monday, a game that is sure to hand Antonio Conte and Slaven Bilic plenty to think about.
Both managers have endured mixed pre-seasons, and a positive start in a London derby will be key for momentum going into the first month or so of the new campaign.
The arrivals of Michy Batshuayi and N’Golo Kante could be key for Antonio Conte during his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, whilst Slaven Bilic will hope that his plethora of signings will launch the Hammers to a top four finish during their first season in their new stadium.