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13.8. PREMIER LEAGUE OPENING ROUND: PREVIEWS AND BETTING

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The English Premier League finally kicks off after a long summer break! Last year's sensational champions Leicester City have the honour of starting affairs with their opening match against Hull. The Tigers' summer has been a real mess, so everybody's expecting an easy win for the reigning champions. Other interesting matches on Saturday are Everton vs Tottenham and Manchester City vs Sunderland.

12:30 HULL - LEICESTER CITY

It's been a long time since any Premier League outfit started their season in the kind of shambles that Hull are in. The incomprehensible name dispute and the arguments between the fans and board are small matters when you consider that Hull still haven't got a manager! Their roster of players is also slim, and out of the players they have a lot are injured, while Hull have also struggled to organize enough proper training session. The start of their season looks to be a disaster in the making, and previous seasons have shown how hard it can be to climb back up the table after a shaky start. Admittedly, the season is long, but a return to the Championship looks to be on the cards for the Tigers.

Leicester meanwhile are in a fairly comfortable situation. Their title-winning manager Claudio Ranieri is carrying on his relentless work for the Foxes. The Champions League is a new challenge for thhe club, but Leicester will be a tough opposition for any club at the start of the season. 

The hard-working Leicester team have done much more than just celebrated their title in the summer, and they come into their opening game far better prepared than their opponents on the night. Hull's home advantage isn't huge, so the Foxes are clear favourites for the win on Saturday. 

The visitors have become known for their iron-clad defence, so a lot of goals can't be expected. Things can sometimes get out of hand in an emotional first match, and Hull go into full meltdown if things don't go their way. It wouldn't be a huge surprise if there were several goals in the match, at least at Hull's end of the pitch.

BETTING ODDS:

Bet: Hull X Leicester
1x2 13/4 Betsson 5/2 Betsson 101/100 Betsson
Handicap Hull +1: 17/20 Bet365   Leicester -1: 27/10 Unibet
Over/under 2.5 goals Under 2.5: 13/10 Unibet   Over 2.5: 13/10 ComeOn!

 

15:00 EVERTON - TOTTENHAM

Undoubtedly the most interesting match of the round. Still operating with the youngest squad in the league, Spurs are coming into this season with almost the same squad they fared so well with in the previous campaign. Manager Mauricio Pochettino can continue working where he left off, and the team can be expected to be found close to the top again.

There has been a change in manager at Everton, as Ronald Koeman has taken charge of the Merseysiders. Koeman will bring a more defensive aspect to Everton's game, so the entertainment value may drop as a result.

Tottenham conceded the least amount of goals in the division last season, and there have been no indications that their tactics would have changed. A draw wouldn't be a disaster for either side in their first match, so a cautious game with only a small amount of goals wouldn't be a surprise.

Spurs have the edge in terms of pure quality and are slight favourites for the win despite being the away team.

BETTING ODDS:

Bet EVERTON X TOTTENHAM
1x2 43/20 Unibet 12/5 Unibet 7/5 Unibet
Handicap Everton +1: 11/20 Bet365   Tottenham -1: 19/5 Unibet
Over/under 2.5 goals Under 2.5: 77/100 Unibet   Over 2.5: 11/10 Betsson

 

17:30 MANCHESTER CITY - SUNDERLAND

If Hull are coming into the season under chaotic circumstances, the same can be said about Sunderland. The club have failed to make any significant additions to their squad, while their current squad is low on both quality and size. Whereas the other mid-table clubs have strengthened over the summer, Sunderland are looking to be heading towards yet another battle against relegation, and retaining their Premier League status won't be easy.

Sam Allardyce selfishly or ambitiously left the club to take charge of England, while former Manchester United manager David Moyes came in to take charge of the Black Cats. The manager has had a tough couple of years, and it's not going to get any easier for Moyes at Sunderland.

Manchester City moved quickly to sign the most successful manager of this era, Pep Guardiola to the club. Their star-studded squad is yet again one of the best in the league on paper, and their new Catalan manager will want to start his reign with a win.

Home advatage, a vast material edge and a better organized preseason make the Sky Blues clear favourites on Saturday evening. If Guardiola's men can start the match strongly, Sunderland could be in for a long night's work. Moyes' task will be to keep the numbers acceptable, while even a draw at the Etihad would be a huge achievement for the Black Cats!

BETTING ODDS:

Bet Manchester City X Sunderland
1x2 1/4 Unibet 11/2 Unibet 14/1 ComeOn!
Handicap City -1: 31/50 Unibet   Sunderland +1: 3/1 Unibet
Over/under 2.5 goals Under 2.5: 8/5 Unibet   Over 2.5: 53/100 Bet365
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