“I’m baaaccckkk” – Premier League, probably.
After the longest two-ish months of our lives, the Premier League returns in all of it’s glory. There are a few awesome matchups this weekend but who cares, I would watch 10 matches of Burnley v. Sheffield United if I had to.
Last season I went 212-170-48 (+12.8 Units) and all-time my record is 475-406-115 which equates to a 59% win/push rate. Let’s waste NO time on building that record for this season and get into this weekend’s matches.
Friday, August 9th
3:00 pm EST
Norwich City @ Liverpool (TV: NBCSN) – Liverpool will open the 2019/2020 season at Anfield and honestly we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sadly for Norwich, they’ll be getting baptized by fire in playing the European champions in their first match back in the Premier League. Liverpool boast one of the best offenses in the world while Norwich ranked 7th in goals conceded in the Championship last year, making this a possible recipe for disaster the newcomers. I’m going to take Liverpool on the spread at 2 even with a steep price in what could be a massacre. Liverpool -2 (-140).
Saturday, August 10th
7:30 am EST
Manchester City @ West Ham (TV: NBCSN) – Man City start their title defense on the road at West Ham, who have have undergone somewhat of an overhaul this summer. I don’t think West Ham have the continuity to hang with Man City on Matchweek 1 and I think City are too strong regardless. Plus the last four matches at West Ham in this series, City have a +14 goal differential. The line has been fluctuating between 1.5 and 2, but I trust City to do what they do best here and start their season off well. Even if 2 is a probably push, (+110) has a lot of upside. Manchester City -2 (+110).
10:00 am EST
Sheffield United @ Bournemouth (TV: NBCSN) – This match will say a lot about both of these teams as Bournemouth have the chance the start their season off well with 3 points they should likely get, and Sheffield have the opportunity to start their Premier League campaign on a good foot. I actually think Sheffield can hold Bournemouth to a draw here, as their defense is stingier than most newly-promoted teams. It’s a bit of a contrarian play but I like Sheffield with the points. Sheffield +0.5 (-110).
Southampton @ Burnley – There are a lot of questions and worries about Burnley this season as they barely survived in the previous campaign and have yet to really reload for this one. Southampton meanwhile had Ralph Hasenhuttl take over halfway through last season, bringing them out of the relegation zone and into safety. I have a lot more faith in Southampton than I do Burnley not only in this match but in this season as well. I like them with a good price on the pickem line. Southampton Pickem (-105).
Everton @ Crystal Palace – This is my favorite of the 10:00 matches as we get a reloaded Everton side taking on Crystal Palace who decided to keep star player Wilfried Zaha. If Everton start some of their new transfers in Moise Keane, Gbamin and Iwobi, I really think they’ll cause Palace a lot of trouble. I can’t fade the better team on the pickem line here especially with Palace’s troubling form from last season at home. Everton Pickem (-130).
Brighton @ Watford – One team I’m very low on this season is Brighton as they barely survived last year, have a new manager and don’t seem like a quality Premier League squad anymore. Watford meanwhile have made a few decent signings while keeping the main core of the squad. I like Watford at home as favorites here against a Brighton side who were horrible away from home last season. Watford -0.5 (-105).
12:30 pm EST
Aston Villa @ Tottenham (NBC) – Spurs open their season against the toughest of the three newly-promoted teams, Aston Villa. Villa are great and aggressive in the attack but the question is if they can beat the pressure caused by Spurs when they’re building that attack. I think Spurs bring Villa’s expectations to a halt on the first day of the season and they remind everyone why they were 9 minutes from a European championship. Tottenham -1.5 (-110).
Sunday, August 11th
9:00 am EST
Wolves @ Leicester City (TV: CNBC) – These two clubs seem like they might have similar season in the league, but Wolves’ appearance in the Europa League could end up hindering their performance in the Premier League. Leicester meanwhile have added a few key pieces including keeping Tielemans and adding Ayoze Perez. But losing the likes of Harry Maguire is a tough blow and we will see how they stand at the back in this match going up against arguably the most elite offense outside of the top six. Leicester are favorites in this one but I just feel like it’s too close to call so I’m going to take the steep price in Wolves as underdogs here. Wolves +0.5, (-140).
Arsenal @ Newcastle (TV: NBCSN) – Arsenal travel north to visit Newcastle, a club currently in some turmoil. The mood at St. James’ will surely be hostile from the fans and I think it’s a great opportunity for Arsenal to come in with a newer squad, flex their muscles and get some points. Yes Arsenal’s defense needs work, but Newcastle’s offense is really uninspiring. I like Arsenal to buck their horrible away form from last year and start their season on a fresh note. Arsenal -0.5 (-120).
11:30 am EST
Chelsea @ Manchester United (TV: NBCSN) – This one is obviously the best match this weekend and it really needs no introduction. I’m very low on both of these squads this year but I am especially low on Chelsea. I think it will take a few matchweeks for this team to get going especially under a new manager and without arguably one of their greatest players ever. I like United to open the season at home with 3 points against their rivals Chelsea in what should be a very fun match to watch. Manchester United -0.5 (+115).
That’s all for the opening matchweek of the Premier League! I hope everyone can sit back and enjoy some of the best soccer on the planet.
Stay Kickin’ It. Peace.