Oddslife’s Week 1 Premier League Preview
Posted on August 16, 2012 by Josh Massey
So the Premier League returns this weekend, and if it is even half as thrilling as the season just gone, we are in for a real treat! Read on for our preview of the first week’s action!
Manchester City vs Southampton
We start with champions Manchester City, who take on newly promoted Southampton at the Etihad in their first Premier League outing since that Sergio Aguero goal. Common sense points to a very difficult first outing for the Saints, and with a fully fit Carlos Tevez linking up with fellow Argentine Aguero, few would bet against the Citizens.
Prediction: 3-0 City
Everton vs Manchester United
Last year’s runners up Manchester United start with a more difficult away trip to Everton, who seem set for yet another solid season under David Moyes. United will want revenge for the ‘title denting’ 4-4 draw at Old Trafford at the end of last season, and after signing Robin Van Persie they look set to mount another serious title challenge. They will dominate possession but a typically organised Everton side may just hold on for a draw.
Prediction: Score draw
Newcastle vs Tottenham
One of the biggest clashes of the weekend is Tottenham’s trip to Newcastle. Under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, Spurs have snapped up former Swansea star Gylfi Sigursson, but they look set to lose their best player in Luka Modric to Real Madrid. They also appear very light up front, with Jermaine Defoe the only recognised senior striker in their squad. Conversely, Alan Pardew has held on to all his star men of last season and with a front three of Ben Arfa, Cisse and Ba, they will be a very dangerous side once more.
Prediction: 2-1 Newcastle
West Brom vs Liverpool
The Brendan Rodgers revolution begins at the Hawthorns, and with the acquisitions of Fabio Borini, Joe Allen and the return of Joe Cole, Liverpool look set to implement the Rodgers passing style. Despite this, the Reds may struggle to adapt and get going in the first few games. Steve Clarke, the new manager of West Brom will have his players fired up to challenge his former employers and they will prove a very capable side. Remember they beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield last season.
Prediction: Low scoring draw
Wigan vs Chelsea
Big spenders Chelsea begin with an away trip to Wigan. In this fixture last year Chelsea had to wait until the seventh minute of stoppage time to secure the win, and Wigan will be hoping to give the blues another stern test this weekend, having again managed to hold on to their manager Roberto Martinez. New boys Oscar and Eden Hazard may take time to adapt to English football, but the partnership of Juan Mata and a resurgent Fernando Torres should see Chelsea get a good start.
Prediction: 3-1 Chelsea
QPR vs Swansea
At Loftus Road, QPR open up against the pride of Wales. Swansea go into their opener having lost their manager Brendan Rodgers as well as key players Joe Allen and Gylfi Sigursson, and will do well to match last year’s achievements. QPR on the other hand are looking for something of a breakthrough year and have real firepower up front in Djibrill Cisse and Bobby Zamora.
Prediction: QPR to edge it
Fulham vs Norwich
Fulham begin their season against the Canaries at Craven Cottage. Norwich only won 4 away games last season and having lost their influential manager Paul Lambert, they will need to get a good start this year. Fulham were 2-1 winners in this fixture last season and will be confident they can start with a result this season, especially having held on to key players Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey.
Prediction: Fulham by 1 goal
West Ham vs Aston Villa
Sam Allardyce’s play-off winning Hammers open up at home to Aston Villa. Following a dreadful season last year, Villa will go into this campaign with renewed optimism, largely due to the appointment of Paul Lambert as manager and the return to fitness of star striker Darren Bent. Despite their eventual promotion, the Hammers were inconsistent last season, especially at home where they drew 8 and only won 11 games.
Prediction: 1-1 draw
Arsenal vs Sunderland
Arsenal begin with a home game against the Black Cats. Despite the imminent departure of skipper Robin Van Persie, they have recruited well enough this summer. The likes of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski will certainly expect to challenge for the Champions League places at their new club. Sunderland fans, meanwhile, will expect a more solid year with it being their first full season under Martin O’Neill. However, with a deal for Wolves’ Stephen Fletcher stalling, their lack of firepower up front could be a cause for concern in early games. Is the injury prone Louis Saha a better option?
Prediction: 3-1 Arsenal
Reading vs Stoke
Finally, Championship winners Reading kick off their season at home to Stoke, who have over the last few seasons established themselves as a consistent mid-table side. Despite this, their away record last season was poor (just the 4 wins), and Reading will go into the game confident that they can win.
Prediction: 2-1 Reading
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