The new Premier League season gets underway in style tonight with Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester travelling to the Emirates to face Arsenal. Arsene Wenger’s side finished outside of the top four for the first time in 20 years as their late push in the league fell just short of catching Liverpool. There’s been intense speculation about Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez’s future this summer, but it looks likely he’ll still be an Arsenal player on Friday, though ruled out of the clash against the Foxes through injury. New signing Alexandre Lacazette is expected to start for the Gunners having left Lyon earlier this summer, and the French striker will be under pressure to deliver for Arsenal this season. The Foxes will feel they have something to prove this season after a shambolic title defence last year saw their fairytale come to an end when the club sacked manager Claudio Ranieri. Since then Shakespeare has proved an able coach to the team, and their performances in the second half of the season improved dramatically. The Gunners are 1/2 (1.50) to win on the night, but the Foxes could represent good value at 6/1 (7.00) with bet365.
On Saturday champions Chelsea host a Burnley side that managed to survive their first season back in the Premier League, having spent a season in the top flight and failing to stay up on two prior occasions. Antonio Conte will be hopeful of collecting all three points against a Burnley side that endured a miserable away record last term, whilst giving new striker Alvaro Morata a full 90 minutes of Premier League football to begin acclimatising him to the rigours of the Premier League. Sean Dyche will be hoping to keep things tight at the back and deny Chelsea, but the North West outfit will be travelling to Stamford Bridge anticipating a loss. The Blues are 1/4 (1.25) to score a routine win with bet365, whilst Burnley can be backed to do the unthinkable at 14/1 (15.00).
Later Premier League newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion will welcome Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side to the Amex Stadium in a clash that will test the Seagulls top flight-credentials to their absolute limits. This City side will look much different to last season’s, and with the money spent the Citizens look a frightening proposition for any team in the division this season. The Sky Blues are 1/3 to chalk up a win in their opening game whilst Chris Hughton’s men are 11/1 to take a huge three points on the day.
On Sunday Manchester United will get to work on bettering their sixth-place finish from last season, whilst Slaven Bilic will be hoping to improve on a frustrating 2016-17 season also. Former United striker Javier Hernandez has joined the Hammers over the summer and could prove too much for United’s defence over the weekend, whilst new signing Romelu Lukaku will likely be lining up for the Red Devils hoping to find the net and silence his detractors. United are 3/10 (1.33) to take all the points at Old Trafford, whilst West Ham can be backed at 11/1 to cause an upset on the opening weekend, in the same vein as their opening weekend win against Arsenal at the Emirates two seasons ago.
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