This weekend, the Premier League will showcase a number of intense rivalries, and at least one game that might go on to decide the eventual winner. We take a look at some of the key match-ups, so you can see what we mean. We’ll be covering all these matches, with detailed picks, over on BookieSmash, where you can beat the bookmaker.
On Sunday is the biggest match of the weekend, the showdown between Manchester City and Chelsea. It’s reasonable to say that both sides will be fired-up for this game, especially as they finished first and second in last season’s table, although City come into the game at the Etihad Stadium in great form, having seen off West Bromwich Albion through Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany.
Chelsea drew a winnable game against Swansea City, and will be hoping that stand-in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is going to be as strong between the sticks as the usual keeper, Thibault Courtois. Jose Mourinho will also have fitness worries over striker Diego Costa, who played against Swansea, but still seems to be experiencing issues with his hamstrings. The Blues will have to keep tabs on Raheem Sterling (31/10 with Unibet to score anytime) and, possibly, former Chelsea player Kevin de Bruyne. We predict a hard-fought draw.
Before that, Saturday sees an intriguing game between Southampton and Everton; both teams drew 2-2 last weekend, and both have some defensive work to do, although there is increasing optimism on the Southampton side of a good season being ahead. Everton boss Roberto Martinez, who has been quiet in the transfer market, has work to do if he is to convince the doubters.
Southampton will play an attacking formation again, with Graziano Pelle supported by Shane Long and Sadio Mane in a formidable combination that seemed to work well against Newcastle United last time out. Everton’s reputation under Martinez for being open and positive in attack too, so it is likely we will see goals at both ends, and probably Pelle (19/10 with bwin to score anytime) and his opposite number Romelu Lukaku (3/1 with Unibet to score anytime) getting in on the action. This should be a Saints win – but with Everton, anything can happen.
Elsewhere, the most appealing game of Saturday to watch would seem to be Swansea City against Newcastle at the Liberty Stadium. The Swans started off superbly with that 2-2 draw with Chelsea, but the challenge for Garry Monk’s attractive team is to keep up the momentum against battling Newcastle, who played well in their opening-day draw.
With Georginio Wijnaldum looking like a great-value Newcastle signing, and Andre Ayew likewise on the other side, there are plenty of great attackers to keep an eye out for. The game is likely to be decided on the break, with both team possessing fine, pacy wingers, such as Swansea’s Jefferson Montero. We go for a draw here, between two teams with ambitions to improve on their previous season. (Draw: 12/5 with Betway)