The opening weekend saw some familiar results for Manchester City and Liverpool but it's a marathon, not a sprint. Teams like Arsenal and West Ham will be looking to get some points early on. While Cardiff need to avoid the dreaded "relegated by Christmas" moniker. It looks set to be another thrilling weekend of soccer. And the perfect time to check out our guides to the EPL:
- Which EPL Teams Lose Momentum
- Does the World Cup Affect EPL Performance
- Everything you need to bet on the EPL with bitcoin
Otherwise, dive in to our week two betting guide to the EPL.
Chelsea v Arsenal
It would be unfair to write off Arsenal’s chances after they gave Manchester City a decent game but ultimately, it was more of the same at the Emirates. Gunners fans will hopefully appreciate that some managers need time for their tactics to take hold. But of course that’s not always the case. A tenth manager in ten years for Chelsea means the revolving door at Stamford Bridge continues. Though Sarri’s choice of mid-game refreshment caused a stir, a comfortable victory against Huddersfield meant the Blues got that winning feeling once more. If Chelsea’s manager needs to chew on cigarettes when they’re winning, you’ve got to wonder what he’ll do when they’re not converting chances.
|Chelsea Key Player||Arsenal Key Player|
|David Luiz||Pierre Emerick Aubameyang|
David Luiz looks a player transformed (again) and Jorginho looks an astute buy from Napoli. Surely no goalkeeper has had an easier debut than Chelsea’s club record-breaking summer signing, Kepa. New Arsenal defenders, Sokratis and Lichtsteiner look assured in possession but their age and speed could let them down again. They were overrun by the intelligent, marauding runs of Mendy and Walker in their game against Manchester City. And can Aubemayang find his scoring boots? If he starts again, he'll need to start showing some of the form he must be showing in training.
Chelsea win (1.81)
Arsenal win (4.51)
Leicester City v Wolves
Against Everton, Wolves showed their prowess in front of goal. But unsurprisingly they look shaky in defence. They might have walked the Championship but they’ll soon discover the calibre of their opponents to be much greater than last season. Leicester will take the game to them. Against Manchester United, they lacked the creative spark from Mahrez. And continued a run of opening-day losses in the top flight that extends back to 1933. But in Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy they have strikers capable of producing moments of magic that could change the game. Just like in the World Cup, their hopes might hang on Harry Maguire.
|Leicester Key Player||Wolves Key Player|
|Harry Maguire||Ruben Neves|
The real question is if Leicester fans will be happy with their manager’s tactics in games like this where the fans will hope to dominate their opponents. Claude Puel doesn’t have the best reputation for attacking football. And a loss against Wolves would be an unwelcome start to the season. Wolves won't mind taking a point. But need their attacking midfielders to be as confident as they were against Everton. Ruben Neves, as the attacking linchpin will hold the key.
Leicester win (2.04)
Wolves win (3.89)
West Ham v Bournemouth
In the end it was a disappointing first match for West Ham. But the new signings look to have bedded in nicely with Manuel Pellegrini’s brand of soccer. It will be a welcome return to the Vitality stadium for Jack Wishere. Before his loan to Bournemouth it looked like this one-time wunderkind of English football was done as a pro. However he’s virtually guaranteed to start for West Ham after an assured display on opening day. West Ham need to find their scoring boots quickly. Felipe Anderson looked threatening against Liverpool but needs to be more confident in front of goal. And they’ll hope to get their first points on the board against a Bournemouth side determined to improve on last season’s 12th place finish.
|West Ham Key Player||Bournemouth Key Player|
|Felipe Anderson||Callum Wilson|
Though Eddie Howe is seen as one of the top English managers, Bournemouth haven’t always made the best signings. This year, with the newly promoted teams spending big money, there’s even more pressure on the Cherries to perform. They need Callum Wilson to keep scoring.
West Ham win (2.19)
Bournemouth win (3.46)
Cardiff City v Newcastle
Despite his protestations, there are still question marks over the quality of Newcastle’s signings. Will they be enough to keep them up? While it’s still early in the season, they’ll need to avoid dropping points against teams like Cardiff if they’re to stay up for another season. However it’s games like this that Benitez can usually muster an impressive performance from his side. But again, all eyes will be on the lack of new players. It's up to Joselu to lead the line and give his side some breathing space.
|Cardiff City Key Player||Newcastle Key Player|
Neil Warnock doesn’t have the best record in the EPL. He’s a manager in the ‘safe pair of hands’ category that’s becoming less popular as fans with lofty ambitions want their sides to play like Barcelona in 2014. But his well-drilled sides can grind out results and they revel as underdogs. But they'll need the goals to come. We haven't seen Junior Hoilett play in the league since Blackburn's ill-fated campaign. He doesn't have the pace he used to, but will surely be able to chip in with some goals. Cardiff are sure to provide a hostile atmosphere and will be hoping to pick up their first points of the campaign.
Cardiff win (3.15)
Newcastle win (2.6)
Predict the results
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