IT'S all about Chelsea vs Liverpool this weekend, let's be honest. Frank Lampard vs Jurgen Klopp, pick a side, sit back, enjoy the game, and of course, slag the other one off on the internet.
You know the drill. But there is plenty more to get our teeth stuck into. Will Spurs begin the season with two straight defeats? Will Newcastle put two straight wins together? Here's this Sunday's Premier League betting tips.
Having lost in fairly pathetic fashion to Everton on opening day, Spurs could be handed an easier assignment to get back on track than a trip to St. Mary's, a ground where they've lost on each of their last two visits. Danny Ings, touted by some as a potential Tottenham target this week, has also scored in each of his last two matches against Spurs.
On the flipside, Dele Alli has been involved in more Premier League goals against Saints (five goals, four assists) than against any other side, but after he was subbed at half-time, not to mention involved in a bust-up with Jose Mourinho according to… erm… Gabriel Agbonlahor, it seems unlikely he'll start.
Southampton have managed over 70% of possession in each of their last two Premier League matches, something they'd only managed twice in their previous 251 top flight games. It's definitely taking shape for Ralph Hassenhuttl. I fancy them for a draw here. Both sides were repeatedly exposed last week, so a mutual battening down of the hatches seems likely.
Of 712 Premier League fixtures to have been played at least three times, Newcastle vs Brighton is the only fixture to average less than a goal a game. Just four per-game, with just four goals being scored in six meetings between the sides (0.67 per game). So don't expect many goals in this one.
Newcastle were impressively clinical against West Ham with new signings Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick scoring with the side's only shots on target. Inversely, three out of Chelsea's five shots on target ended up in the back of Brighton's net. After fellow new arrival and Ryan Fraser scored the only goal in the Magpies' 1-0 Carabao Cup win over Blackburn, Steve Bruce is entitled to feel slightly smug at the moment.
If he's smug now, Bruce may become downright obnoxious if Newcastle manage a third win in a row to start the season, particularly if, again, it's with a clean sheet. Well, that's exactly what I'm tipping them to here, so hopefully we get to find out.
Arguments on the Anfield touchline during Project Restart, mutual snipes about each other's transfer policies in recent press conferences, Frank Lampard vs Jurgen Klopp is shaping up to be the first proper managerial rivalry the Premier League has seen for some time (read about that here). A win for Chelsea would give Lampard exactly the sort of early boost he's looking for as he blends last year's fourth-place finishers with some exciting new signings.
After ending the 2019/20 season with six straight home wins, the Blues can win seven in a row on their own patch for the first time since 2017. No Premier League champion has taken three points from Stamford Bridge in the last 13 attempts (seven wins, six draws). But Liverpool have turned around what was once a poor record away at the Bridge. After winning just one of their first 16 Premier League matches away at Chelsea (four draws, 11 defeats), the Reds have now won six of their last 12 including three wins in five under Jurgen Klopp.
While Timo Werner impressed on debut against Brighton, winning a penalty to break the deadlock, and having five of Chelsea's 10 shots, Mo Salah was the undisputed king of opening day with nine shots, three goals, and four chances created for his teammates. This may be a microcosm for the whole contest: Chelsea – threatening, full of energy, but raw, yet to fully settle, Liverpool – consistently dangerous, fully up to speed. Back Liverpool to strike an early blow against one of their rivals.
Since the start of last season, not only has Jamie Vardy has scored more Premier League goals than anyone else (25), he also has the best conversion rate in that time (27.5%). The former England international got off the mark for the 2020/21 season with two penalties away at West Brom. As for Burnley, Chris Wood has the chance to score in a fourth straight Premier League match, something he has never previously done.
The Foxes were both comfortable and clinical against West Brom, and unbeaten in nine home games against Burnley as they are, they have a chance to win back-to-back matches at home for only the third time in the Premier League era. With Burnley only having the benefit of one pre-season game, as long ago as September 1 no less, Sean Dyche's side are in danger of being caught cold. Brendan Rodgers demands a fast start from all his sides, so I fancy Leicester to take the lead relatively early and hold on for victory.
Click here to read our preview of Saturday's Premier League fixtures, including Arsenal vs West Ham