The opening weekend of the Premier League season continues on Sunday as big-spending Liverpool and West Ham go head to head before Arsenal host champions Manchester City in the stand-out game.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are expected by many to be City’s closest challengers this season after beating them three times last season, including the memorable double success in the Champions League, so the Reds will need to start with a win over the Hammers at Anfield.
Liverpool to beat West Ham – 5/19
Liverpool have splashed out around £170million this summer, with goalkeeper Alisson Becker arriving from Roma, while duo Naby Keita and Fabinho bolster the ranks in midfield and Xherdan Shaqiri is also on board after leaving relegated Stoke.
With that sort of outlay, fans and pundits will be expecting nothing less than a win over the Hammers, even though the Londoners have also been very active in the transfer market.
Manuel Pellegrini has been able to recruit the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere and Ryan Fredericks – amongst others – and they will be hoping to push for a top-six finish this season, but a narrow defeat at Anfield, where they have won just once in 48 trips, beckons.
Southampton v Burnley – draw – 49/20
The other 1:30pm kick-off on Sunday sees Southampton entertain Burnley, who may be a bit jaded following their Europa League qualifier in Istanbul against Basaksehir on Thursday.
Mark Hughes’ Saints were involved in a relegation scrap last season but appear to have recruited well over the summer, with Stuart Armstrong, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Danny Ings all looking like decent additions.
Aguero to score anytime – 1/1
The highlight on Sunday sees Pep Guardiola’s champions go to the Emirates where they will be given an early examination as they look to pick up where they left off.
City were virtually untouchable last term and looked in fine fettle last weekend in the Community Shield victory over Chelsea.
Sergio Aguero’s brace at Wembley marks him out as the man Arsenal must stop but expect the Argentinian star to be on the scoresheet in north London again.
The Unai Emery era begins at Arsenal and there is plenty of optimism at the Emirates following summer deals for Bernd Leno, Stephan Lichsteiner and Lucas Torreira.
Expect the Gunners to score but a City victory by a single-goal margin looks a good option.
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