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Can Man City Extend Impressive Opening Day Run?

Charlie Mullan for Bookies.com

Charlie Mullan  | 8 mins

Can Man City Extend Impressive Opening Day Run?

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Premier League Opening Day tips

Tip Odds
Manchester City to beat Tottenham 13/20 with SpreadEx
Manchester United to beat Leeds United 4/7 with Mansion Bet
Southampton and Everton to draw 14/5 with SpreadEx
West Ham to beat Newcastle 5/4 with William Hill

The opening weekend of the Premier League is one of the most eagerly anticipated weekends of the sporting calendar. And this year is no different with Brentford becoming the 50th club to feature in England’s top flight. They and every other team will be hoping to stop Manchester City from successfully defending the title they won last season.

Pep Guardiola’s side have been handed the seventh toughest start to the season with a trip to Tottenham on Sunday to start with the build-up to the fixture dominated by the continued speculation linking Harry Kane with a move to the champions. City have already been busy in the transfer window making Jack Grealish the latest £100m player following his transfer from Aston Villa.

City have made a habit of starting the season with a win having done so in each of the last 10 seasons, even though their 3-1 win at Wolves last season came a week after the league’s opening weekend as they were afforded an extra week to recover from reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League. If City are to make it 11 successive wins to start their league campaign, they are expected to do so without injured playmakers Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden. Guardiola’s champions are 13/20 withSpreadEx to beat Tottenham in north London.

City’s opening day record of 30 points from a possible 30 is the best of any side in the league who have been in the league for the last 10 seasons. Liverpool are next on the list with 23 points and for the third season running, the Reds open their campaign with a fixture against a newly-promoted side as they face Norwich at Carrow Road after meeting the same side in 2019 and Leeds last season.

Opening Day Points Won Since 2011/12:

  • 30 - Man City
  • 23 - Liverpool
  • 21 - Man United
  • 20 - Chelsea

United Looking To Bounce Back

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might not be every Manchester United supporter’s first choice as manager, but each year he has been in charge, the Norwegian has improved the team’s final league position from sixth to third to second last season. United fans will hope they can once again be the closest challengers to their neighbours City for the title and finish above them to win their first Premier League title in nine seasons.

A winning start at home to Leeds on Saturday would send a message to their rivals that they can be a threat throughout the course of the season. Leeds, who finished ninth in their first season back in the top flight after a 16-year absence, would love nothing better than to beat their hosts and send the Red Devils to successive opening day defeats.

This will be Leeds’ 14th season in the top flight and last season proved to be unlucky 13 as they recorded their one and only opening day defeat when Marcelo Bielsa’s side came up short in a seven-goal thriller against Liverpool at Anfield. The last time Leeds travelled across the Pennines to visit the Theatre of Dreams, they were beaten 6-2. Solskjaer’s side are 4/7 with MansionBet to beat Leeds.

Last season, Solskjaer’s side slumped to a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford a week after the official start as they too were given an extra week to prepare after reaching the semi-final of the Europa League. It was the sixth time United had started a Premier League season with a defeat. However, United’s 19 wins is the most of any side and their win percentage of 65.5 per cent leads the league.

Chelsea’s record on the opening day is the second best with 18 wins from their 29 games and a home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday offers them a great opportunity to make it 19 wins from 30. The last time they opened the season at Stamford Bridge was four seasons ago when they were beaten 3-2 by Burnley after having Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas. Chelsea, who will be looking to win multiple trophies this season, are 1/4 with Bet365 to beat Crystal Palace this weekend.

All-Time Best Opening Day Win Percentage:

  • 65.5% - Man United
  • 62.1% - Chelsea
  • 58.6% - Liverpool
  • 55.2% - Arsenal

Saints Searching For A Change Of Fortune

Spare a thought for Southampton. This will be the Saints’ 23rd season in the Premier League and their two wins on the opening weekend is the worst of any side who have been regulars in the league. The only teams who have a worse points per game record than Southampton are Brentford, who have yet to play a game in the Premier League, and Norwich who will be appearing in their tenth Premier League season.

Saints have drawn 10 of their 22 opening games in the top flight and a draw at Everton on Saturday might be a bet worth considering. Everton have been the draw specialists on the opening weekend of the season with 12 of their 29 opening games ending all square. Six of their last eight openers have seen the points shared and four of those have been 2-2 scores. The best price for a draw at Goodison Park this weekend is with BetVictor who are offering 5/2 for a stalemate.

Southampton have been handed a trip to Everton to start their season and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will hope this is the season when his team’s supporters get to celebrate an opening day win. Hasenhuttl has escaped the sack despite losing 9-0 in each of the last two seasons and a slow start to the season will increase the pressure on him to keep his job. The last time Southampton registered was in August 2013 when a last-minute Rickie Lambert penalty secured a 1-0 win at West Brom. Before that, Egil Ostenstad scored an 85th minute winner in a 1-0 win at Coventry.

Fewest Opening Day Points Per Game:

  • 0.00 - Brentford
  • 0.66 - Norwich
  • 0.73 - Southampton
  • 0.75 - Brighton

Hammers hope for happier start

West Ham travel to Newcastle on Sunday looking to end a dismal run of opening day defeats. Last season, the same two sides met at St James’ Park with the home side winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Callum Wilson and Jeff Hendrick. Because of coronavirus, no West Ham supporters were allowed to attend the fixture and even if they were, it’s unlikely many would have made the trip to the north east.

It was the fifth successive season in which the Hammers fell to an opening day defeat and while David Moyes’ side lost their second game, West Ham recovered to finish sixth and qualify for this season’s Europa League. Optimism is high around the London Stadium to carry last season’s form into the new campaign. A sixth successive loss to start the season will not go down well with the Hammers supporters especially against a Newcastle side that have been slow out of the blocks themselves.

Last season’s win over this weekend’s opponents was the first time in seven Premier League openers in which the Magpies came out on top since beating Tottenham 2-1 at home to begin the 2012/13 season. West Ham are 5/4 with William Hill to end their first day blues with victory at Newcastle.

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Vardy Looking For Fast Start

The beauty of the start of the new season is that everybody starts on zero points and the slate has been wiped clean in terms of who will be this season’s leading scorer. Harry Kane added his name to the Golden Boot trophy for the third time a year after Jamie Vardy finished top of the scorers the previous season. If Leicester are to finish in the top four for a third successive season, Vardy's goals will be crucial.

Vardy has been leading the line for Leicester for nine seasons and his record on day one is pretty good. Last season, the former England forward converted two penalties as the Foxes won 3-0 at West Brom to take his Premier League opening day total to six. Vardy has Wolves in his sights this weekend and the 34-year-old is 7/5 with BetVictor to be an anytime scorer at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Kane’s inability to score in the month of August was an issue once which is why his opening day record in the Premier League is not as good as you would expect. Last season’s late double in a 3-1 win at Aston Villa were his first goals scored during the opening weekend. Kane is 12/5 with Unibet to be an anytime scorer this weekend although it remains to be seen if he will feature for Tottenham against Manchester City, the club hoping to sign him.

Mohamed Salah finished one goal behind Kane last season and if the Egyptian finds the net against Norwich this weekend, it will be the fifth season in a row in which Salah has scored on the opening day. With six goals to his name, he is the most prolific scorer in a season opener. Salah is 13/5 with Unibet to score the first goal at Carrow Road on Saturday evening.

About the Author

Charlie Mullan for Bookies.com
Charlie Mullan
UK-based stats man Charlie Mullan brings previous expertise from the Press Association, DraftKings, Betfair, SportPesa, Hull Daily Mail and more where he has crunched soccer data for many seasons, creating content to support odds providers and market makers in the European betting industry. Charlie has more than a decade of experience using in-depth stats to make informed picks across the biggest games in the EPL and European soccer leagues.