The wait is over – the English Premier League is back!
Europe’s most watched league returned to action on Wednesday night with the usual mix of thrills and spills dominating the headlines. With all of the players making an incredible statement by taking the knee as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, the stage was set for a poignant return.
In true Premier League fashion, the first game was marred by refereeing controversy with Sheffield United looking to have taken the lead against Aston Villa, only for the previously unflappable Hawkeye goal technology system to let them down. The Blades settled for a draw whilst defending champions Manchester City capitalised on a few defensive errors to comfortably beat Arsenal 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
With plenty to play for at both ends of the table, here are our picks for the next round of fixtures in the Premier League:
Tottenham vs Manchester United
Spurs will be looking to kick on between now and the end of the season as they welcome Manchester United to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The hosts sit 8th, 7 points off top 4 football and with Harry Kane back, they will be hopeful of finding some form. Manchester United meanwhile are still fighting on 3 fronts and they look to have their sights set on a trophy this season. This could be a particularly interesting encounter with so many narratives and it could well end up being a draw in North London.
Betting tip: The match to finish as a draw – 2.35
Correct Score: 1-1 – 5.46
Watford vs Leicester City
Watford’s survival bid continues as they welcome high-flying Leicester to North London. Nigel Pearson has masterminded a great escape of sorts so far for the Hornets, with the highlight being their famous win over Liverpool and they are currently out of the relegation zone on goal difference. Leicester are 3rd in the table, with an 8-point cushion to Manchester United in 5th but with only one win in their last 5 games, they need to finalise their place in the top 4. Leicester’s away form has been a real concern in recent games, but they should win this one.
Betting tip: Leicester City to win the match – 1.09
Correct Score: Watford 1 – 3 Leicester City – 16.64
Brighton vs Arsenal
Brighton will be looking to continue to climb away from the bottom three as they welcome Arsenal to the South Coast. The Seagulls are slipping into the relegation picture having not won a league game since December and they only two points above the drop zone currently. Playing two games in 5 days could stretch a relatively thin Arsenal squad and they will be eager to bounce back from a big loss at Manchester City. The Gunners should come through this test unscathed however.
Betting tip: Arsenal to win the match – 1.39
Correct Score: Brighton 1 – 2 Arsenal – 9.02
Everton vs Liverpool
A highly anticipated Merseyside Derby is part of the Premier League restart as Liverpool travel across Stanley Park to take on Everton. The Toffees have struggled all season with inconsistency and 12th in the table but they have a habit of turning up in the big games. Liverpool have the chance to take a big step closer to their maiden Premier League title and they will have to settle for just the one trophy this term after FA Cup and Champions League exits prior to lockdown. They have been much too good for all in front of them in the Premier League this term and they should prevail here.
Betting tip: Liverpool to win the match – 0.61
Correct Score: Everton 1 – 2 Liverpool
Manchester City vs Burnley
Manchester City look to have the Premier League at the bottom of their list of priorities as they welcome Burnley to the Etihad. The blues looked in decent form in beating Arsenal in midweek and with the FA Cup and Champions League still to play for, the blues may not be prioritising a high league finish. Burnley meanwhile won 4 their last 7 matches and have climbed up to 10th as a result – having been immersed in the relegation picture at the turn of the year. This will be a free hit for the Clarets, but City should have way too much about them here.
Betting tip: Manchester City to win the match – 0.15
Correct Score: Manchester City 3 – 0 Burnley