Premier League: Nice one, Virgil…

It’s the first Sunday of the new Premier League season, and the fixture complier has really whetted our appetites for the season ahead.

The first live game of the day sees Liverpool entertain West Ham at Anfield. Both teams have spent big over the summer, although with Liverpool’s Brazilian purchase Fabinho suffering from an illness it’s only the goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Naby Kieta who are likely to get into last season’s team.

West Ham have virtually restructured their whole side, and while this could result in a talented team it’s asking a lot for the side to gel immediately. Particularly at such an imposing venue.

We think Liverpool will win, and they could score a few in the process. With that in mind, while also thinking that West Ham’s defenders may still be getting to know each other, we’ll take a punt at Paddy Power’s boosted price of 20/1 that giant central defender Virgil van Dijk scores with a header.

The second live game is the day’s main event, Arsenal hosting Manchester City. The home team have strengthened defensively under new manager Unai Emery. That said, we decided to do some pre-season research by watching Arsenal play Chelsea in Dublin a couple of weeks ago and his team still looked weak at the back.

Defending champions Manchester City do have a few injuries to carry, but they did break their transfer record in the summer by acquiring the services of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester.

City looked very good in winning the Community Shield last weekend and we think they will have too much for an Arsenal side in transition. Striker Sergio Aguero scored twice that day, and we’ll take him to open the scoring today.

Recommendations:

Liverpool/West Ham: van Dijk to score a header, 1 pt, at 20/1, Paddy Power

Arsenal/Man  City: Aguero to score first, 1 pt, at 9/2, Paddy Power 

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