Liverpool start the defence of their title this evening, taking on newly-promoted Leeds at Anfield.
The Reds looked slightly sluggish after the restart from the coronavirus-inspired break last season. And that continued in the Community Shield against Arsenal a couple of weeks ago. That said, this is a new season and their training regime will have been structured for this week.
Leeds are back in the big time after a gap of 16 years. This is what they have been playing for, and are bound to give a good account of themselves. However, they couldn’t have been given a more difficult task.
We have been impressed with the form of Takumi Minamino in preseason, and he netted Liverpool’s goal at Wembley against Arsenal. We think he has forced his way into the starting lineup, and he may find space in the middle as Leeds worry about the threat from the wings. We’ll take a punt he opens the scoring.
The late game sees West Ham host Newcastle, with both sides looking to start the season on the front foot.
Both teams struggled for goals last season, and Newcastle look like they have made the more concerted effort to fix this problem. They introduction of Callum Wilson could be a master stroke. He is likely to respond favourably to supply from another new recruit Ryan Fraser, a former teammate at Bournemouth.
We’re going to take a chance that this partnership starts with a bang, and take Wilson to open the scoring.
Liverpool/Leeds: Minamino to score first, 1 pt, at 13/2, Unibet
West Ham/Newcastle: Wilson to score first, 1 pt, at 13/2, William Hill