THE English Premier League is back, and there was plenty to talk about after the first week of fixtures.
Leicester City’s title defence got off to a horror start on Humberside, where relegation favourites Hull City put aside their off-field woes to claim a shock 2-1 victory.
Middlesbrough also got on the board with a 1-1 draw against Stoke City, while Burnley fell just short to a late goal from Swansea City’s Leroy Fer.
But the highlight of the round came on Sunday afternoon in north London, where Liverpool came from behind to triumph 4-3 over Arsenal in an early contender for match of the season.
Now we take a look at the EPL match odds and featured value bets for week two, in which Manchester United will host the first of several Friday night fixtures in Premier League 2016-17.
Match betting odds
Odds provided by WilliamHill.com.au
Friday, August 19
Man United $1.44 – Draw $4.25 – Southampton $7.50
Saturday, August 20
Stoke City $5 – Draw $3.60 – Man City $1.70
Burnley $6.50 – Draw $4 – Liverpool $1.53
Swansea City $1.83 – Draw $3.30 – Hull City $4.80
Tottenham $1.44 – Draw $4.25 – Crystal Palace $7.50
Watford $4.80 – Draw $3.60 – Chelsea $1.75
West Brom $3 – Draw $3.50 – Everton $2.80
Leicester City $2.85 – Draw $3.40 – Arsenal $2.40
Sunday, August 21
Sunderland $2.50 – Draw $3.10 – Middlesbrough $3
West Ham $1.83 – Draw $3.50 – Bournemouth $4.25
Manchester United vs. Southampton
8pm Friday, August 19, 2016 (5am AEST Saturday) at Old Trafford
- Man United 2-0 correct score – $7 at Bet365
- Anthony Martial first goalscorer – $6.50 at CrownBet
Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his impressive scoring record in club league debuts as the Red Devils sealed a comfortable 3-1 win at Bournemouth last week. Southampton had a tougher time on their maiden voyage without now-Everton boss Ronald Koeman, scraping a 1-1 draw with Watford. The Saints have won two of their last three at Old Trafford, drawing the other, but Jose Mourinho’s super-sized United squad should have the cattle to salute under lights at the Theatre of Dreams.
Stoke City vs. Manchester City
12:30pm Saturday, August 20, 2016 (9:30pm AEST) at Britannia Stadium
- Half-time draw/full-time draw – $6 at CrownBet
- Marko Arnautovic anytime goalscorer – $4.40 at CrownBet
It was a rather scratchy Manchester City that defeated Sunderland 2-1 in Pep Guardiola’s EPL managerial debut, aided by an own-goal winner from former Man United defender Paddy McNair. The Potters would have fancied themselves to start with a win over promoted Middlesbrough, but ex-Citizens striker Alvaro Negredo nixed that notion with an early header to tee up a 1-1 draw. City haven’t had it their own way against Stoke in recent times, losing two of their last four meetings, and they aren’t a sure thing here – despite their midweek five-goal romp against Steaua Bucharest in Champions League qualification.
Burnley vs. Liverpool
3pm Saturday, August 20, 2016 (12am AEST Sunday) at Turf Moor
- Liverpool to score in both halves – $2.44 at CrownBet
- Sadio Mane first goalscorer – $7 at Bet365
Burnley were brave on their return to top-flight action last weekend, and some would count them unlucky to have gone down to a late tap-in after an excellent save by Tom Heaton. But Swansea aren’t quite Liverpool, who recovered from a sloppy start at the Emirates to put four absolute beauties past a stunned Arsenal. The Reds’ defence still needs work, and there is some doubt over the fitness of Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho, but Jurgen Klopp’s boys should have the firepower and the confidence to make it two from two.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Crystal Palace
3pm Saturday, August 20, 2016 (12am AEST Sunday) at White Hart Lane
- Spurs clean sheet – $2.02 at CrownBet
- Harry Kane first goalscorer – $5.50 at Sportsbet
Spurs may feel they should have walked away with three points from what was an at-times frantic affair at Goodison Park, but the Everton back line scrambled just well enough to halve the spoils. One suspects Crystal Palace would happily trade places with their London rivals after wasting a number of good chances in a 1-0 home defeat to West Brom. With Yannick Bolasie gone and no deal sealed for Christian Benteke, the Eagles probably don’t have the finishing touch needed to trouble a talented Tottenham side.
Leicester City vs. Arsenal
5:30pm Saturday, August 20, 2016 (2:30am AEST Sunday) at King Power Stadium
- Over 3.5 match goals – $3 at Sportsbet
- Alexis Sanchez two goals or more – $9.50 at Bet365
Leicester came crashing back to earth in the opening match of EPL 2016-17, conceding two goals and three points to the manager-less basket case that is Hull City. Things were no better for Arsenal, who spurned a first-half penalty chance before shipping four goals in 20 minutes of play as Liverpool and Phil Coutinho ran riot at the Emirates. The Gunners were the only team to win at King Power last season, and they should improve this week with Laurent Koscielny and a few others coming back, but don’t be surprised if it’s a bit of a shootout.
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