IT’S fair to say the promoted clubs are holding their own in the opening exchanges of the English Premier League 2016-17 season.
Hull City, despite their off-field shambles, have enjoyed a perfect start after following up their shock win over Leicester with a 2-1 result against Swansea.
That puts the Tigers – still $1.83 relegation favourites at Sportsbet – level on points with Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs at the top.
Also favoured for the drop are Burnley, even after they stunned a worryingly unbalanced Liverpool outfit to open their account with a 2-0 win at Turf Moor.
Rounding out an excellent week for the underdogs were Middlesbrough, whose victory over Sunderland means all three promoted teams will enter the third round sitting in the top half of the table.
Can they keep it going this weekend, or will they come crashing back to earth?
Here are our hot tips for the big match-ups in the upcoming round of 2016-17 Premier League action, with top odds and value picks from our trusted soccer betting sites.
Matchweek 3 Premier League odds
Markets provided by Sportsbet.com.au
Saturday, August 27
Tottenham $2.37 – Draw $3.40 – Liverpool $3
Chelsea $1.29 – Draw $5.50 – Burnley $11
Crystal Palace $2.30 – Draw $3.20 – Bournemouth $3.30
Everton $1.75 – Draw $3.75 – Stoke City $4.80
Leicester City $1.73 – Draw $3.70 – Swansea City $5
Southampton $1.61 – Draw $3.80 – Sunderland $6
Watford $5 – Draw $3.60 – Arsenal $1.75
Hull City $7.50 – Draw $4 – Man United $1.50
Sunday, August 28
West Brom $2.50 – Draw $3.10 – Middlesbrough $3.10
Man City $1.30 – Draw $5.50 – West Ham United $10
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool
12:30pm local time (9:30pm AEST) on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at White Hart Lane
Spurs look like they are still coming to terms with the disappointment of their calamitous end to the 2015-16 EPL campaign. A late Victor Wanyama strike was enough to see off Crystal Palace, but the performance wasn’t up to the standard we have come to expect from Mauricio Pochettino’s talented squad. At least they fared better than Liverpool, whose lack of a quality left-back and deep-lying playmaker was sorely exposed by a dogged Burnley outfit. Sadio Mane’s return from injury will add some much-needed power and pace from the flank, but it remains to be seen whether the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and midweek double-scorer Daniel Sturridge can deliver the goods when it counts.
Top betting picks:
- First goal inside 26 minutes – $2 at Sportsbet
- Erik Lamela first goalscorer – $9.50 at Bet365
Chelsea vs. Burnley
3pm local time on Saturday, August 27, 2016 (12am AEST Sunday) at Stamford Bridge
The Blues have enjoyed a perfect start under Antonio Conte, although it took a pair of late goals from Michy Batshuayi and Diego Costa to snatch a come-from-behind win at Watford last week. It was deja vu for Costa, who also notched the winner in Chelsea’s last-ditch victory over West Ham in round one. This time they host Burnley, whose manful defending thwarted a Liverpool side that had slammed four past Arsenal the week prior. Sean Dyche’s Clarets may be predictable, but last week proved the strike pairing of big Sam Vokes and speedy Andre Grey can trouble any team in the top flight.
Top betting picks:
- Chelsea 1-0 correct score – $7 at William Hill
- Eden Hazard anytime goalscorer – $2.40 at Sportsbet
Hull City vs. Manchester United
5:30pm local time on Saturday, August 27, 2016 (2:30am AEST Sunday) at KCOM Stadium
It was no certainty that Hull would be able to field a team for the start of the EPL season, but you wouldn’t know it from the way they have played. Back-to-back wins from the wooden spoon favourites seem to have settled things down on Humberside, with Chinese investors set to take over and offer Mike Phelan a permanent managerial position. But the Tigers face a huge task this week in Man United, who breezed past Bournemouth and Southampton in their opening two fixtures. Zlatan Ibrahimovic already has three goals for the season, while record signing Paul Pogba was devastating at times on his EPL debut last week.
Top betting picks:
- Man United half-time/full-time double – $2.25 at CrownBet
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick – $19 at Bet365
Manchester City vs. West Ham United
4pm local time on Sunday, August 28, 2016 (1am AESt Monday) at Etihad Stadium
After an uninspiring start against Sunderland, Pep Guardiola and his new charges stepped up to grab top spot with a resounding 4-1 result away at Stoke. A first-half Sergio Aguero brace took his season tally to three goals, two of which have come from the penalty spot, while Nolito popped up late to open his City account with a double of his own. The Citizens should be concerned about West Ham, who have lost on only one of their last four meetings – a run that includes a 2-1 victory at the Etihad last term. Big things are expected of the Hammers in 2016-17, but they are some way off full strength with Andre Ayew, Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet all battling injury.
Top betting picks:
- Man City win/under 3.5 goals – $2.30 at Bet365
- Kevin de Bruyne first goalscorer – $6.60 at CrownBet
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