English Premier League (EPL) First Round Preview and Predictions

by Punter's Hero on August 17, 2012

in Football, Latest News

The English Premier League (or Barclays premier League as its officially called) will kick off its 2012-2013 season on Saturday August 18th 2012 with games taking place on Sat, Sun, and Mon. Every point this season will be crucial, especially for the teams fighting it out at the top and bottom of the table. Here’s our reviews of all games of the first round and odds/predictions for the first Premier League fixtures.

We found the best odds and selections over at PaddyPower sportsbook.

Saturday August 18th

Arsenal v Sunderland: Paddy Power game odds: Arsenal 1/3-Draw 4/1-Sunderland 8/1

Arsenal just sold captain and last season’s Golden Boot winner Robin Van Persie (30 goals in 38 games) to Manchester United. However, replacements include German forward Lukas Podolski and French striker Olivier Giroud. Theo Walcott and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain pulled out of England’s game against Italy on Wed. and Tomas Rosicky, Bacary Sagna, and Jack Wilshere are all injured. Sunderland always give Arsenal trouble, but look for the Gunners to win a close one as Sunderland are winless in their last seven road games.

Fulham v Norwich: Fulham 5/5-Draw 12/5-Norwich 7/2

This isn’t one of the sexiest games of the weekend, but it should be close. Chris Hughton has taken over as Norwich manager with Paul Lambert heading to Aston Villa. Fulham has won eight out of their last 10 against Norwich and have won seven of their last 10 at home. Both teams are likely to score since Fulham has just one clean sheet in their last 11 home games and Norwich has let a goal in fir 33 straight road contests. A 201 Fulham win is possible.

Queens Park Rangers v Swansea: QPR 21/20-Draw 23/10-Swansea 13/5

QOR has added goaltender Robert Green, midfielder Ji-Sung Park and forward Junior Hoilett over the summer. Hoilett is a very underrated player. However, captain Joey Barton is banned for the first 12 games of the season. Swansea lost manager Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool and Michael Laudrap has taken over. Look for an exciting game and possibly a draw.

Reading v Stoke City: Reading 7/5-Draw 11/5-Stoke 2/1

Reading was promoted at the end of the season while Stoke will be missing Robert Huth. Stoke’s done well in the pre-season, but are a low-scoring team without much of an offense. Look for a low-scoring game with a Stoke win or draw.

West Brom v Liverpool: West Brom 3/1-Draw 23/10-Liverpool 19/20

Liverpool has a lot to prove this season. New manager Brendan Rodgers has Joe Cole back from loan and bought Italian forward Fabio Borini over the summer. Forward Craig Bellamy left and midfielder Alberto Aquilani was sold. West Brom’s manager Roy Hodgson left to take over England and he’s been replaced by Steve Clarke. They have added Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea on loan this season. This should be a decent match and a draw is likely.

West Ham v Aston Villa: West Ham 13/10-Draw 11/5-Aston Villa 11/5

West Ham was also promoted at the end of the season while Aston Villa replace manager Alex McLeish with Paul Lambert. Shay Given recently retired from international duty with Ireland, but is back in goal with Villa. A draw could be on the books here too.

Newcastle v Tottenham: Newcastle 17/10-Draw 21/10-Tottenham 17/10

This is one of the weekend’s top matches. Newcastle needs to prove their success last season wasn’t a fluke and ex-Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is now in charge at Spurs. Both teams have plenty of attacking options and hopefully there’ll be a few goals scored here. I’m afraid it could be another draw though.

Sunday August 19th

Wigan v Chelsea: Wigan 11 /2-Draw 3/1-Chelsea 8/15

Wigan stayed up by the skin of their teeth last year with overrated manager Roberto Martinez in charge. He’s made some good additions over the summer though in Arsenal winger Ryo Miyaichi. The 19-year-old Japanese international is over on loan. Ivory coast international forward Kone was also added along with Ivan Ramis from Mallorca. Now we’ll see if Martinez has the sense to start them. Chelsea needs to improve on last year’s sixth place finish even though they won the Champions League and FA Cup. Roberto Di Matteo is still in charge, but Didier Drogba, Jose Bosingwa and Salomon Kalou are gone. Eden hazard and Markin Marin have been added. If Wigan plays all its newcomers look for a good game with yet another draw.

Manchester City v Southampton: Manchester City 1/5-Draw 11/2-Southhampton 12/1

City bought midfielder Jack Rodwell form Everton in the summer, but that’s about it. They’ll be attempting to defend the title and the first match is against newly-promoted Southampton. Southampton may score, but look for a City win here.

Monday August 20th

Everton v Manchester United: Everton 3/1 – Draw 5/2 – Manchester United 10/11

Everton has lost Jack Rodwell and Tim Cahill over the summer while United added a few players including Robin Van Persie and Japanese international Shinji Kagawa, a great player. Everton usually gives United trouble, but look for Manchester to earn all three points still.

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