After a long summer the Premier League makes its return this weekend and I’m looking forward to another profitable season with my tips and predictions.
It all starts with Arsenal taking on Leicester City on Friday 11th August, before the remaining 18 teams are in action across Saturday and Sunday.
We finished last season in outstanding form, landing a couple of big wins the last weekends of the seaosn and we finished well in profit overall, which is of course our aim again this year. Lets do it again this time around!
Football Tips: Saturday 12th August
August 12, 2017
August 12, 2017
This is Huddersfield Town’s first season in the top flight of English football since they were relegated from Division One in the 1971-1972 season.
The teams have met 40 times in total but only four games have ever been in the top flight of English football. Palace won two of those, with one draw and one win for Huddersfield.
The teams last met in the 2012-2013 season in the Championship. The first game finished in a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park before Palace lost the return in Huddersfield 1-0.
Key men to watch include Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke and winger Wilfred Zaha, while Aaron Mooy will pull the strings in midfield for Huddersfield Town.
This is a game both sides will feel that they have a chance of winning. Huddersfield are a side decent on the counter attack and they are facing a Crystal Palace team that were sorely erratic at home last season, losing many games that they should really have won.
However, they now have a new manager in Frank de Boer who will have his own way to play and his own tactical approach and I think that may well suit some of Palace’s better players a little more than Sam Allardyce’s functional and more basic approach.
Selhurst Park is always bouncing on the opening day of the season and Palace are known for being fast-starters at times and I think this is a tough ask for Huddersfield against a squad that underachieved last year, but won’t be expecting to do so again this. I’m backing Palace to get the win here, but I do think that Huddersfield will get themselves on the scoresheet at least.
Crystal Palace To Win & Both Teams To Score - £10 reutns £43.50
Everton have spent roughly £95m on transfers this pre season, but recouped a massive chunk of that when selling Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.
Expect Wayne Rooney to make his second debut for Everton, while Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaasen should all feature too.
It’s been a quiet pre-season at Stoke with more outgoings than incoming players and that will be a worry for Mark Hughes, especially against a team that has invested heavily.
The two games between the teams last season finished in a 1-0 win for Everton in August 2016 and a 1-1 draw between the teams at the Bet365 Stadium in February.
It is clear to see that Everton’s determination to break into the stranglehold held by the top six shows real ambition. The Toffeemen have recruited very wisely over the summer and then made all that money back by selling Lukaku, meaning they can strengthen still further if necessary.
In contrast, Stoke City have endured a very quiet transfer window period over the summer which will likely worry Mark Hughes. With more players leaving the club, including some key experienced players and the talisman Marko Arnautovic, it is hard to see Stoke being any improvement on last season.
As such, I think this is a game that Everton will want to assert their qualities in and with Wayne Rooney back at the club and likely to play a supporting role in attack, I think they now have the top quality they need to really worry some of the top teams. I think Everton will win this one with relative ease.
Newcastle have invested in Florian Lejeune, Javi Manquillo and Jacob Murphy over the summer, but have so far resisted the temptation to bring in a big name star.
Tottenham have not signed anybody over the pre season period, with their only significant departure being Kyle Walker’s £50m move to Manchester City.
Spurs lost both of their games against Newcastle the season before last, 2-1 at home and then a 5-1 defeat on the final day of the season after losing the league title.
Historically this is a game with goals. Just 2 of the last 22 matches have seen one goal scored and the last 0-0 draw between the teams was back in August 1971.
Is Mauricio Pochettino happy with his Spurs squad that finished second last season, or has Daniel Levy opted not to get involved in the inflated transfer valuations this summer? Whichever is the truth, Spurs go into this season with pretty much the same squad they had last.
They face a Newcastle side that achieved promotion last season at the first time of asking under Rafa Benitez but who have not spent massively in the hope of maintaining their Premier League status. Again, is this a Benitez directive or a choice by owner Mike Ashley?
What is clear is that on paper, the two squads barely compare and if you are going to pick a winner based on sheer quality, past performance, player ability and skill, then it is Spurs every day of the week for me here and furthermore, with that tight defence, I expect them to win to nil against a Newcastle side that won’t be hugely expansive under Benitez.
Manchester United spent £100m+ this pre season on Romelu Lukaku and Viktor Lindelof, however they have lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic and have not sold too many key names.
West Ham welcome ex-Stoke winger Marko Arnautovic to their squad but their biggest signing may be the capture on loan of England keeper Joe Hart from Manchester City.
West Ham last beat United in the final game at Upton Park back in May 2016, winning 3-2. There has been one draw and two United wins in the games since.
The Hammers did achieve a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last season, but Manchester United won the return game 2-0 at the London Stadium.
Jose Mourinho wanted another big summer of spending at Manchester United and he seems to have got his wish, snapping up Victor Lindelof early on in the summer and then snatching Romelu Lukaku from under Chelsea’s noses for around £90m in total.
Lukaku’s mobility will certainly give United a new dimension that wasn’t available with Ibrahimovic, but Lukaku doesn’t possess Ibra’s skill or ability to change a game with one moment of brilliance. Mourinho however will be happy with his business this summer.
West Ham needed a decent summer in the transfer market and they have had one, Hart and Arnautovic should be good signings and they should not struggle for consistency as much this season. However I still think they are some way off being a genuine top eight contender. As such, this looks like a home banker for me.
The Cheeky Punter is an professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.