It was an outstanding opening weekend of football, and while the defeats suffered by Chelsea and Crystal Palace were not good news for punters, all of this unpredictability will surely settle down sooner rather than later.
With that in mind, who make up our Premier League betting tips this Saturday?
Swansea vs Manchester United (Saturday, 12:30pm)
One of the key talking points from the weekend was how much more fluent Manchester United looked in their 4-0 slaughtering of West Ham.
Romelu Lukaku took to life at Old Trafford instantly, bagging a brace, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba – both underwhelming last season – looked the bee’s knees.
The result is that Jose Mourinho’s men completely dominated the Hammers, scoring from four of their five attempts on target, winning eleven corners and completing 422 of their 498 attempted passes. With an Expected Goal return of 2.35, that’s a very satisfying day at the office indeed.
As for Swansea, the prognosis is not so good. They failed to even conspire a shot on target against Southampton, and while their defence deserves praise for keeping a clean sheet against the Saints that was due more to the abject finishing of their strikeforce as much as anything. The United attacking talent will not be so forgiving.
Manchester United to Win to Nil (11/10 with Coral)
Bournemouth vs Watford (Saturday, 3:00pm)
As opening day fixtures go, a 0-1 defeat at West Brom is about as underwhelming as it gets.
That’s how Saturday panned out for Bournemouth, who dominated possession (67%-33%) against the Baggies but all told did very little with it. Eddie Howe’s men were completely undone by West Brom’s set piece assault, and once again the Cherries looked vulnerable to crosses into the box – their Achilles heel of 2016/17.
Watford will have taken plenty of positives from their game against Liverpool, not least that they more than matched their more illustrious foe. Their Expected Goals score of 2.12 was testament to the quality of the chances they fashioned, and the signs are good in the early going for Marco Silva’s men.
Watford +0.25 Asian Handicap (9/7 with PaddyPower)
Burnley vs West Brom (Saturday, 3:00pm)
Occasionally there are just some games that have ‘low scoring scrap’ written large all over them, and this is one such occasion.
We’ve already spoken about West Brom, and for all their dangerous deliveries at set pieces they were rather blunt in open play against Bournemouth and rarely created anything of note.
As for Burnley, they may have bagged three at the home of the Premier League champions, but the Expected Goal data of 0.71 suggests they were very ‘lucky’ to do so, in the sense they converted low probability chances.
The Baggies will be bolstered by the return of Jonny Evans at the back, and this one is likely to descend into a snoozefest.
Both Teams to Score – No (8/11 with William Hill)