Everton v Tottenham – Goodison Park at 15:00
What a game to kick off the new season for these two sides. Both clubs battling it out to be in Europe at the end of next season as, under new manager, Everton host last year’s title challengers Tottenham at Goodison Park on Saturday.
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Everton has a new manager at the helm in Ronald Koeman, having joined from Southampton, and had a mediocre pre-season having only won three of their seven games. Their most recent friendly ending in a 1-0 defeat to Espanyol at Goodison Park.
Meanwhile, Koeman sold their best centre-back John Stones to Manchester City for £47 million, but captured the services of Ashley Williams from Swansea City for a tidy £11 million, as other signings include Idrissa Gueye from Aston Villa and goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg from Fulham.
It is a re-building period after the Roberto Martinez era, who only finished 11th last season and won 11 out of 38 matches in the league. But fans will have to wait for favourites Seamus Coleman and Romelu Lukaku who are doubtful for the opener, while new signing Williams will not feature against the north London club.
Tottenham head into the new campaign having had a not-so productive pre-season playing three games and winning one, their last match ending in a 6-1 victory against Inter Milan; Erik Lamela scoring one and setting up two.
Harry Kane finished as top goalscorer in the league last season on 25 goals and helped Mauricio Pochettino with their push for the title, but they died out at the near the closing stages having only won one of their last five matches.
In the transfer market, Pochettino required the services of Victor Wanyama from Southampton for £12 million, and Vincent Janssen from AZ Alkmaar for £18 million.
But on the weekend, Mousa Dembele will miss this encounter while serving his ban picked up in Spurs’ 2-2 draw with Chelsea last season.
The last time these two sides met at Goodison Park the match finished 1-1, with the last two meetings ending in draws, but from their previous five Tottenham have won on three occasions. Looking back further and the Toffees haven’t beaten the north London club since 2012.
This will be a tight game, but I fancy Tottenham to kick-off their new campaign with a deserved victory. The missing players will be a problem for Everton, while the depth within Pochettino’s squad should be the difference at Goodison Park.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Tottenham -0.25 @ 2.08 with Bet365
Burnley v Swansea City – Turf Moor at 15:00
On the same day, new boys Burnley will take centre-stage once again in the Premier League after having a year out as they host Welsh outfit Swansea City at Turf Moor on Saturday.
The hosts bounce back from a year in the Championship to provide another shot at staying up with the elites, having secured the title with 93 points and only losing five games under manager Sean Dyche.
In pre-season, the Clarets won four of their six matches and remain unbeaten heading into the new campaign and remain unbeaten since late January.
In the transfer window and it has been a quiet one for Dyche and co., only signing three players; two from the Championship and Jon Flanagan on-loan from Liverpool. While in the other direction Lloyd Dyer, Matt Gilks and Joey Barton all left on free transfers.
Ashley Barnes will miss this weekend’s clash, while Stephen Ward has a very high chance of playing after recovering from his hamstring strain. But one player fans are looking forward to seeing this season is striker Andre Gray who bagged 23 goals in 41 games in his debut campaign with the Clarets.
Swansea City, on the other hand, has been busy in the transfer market under manager Francesco Guidolin and it’s not looking like a good place to be if you are a Swans player or fan.
In pre-season and they won five of their six matches, their last friendly ending in a 1-0 win at home against French outfit Rennes.
Swansea were struggling last season, but under Guidolin only lost three of their last ten games, while this season it seems to have a repetitive theme having sold captain Ashley Williams to Everton and Andre Ayew to West Ham.
However, the Welsh club have managed to sign Spanish strikers Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston for a combined total of £20 million.
There are no injuries or suspensions for Guidolin and co, yet Baston will not be featuring on Saturday.
The Swans won their last visit to Turf Moor 1-0 in 2015, and have won four of their last five meetings against the Clarets. While at home, Burnley has only won one of three encounters against Swansea.
This is a tough one, but with the confidence Burnley have heading into the new campaign I am backing them to find a result infront of their home crowd. Furthermore, Swansea has only won two of their last five opening day away matches of a Premier League season.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Burnley -0.25 @ 2.10 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.