- After a short break, the Premier League returns for the 2020-21 season this weekend
- Teams are still altering their squads during the transfer window, and a lack of match fitness could be an issue
- Get the latest odds, betting discussion and top picks for the opening weekend of the new season
The Premier League is back, though it feels like the last season only just finished. Liverpool begins their title defense on Saturday against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United, while newly-promoted Fulham meets FA Cup winners Arsenal in Saturday’s early kick-off.
There are only eight fixtures in the opening week of the season with the two Manchester clubs given extra time off after playing late in European competition. Big spenders Chelsea have an early opportunity to get ahead of their Manchester rivals when they face Brighton on Monday.
The table below has all the odds for Matchday 1 of the EPL season.
EPL Matchday 1 Odds
|Team||Moneyline Odds at FanDuel|
Odds taken September 9
Crystal Palace vs Southampton
It was a bleak end to 2019-20 for Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace. In stark contrast, Southampton were one of the Premier League’s form teams in 2020, picking up more points than Tottenham and Leicester and only one fewer than Chelsea. Ralph Hasenhuttl would have been a strong contender for Manager of the Year most seasons, but a quiet off-season has followed for the Saints with Kyle Walker-Peters and Mohammed Salisu the only arrivals.
Hasenhuttl has Southampton playing the way he wants now, and they have quickly become a very difficult team to beat. The form of Danny Ings is obviously crucial. Ings was red-hot last season – Southampton needs his form to continue close to that level if they are to realize their top half ambitions. This isn’t a squad loaded with attacking talent, making Ings’ lethal finishing all the more important.
This feels like an obvious under 2.5 goals bet. The -148 isn’t all that appealing. Pair it with a Southampton win for a good value option.
Pick: Southampton to win, under 2.5 total goals (+364)
Sheffield United vs Wolves
They finished just five points apart last season, but both Chris Wilder and Nuno Espirito Santo will have been disappointed with how the campaign finished. The two teams looked set for European football until they were overtaken by wealthier rivals in Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham. Despite competing for much of last season, these two are unlikely to be so cozy in 2020-21.
Wolves continue to push for a top six or seven spot, while Sheffield United will be looking to avoid that difficult second season. Staying well away from the bottom three will be a positive campaign for the Blades, who have made some smart signings this summer in Jayden Bogle, Max Lowe, Aaron Ramsdale and Ethan Ampadu.
United have made a third signing of the day, with Chris Wilder adding a versatile Welsh international to his squad.
Chelsea's Ethan Ampadu arrives at the Lane on a season-long loan. ✍️
— Sheffield United (@SheffieldUnited) September 7, 2020
Wilder and Santo have set their teams up to be able to absorb pressure. They are both at their best when able to counter-attack and boast strong defenses (only Liverpool and the Manchester clubs conceded fewer than Sheffield United and Wolves last season).
They were two of the league’s draw specialists, sharing the spoils in 12 and 14 matches respectively. A deadlock looks a good bet here.
Pick: Draw (+200)
Brighton vs Chelsea
Cash-splashing Chelsea are without Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech for the season opener. Frank Lampard is expected to hand a debut to Kai Havertz, however, and the Blues should have Christian Pulisic available. Expectations are sky-high for Chelsea this season with the transfer ban lifted and an exciting group of new signings.
Brighton just quietly go about their business. They made a few additions this summer, notably bringing in experience in the form of Adam Lallana and Joel Veltman. Although under pressure at times, they comfortably avoided the drop last season and look set to be safe again in 2020-21. It’s a difficult start to the season for Graham Potter’s side, however,
There might be no Ziyech, but Timo Werner is raring to go. The German is a dark horse Golden Boot candidate and looks great value at +300 to open the scoring. Chelsea should have too much for their south coast opponents – Werner to score in a Chelsea win is the pick here.
Pick: Timo Werner to score anytime, Chelsea to win (+145)
EPL Season Preview Coverage
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