Week 2 begins and already the top 4 has a familiar look to it with some saying that this could well be the order of things come next May. With that in mind, top of the table Chelsea are at home to Leicester in one of four 15.00 kick-offs. Leicester earned a good point against a fancied Everton last week, showing no little poise, verve and confidence in doing so. Chelsea must be heavy favourites here but don’t expect Leicester to be blown away. Betfred is offering the best price for a Chelsea win at 2/9 but for those of a more foolhardy disposition, Betvictor is offering 6/1 for the draw.
At 17.30, Everton welcome Arsenal to Goodison Park. Neither team had an excellent beginning to their campaigns (albeit that Arsenal gained all 3 points against Crystal Palace with a late winner) but both have invested heavily over the summer in quality over quantity and rightly see themselves as heavyweights. The market has Arsenal as favourites here (Betvictor offering a price of 13/8 for an away Arsenal win) but Everton have enough quality and guile about them to worry the Arsenal defence. The best value around seems to be the draw at 5/2 from Betvictor.
I include this preview of Sunderland v Man Utd simply because Utd seem far shakier than I suspected they would be at this early stage. Something in the muscle memory of the United players from last season seems to have been brought to the present, as evidenced by a weak performance in their opening day defeat to Swansea. Sunderland, on the other hand, considered themselves unlucky not to get an away win against West Brom, a contentious penalty giving West Brom their second. Put simply, the odds of 29/10 for the draw from 888sport and 17/4 for a Sunderland win look to good in the face of this very uncertain Utd team. I’ll plump for the latter.
A big match for Monday night. Last season’s champions Man City take on the runners up Liverpool. This could be a cracking game with Liverpool continuing to play with attacking abandon allied with some defensive strengthening. But what’s this? Mario Balotelli has joined Liverpool?! If registered and eligible to play, it seems likely he would want to make his mark and what better way than against City, the same club he helped to lift the Premier League trophy for the first time in their history before departing for Italy the season after in less than happy circumstances. You feel, though, that City edge them in quality and incision and should just about get the better in what will most likely be a tight encounter between two well-matched teams. The market doesn’t quite concur, however. City are heavy favourites for the win with the best price being offered by Betvictor at 20/23. Boylesports are offering a competitive 10/3 for a Liverpool win.