Premier League: Saturday’s matchday preview

Manchester United kick-off their Premier League campaign on Saturday looking to make another strong start to the season.

Matthew Crist

After impressive away victories last weekend, Everton and Arsenal both return home on Saturday for two pretty winnable looking matches against West Brom and West Ham respectively.

Meanwhile, having gone toe-to-toe with Champions Liverpool at Anfield last weekend and only just failing to depart with a point, Leeds welcome Fulham to Elland Road with all eyes on how Marcello Bielsa’s side can build on that performance.

And after an extra week of preparation following their disappointing Europa League campaign, Manchester United finally begin their 2020/21 Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace as they look to continue their brilliant record in season openers.

Everton v West Brom, 12:30

After their fine start against Spurs last weekend, Everton can secure back-to-back wins to start a Premier League season for the first time since 2012/13 with a victory over West Brom on Saturday.

The midfield additions of James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan over the summer could prove pivotal in powering Everton to a European qualification spot come the end of the season.

Combine that with the fact that Carlo Ancelotti has never lost any of his 15 matches against newly-promoted sides and it’s difficult to see past a home win for the Toffees on their return to Goodison Park.

The Baggies went down 3-0 at home to Leicester in their opener last Sunday but Slaven Bilic will take the positives from what was a bright and industrious start to the game.

It’s also worth noting that Albion have kept more clean sheets against Everton than they have against any other side in the Premier League, though their back-line is sure to be tested by the Blues’ exciting new signings.

Everton win: 1.51
Draw: 4.40
West Brom win: 6.50

Leeds v Fulham, 15:00

Leeds United

Back in the big time after an absence of 16 years, Leeds matched champions Liverpool stride for stride at Anfield with only Mo Salah’s brilliance separating the two sides in a 4-3 thriller.

Fulham, on the other hand, were well-beaten in their first game on their return to the Premier League. Goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Magalhaes and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal a comfortable 3-0 win at Craven Cottage.

In the last 16 clashes between these two, Fulham have won six, while Leeds United have won only four with the Cottagers only losing once to Leeds in the last eight meetings.

And after shipping seven goals between them on the opening day and there could be more to come when they meet at Elland Roas on Saturday afternoon.

Fulham win: 1.62
Draw: 4.05
Leeds win: 5.70

Man United v Crystal Palace, 17.30

Roy Hodgson

No Premier League side has won their opening fixture more often than Man Utd with 19 victories from 28 since its conception in 1992.

The Reds have won the first game in each of their last five league campaigns, including last year’s 4-0 triumph over Chelsea at Old Trafford, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will again take plenty of positives into the clash with Crystal Palace this time around.

However,  the Eagles’ encouraging victory over Southampton last weekend suggests the Red Devils will need to have their wits about them if they are to maintain that impressive record.

And Roy Hodgson’s men will be encouraged by Patrick van Aanholt’s last-minute winner at Old Trafford in this fixture last season – even if it was Palace’s only Premier League win over Man Utd in 22 outings.

Man Utd win: 1.30
Draw: 5.90
Palace win: 9.25

Arsenal v West Ham, 20:00

Arsenal won in fine style against Fulham and they look like they could be more of a force after last season’s mediocre league campaign and much of that is thanks to the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who has bagged eight in his last six games,.

The forward has just signed a new contract with Arsenal after lengthy negotiations and will be looking to prove his worth having scored the winner at Wembley against Chelsea in the FA Cup final last month.

As for West Ham, they have lost more matches against Arsenal than against any other side with 31 defeats, and on the evidence of last weekend’s 2-0 home loss to Newcastle that’ll likely become 32.

Meanwhile, their manager David Moyes has never won away at the Gunners, with his sides losing 15 of 19 matches, including a 7-0 thrashing when he was manager of Everton back in 2005.

Arsenal win: 1.51
Draw: 4.60
West Ham win: 6.10

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