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BetUK’s BIG English Premier League Preview
Football fans already got a taste of what to expect with the return of the EFL Championship: plenty of goals, plenty of drama, and an unbelievable amount of additional time that’ll make for more nail-biting endings. We wouldn’t have it any other way though.
Already this Premier League season promises to be one that will live long in the memory. Can Manchester City win a record fourth straight league title? Will Chelsea right the wrongs of 2022-23? And will anybody go on an away day to Luton without mentioning how the stadium is built into a housing estate?
Here, BetUK takes you on a whistlestop tour of the Premier League opening weekend matches – and we even have some Bet Builder suggestions for you along the way. Enjoy!
Last result: Manchester City 6-0 Burnley
Key stat: City have kept a clean sheet in the last seven games against Burnley
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Manchester City to win, over 1.5 goals in the game, and Burnley to score under 0.5 goals @ 8/5 (1.60) with BetUK
After a sensational treble-winning campaign, Manchester City are back to defend their crown and search for a record-breaking fourth straight Premier League trophy. It’ll be a familiar face that greets them on opening night with former captain Vincent Kompany’s Burnley travelling to the Etihad.
The Belgian’s Lancashire outfit stormed the EFL Championship last season – losing three games all season and reaching the pinnacle of the division while amassing over 100 points. However, it’ll very much be a baptism of fire when they meet the top-flight champions on Friday (20:00).
Erling Haaland and co. flexed their muscles when they met last season in the EFL Cup with a 6-0 victory; while we don’t expect them to inflict quite such dominance on this occasion, it’s hard to go against this imperious City team.
Last result: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal
Key stat: Arsenal’s last two home games against Nottingham Forest have finished in 5-0 wins
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Arsenal to win and over 3.5 goals in the game @ 5/4 (1.25) with BetUK
Are the Gunners title contenders or last season pretenders? The 2023-24 season will prove to be a real test of mettle for Mikel Arteta’s team after just falling short a few months ago.
The additions of Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, and Declan Rice have definitely lifted the mood around the Emirates, so they’ll be hoping for a winning start here.
Arsenal’s opponents on Saturday will provide harrowing memories though. Nottingham Forest were the opponent that mathematically ruled them out of lifting a first league title in two decades with a 1-0 win in late May.
Forest themselves will have an eye on the opposite end of the table. After spending an extended period of last season embroiled in a relegation battle, Steve Cooper managed to navigate his side to safety with four games undefeated to end the term. A repeat of May’s result is, though, unlikely.
Last result: Sheffield United 0-2 Crystal Palace
Key stat: A team has won to nil in the last four meetings between Sheffield United and Crystal Palace
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Crystal Palace to win and both teams not to score @ 27/10 (2.70) with BetUK
Not many teams have had a perceived poorer window than Sheffield United. The optimism surrounding the Blades after promotion has well and truly dwindled with talisman Iliman Ndiaye’s departure to Marseille and the possibility of midfielder Sander Berge joining fellow newly-promoted side Burnley.
Paul Heckingbottom’s men can take some solace in the fact that they begin the season at home – where they had the second-best record in the Championship last season.
As for Crystal Palace, they enter the season with Roy Hodgson back in the dugout after the 75-year-old led the Eagles to another top-flight season. Much like many of Hodgson’s squads, Palace will look to defence to win them games, a trait which served them well last year.
They ended last term with the sixth best defence on the road – a trend which should see them to an opening-day victory.
Last result: Bournemouth 0-4 West Ham United
Key stat: West Ham have scored at least two goals in the last four games between these sides
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: West Ham to win and West Ham to score more than 1.5 goals @ 41/20 (2.05) with BetUK
One of the more confusing storylines throughout the summer was Bournemouth’s managerial switch. After a season of consensus overachieving, the Cherries decided to part ways with Gary O’Neil and turn to Andoni Iraola.
Iraola is a relative unknown in English football, most recently managing Rayo Vallecano in LaLiga and producing an average of 1.4 points per game during his tenure.
With so many unknowns regarding Bournemouth, it could leave the door open for West Ham to take the points in their curtain-raiser. Despite being the fourth-worst away team last season, the Hammers have won three-straight against Bournemouth, including a pair of 4-0 victories.
West Ham’s transfer strategy, however, has come under some scrutiny during the offseason. The Hammers cashed in on almost £100 million when captain Declan Rice departed for Arsenal and not much has been done to replace the pivotal midfielder.
Rumours have swirled that an agreement has been reached with both James Ward Prowse and Harry Maguire - bolstering both their midfield and defence - but West Ham fans will be hoping for some more incomings before the window slams shut.
Even without new additions, it could feasibly be an away win for David Moyes’ side.
Last result: Luton Town 1-1 Brighton (Feb 2009)
Key stat: Brighton were the fourth-highest goalscorers in home games in 2022-23 but Luton had the least goals conceded away last term
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Brighton to win and under 3.5 goals @ 11/10 (1.10) with BetUK
We don’t want to enter the realm of football tropes but Brighton vs Luton may be the prime example of attack vs defence in this opening weekend of Premier League action.
The Seagulls fired themselves into Europe with the third-highest xG per 90 of any team in the Premier League last season as well as making the most of home advantage with their potent attacking threat at the Amex.
Luton, meanwhile, took a more modest attacking approach and built their promotion-winning campaign with defensive solidity. The Hatters had the second-stingiest defence in England’s second tier (39 goals conceded) and they ranked bottom in the Championship for games involving over 2.5 goals (just 14 of 46 games).
What does this tell us? That it could very well be a low-scoring victory for the home side in this one.
Last result: Everton 1-3 Fulham
Key stat: Fulham have won three of the last four games against Everton.
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Fulham to win and over 3.5 yellow cards - 14/5 (2.80) with BetUK.
Few expected Fulham to achieve the mid-table finish they managed last season But Marco Silva’s side used their away form as a catalyst for a successful campaign – boasting the sixth-best away record in the Premier League last term.
However, with impressive away form came poor discipline. Fulham also ranked sixth-highest in yellow cards with Joao Palhinha the most rash player in the entire league with 14 yellow cards. He’s 39/20 with BetUK to go in the referee’s book in this one.
Everton managed to fend off relegation on the final day of the last campaign, in the spite of their terrible home record. Sean Dyche’s men were the third-worst performing team at home last season so the Toffees will be hoping to avoid a similar sticky situation this time around.
Last result: Aston Villa 3-0 Newcastle United
Key stat: Newcastle haven’t lost to Aston Villa at home since 2005
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Newcastle to win, Newcastle over 1.5 goals and Aston Villa to score under 1.5 goals @ 13/10 (1.30) with BetUK
Two of last season’s surprise packages meet on the opening day as Newcastle United face Aston Villa.
Newcastle have been a team transformed under the tutelage of Eddie Howe and the ownership of the PIF. This journey reached a new high last season when they finished in the top four and secured Champions League football for the first time since 2003.
That was an achievement which they were propelled to by their outstanding home form – only losing two games at St James’ Park during the entire season.
The Villans will look to live up to their nickname by raining on Newcastle’s parade to start the 2023-24 Premier League season – but they haven’t managed to secure a result in front of the Toon Army since 2005.
Last result: Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Brentford
Key stat: Brentford had the joint-most draws in home games last season
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Under 2.5 goals in the game and the game to end a draw @ 18/5 (3.60) with BetUK
Brentford vs Tottenham Hotspur: the tale of two strikers.
Ivan Toney will be unavailable until the new year as Brentford’s 20-goal top scorer from last season serves a suspension while Harry Kane – 30 goals last term – has tried to explore a move to Bayern Munich all summer long to no avail at the time of writing.
The Bees will turn to Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa for their attacking threat in Toney’s absence but both failed to reach double figures in goals last season.
It’s a new face in the technical area for Tottenham as former Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou takes the reins. The Australian is coming off of an impressive treble-winning season with the Scottish champions and he’ll be hailed as a hero if he could end Tottenham’s trophy drought.
It is yet to be seen whether that will be with or without his talismanic striker, though. As for this league opener? We wouldn’t be surprised if it ends in a low-scoring draw.
Last result: Chelsea 0-0 Liverpool
Key stat: The last six games between Chelsea and Liverpool have ended in a draw – including four straight 0-0s
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Under 2.5 goals in the game and the game to end a draw @ 5/2 (2.50) with BetUK
No team will be more grateful to see the back of the 2022-23 season than Chelsea. Todd Boehly’s first season as chairman ended with the Blues finishing in the bottom half for the first time since the 1995-96 season – an unwanted record for the American.
Chelsea will be aided by the signing of Nicolas Jackson, a Senagalese youngster who impressed with 12 goals for Villarreal last campaign, while the excitement around France international forward Christopher Nkunku’s arrival has to be delayed due to knee surgery after a pre-season injury.
Even during a difficult campaign, though, Chelsea managed to avoid defeat to Liverpool. Yet after a disappointing season for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, they have enhanced their engine room after the departures of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson to Saudi Arabia. Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have both joined permanently, while their pursuit of highly-rated Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia continues.
The last four games between these teams have ended 0-0 – will any of these additions turn one point into three when they clash on opening weekend?
Last result: Manchester United 2-0 Wolves
Key stat: There’s been under 2.5 goals in nine of the last ten fixtures between these teams
Bayo’s Bet Builder suggestion: Manchester United to win and under 2.5 goals in the game @ 14/5 (2.80) with BetUK
It’s been a transfer window filled with loss for Wolverhampton Wanderers. Club stalwarts like Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, and Raul Jimenez left for pastures new. Then, Julen Lopetegui made his feelings clear about the club’s direction and departed the club after less than one year in charge.
These losses are compounded by the fact that Wolves held the worst attack in the Premier League last season, only scoring 31 goals, as well as the second-worst away record in the entire league. It makes rough reading for Wolves fans, and they could have a long season ahead.
Manchester United had to spend last season looking on as their so-called ‘noisy neighbours’ City wrote their own piece of history, but they’ll be hoping they can return to past glories this season. They had the second-best home record last year and everything points to the Red Devils kicking off 2023-24 with a win.
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Our Premier League opening weekend acca tip: Manchester City to win, Arsenal to win, Manchester United to win, and Brentford and Tottenham to draw @ 13/2
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All odds correct at time of publication