The Scout: EPL Matchday 1

Bournemouth vs Sheffield United
10th August, 10pm WST

Bournemouth were quick out of the gates last season winning six of their opening 10 matches before fading and ultimately finishing 14th. Unpredictable yes, the Cherries were anything but boring, scoring more goals (56) than both Everton and Leicester, while letting in more (70) than relegated Cardiff City.

Sheffield United are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2007, and while their promotion was well-earned, the real battle begins now. The Premier League is a whole new ball game and the Blades enter the season as the favourites for bottom spot.

Both sides should look to take this game on. Sheffield United’s manager, Chris Wilder, likes his defense to press forward and attack which ultimately leads to plenty of goals – either scored or conceded.

Bournemouth know only one way; all-out attack, with 11 of their 19 home matches last season resulting in three or more goals. The trio of Callum Wilson, Joshua King and Ryan Fraser combined for 33 goals and 28 assists last season and each come into the season fit and healthy.

Bournemouth will be licking their lips at getting first crack at the new boys. Ultimately I expect class to prevail with The Cherries to hit the ground running in Season 2019/20

Suggested Bet: Match Result Bournemouth & Over 2.5 Goals @ $3*

Watford vs Brighton
10th August, 10pm WST

Despite a lackluster end to the season, Watford had a decent 2018/19 finishing 11th on the table with 50 points. They have the squad to challenge for spots higher up, but in order to make the leap, need to get the job done in fixtures like this.

Brighton avoided relegation by the barest of margins last season, finishing 17th, just two points clear of Cardiff City. On paper, they again look to be one of the League’s “cellar dwellers.”

The Seagulls had two major flaws last season; scoring goals and winning away from home. They signed Belgian Leandro Trossard over the summer who will share the attacking burden with Glenn Murray (13 goals last season), but Brighton still don’t look to the creativity and talent to improve much on their 35 goals from 2018/19.

Since being promoted to the Premier League in 2017, Brighton have won just five of their 38 games away from home, 24 of these being defeats. This was the exact same opening fixture as last season which saw Watford cruise to a comfortable 2-0 victory. I’m predicting the same again here.

Suggested Bet: Match Result Watford @ $1.92*

Newcastle vs Arsenal
11th August, 9pm WST

Newcastle may have had the worst offseason of any side in the Premier League. After the departure of manager Rafa Benitez, the Magpies lost roughly 60% of their goals from last season in Ayoze Pérez and Salomón Rondón.

Arsenal were quiet to be begin the summer, losing veterans Aaron Ramsey (Juventus) and Laurent Koscienly (Bordeaux). Then, seemingly out of nowhere, they pulled the trigger and spent a club record £72 million on winger Nicolas Pépé who last season scored 22 goals and had 11 assists in the French Ligue 1.

The Gunners have a squad that rivals most in the Premier League. Last season’s golden boot winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be aided by Pépé and Lacazette on each wing and midfield maestro Mesut Özil behind setting things up from behind.

Goals are going to be scarce for Newcastle all season long, while Arsenal will again look to be one the top scoring teams in the League. The Gunners have a significant advantage in class and should be starting 2019/20 with a bang!

Suggested Bet: Match Result Arsenal & Over 1.5 Goals @ $2.08*

*Odds correct as at 9am WST, 9th August 2019.

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