Thu, Aug 16, 9:09am by Staff Writer
Liverpool and Manchester City started the new Premier League seasons with big wins, dispatching of West Ham and Arsenal respectively, to lead the standings after the first weekend of the 2018-19 season.
Cardiff versus Newcastle
Saturday, 18 August 2018 at 9.30pm AEST at Cardiff City Stadium
New boys Cardiff are favourites for relegation this season, but if they are to avoid the drop, it is crucial they pick up points at home against other bottom half teams.
The Bluebirds are $3 home underdogs when they welcome Newcastle to Wales on Saturday night.
Newcastle is a $2.40 favourite, with the draw paying $3.
The Geordies were unlucky not to nick a point against Tottenham last time out, hitting the crossbar late and spurring a flurry of chance to lose 2-1 at home.
It was a dour start to the new campaign for Cardiff as they lost 2-0 to Bournemouth on the south coast, with goals to Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson proving the difference.
Cardiff’s leave record both home and away is horrendous. They have lost their past 10 matches against Newcastle, their longest losing run against a single opponent in league history.
Their last league victory came all the way back in 1981 in the old second division, when they won 1-0.
Cardiff’s recent home form, albeit in the Championship has yielded eight wins from 10 matches in the 2018 calendar year.
Newcastle are far from certainties in this match, particularly as road favourites, but it is hard to ignore their recent head-to-head record against Cardiff.
Best bet- Newcastle to win at $2.40
Leicester versus Wolves
Sunday, 19 July 2018 at 12am at the King Power Stadium
Leicester went to Old Trafford and more than held their own against Manchester United last weekend, despite losing 2-1.
The Foxes had 54 per cent possession and more shots than their opponent, but were on the back foot from the outset after conceding in the third minute.
Wolves will be disappointed to have not made more of their one-man advantage for more than a half as Everton defender Phil Jagielka received a red card in the 41st minute.
The ambitious newly promoted side is $3.75 to win at the King Power, with Leicester priced as $2 favourites. The draw is $3.30.
This is the first Premier League meeting between the teams since 2004, a season which saw both teams relegated.
When both sides were recently in the Championship, Leicester had lost only once in the seven matches played at the King Power back in 2007.
Dating back to last season, the Foxes are in a wretched run of form, earning just four points from a possible 24.
Wolves’ road form in the Premier League is a bit unknown, while the Foxes parochial home crowd should lift them to another level in this one.
There will be goals as there will be in many of Wolves’ matches this season, which give them a chance, but we are tipping the home side.
Best bet- Leicester to win at $2
Chelsea versus Arsenal
Sunday, 19 August 2018 at 2.30am AEST at Stamford Bridge
Maurizio Sarri’s reign as Chelsea manager began in the best possible way last weekend when the Blues thumped Huddersfield 3-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Goals to Pedro, Jorginho and Kanté sealed the result for Chelsea as they dominated possession with over 63 per cent of the ball for the match against a flat Terriers side.
Despite being under the tutelage of new coach Unai Emery, last weekend’s season opener was much of the same for the Gunners.
They lacked sharpness in defence, highlighted by a near-calamitous error by Petr Cech in the early stages of the match.
Arsenal’s record at the Bridge is poor, with the Gunners failing to score in four of their past five visits to the ground.
Chelsea has a strong recent record against the Gunners, winning five of their past six contests. The exception was a 0-0 draw last season.
Former Gunner Olivier Giroud will be in action for the Blues, with the Frenchman scoring in this fixture for Arsenal in February 2017.
An incredible fact heading into this home game is that as Napoli coach in the Serie A, Maurizio Sarri lost only four home matches, winning 43 and drawing 10.
The Blues will be too good at home as they have been in recent times against Arsenal.
Best bet- Chelsea to win at $1.72
EPL Matchday 2 Odds – Sportsbet
Cardiff $3 Draw $3 Newcastle $2.40
Everton $1.83 Draw $3.40 Southampton $4.20
West Ham $2.10 Draw $3.40 Bournemouth $3.40
Leicester $2 Draw $3.30 Wolves $3.75
Tottenham $1.22 Draw $5.50 Fulham $11
Chelsea $1.72 Draw $3.75 Arsenal $4.20
Burnley $2.37 Draw $3 Watford $3.30
Manchester City $1.06 Draw $12 Huddersfield $26
Brighton $5 Draw $3.50 Manchester United $1.72
Crystal Palace $6 Draw $4.50 Liverpool $1.40
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