The Premier League returns on Friday with Community Shield winners Arsenal entertaining Leicester City at the Emirates. Brand Ambassador Michael Owen spoke exclusively with BetVictor earlier in the week and thinks it will be a good weekend for the “big six” and has his eyes on an attractive 10/1 enhanced opening weekend nap.

This season we guarantee to give away £1,000,000 courtesy of our new-look free-to-play Golden Goal competition and we asked Michael for his prediction on the opening Manchester United v West Ham game.

There is £50,000 up for grabs at Old Trafford and that figure will rise by £25,000 per week should the prize not be won.

Arsenal v Leicester City

You have to go back to November 1994 for the last time Leicester beat Arsenal in the Premier League and I expect the Gunners to make a winning start to the campaign in what promises to be an entertaining start to the season.

Alexandre Lacazette looked sharp against Chelsea at Wembley last weekend and he can get off to a flier for his new club at the Emirates.

Michael’s recommendation: Lacazette to score at any time at 8/11

Watford v Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp suffered his heaviest ever defeat as Liverpool boss at Vicarage Road – 3-0 in December 2015 – but since that time the Reds have put nine past the Hornets in three league games and I expect that trend to continue in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Mo Salah has already shown enough in pre-season to suggest that he will be one of the signings of the summer, and I think new Watford boss Marco Silva is in for an uncomfortable afternoon in his first competitive game in charge at Vicarage Road.

Michael’s recommendation: Liverpool to lead at half time & full time at 7/5

Chelsea v Burnley

I haven’t been overly impressed by Chelsea’s summer signings to date and I imagine Blues boss Antonio Conte will have a busy time between now and the end of the transfer window.

Burnley had a dreadful record on the road last season and I feel they will continue to struggle this term with goals likely to be at a premium.

Michael’s recommendation: Chelsea to win to nil at 37/40

Crystal Palace v Huddersfield

The Terriers lost 15 times in the Championship last season despite winning promotion, and they last won a top-flight game in November 1971.

I know a number of Palace fans have been frustrated by the lack of summer signings, but I would be disappointed if they didn’t have more than enough to beat a Terriers side who may have to wait for at least a another week for their first win in the Premier League.

Michael’s recommendation: Palace to win at 5/6

Everton v Stoke City

Everton need to make a good start at Goodison against Stoke given their next four PL games are against Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United. The Blues will miss Romelu Lukaku’s goals and have looked devoid of genuine pace pre-season.

I know a number of Stoke fans were disappointed with the sale of Marko Arnautovic to West Ham and Mark Hughes hasn’t won any of his last six opening day PL fixtures. The Blues might shade it, but I do not expect to see many goals.

Michael’s recommendation: Under 2.5 goals at 20/23

Southampton v Swansea City

Marco Gabbiadini impressed me last season and the Italian striker might be the difference between the sides at St Mary’s. The Saints have never won on the opening weekend of the PL season but they will have few better opportunities to buck that trend, and I hope to see former Liverpool coach Mauricio Pellegrino make a winning start.

Michael’s recommendation: Marco Gabbiadini to score at any time at 11/10

West Brom v Bournemouth

It is a sign of the times that this is the only PL fixture involving two British managers on the opening weekend of the campaign and it is a difficult game to predict with any degree of confidence. It would be no surprise to see the Cherries get a point, but if there is to be a winner, perhaps the Baggies will pinch it.

Michael’s recommendation: WBA Draw No Bet at 8/11

Brighton v Manchester City

City were irresistible at times towards the end of the last PL season and they have so much pace and power at their disposal, that I would be surprised if the newly-promoted Seagulls were able to keep Pep Guardiola’s side at arm’s length.

Michael’s recommendation: City to win and both teams to score at 2/1

Newcastle v Tottenham

Newcastle won their last PL game 5-1 against Spurs on the final day of the 2015/16 season when the north London Club had given vain chase to champions Leicester for much of the season.

My old club would take a 1-0 win on Sunday, but Spurs will be well aware of the need to make a quick start to the campaign and they might just edge out a Magpies side who I hope will have a good season back where they belong – in the Premier League.

Michael’s recommendation: Spurs to win and both teams to score at 9/4

Manchester United v West Ham

United will appreciate the return to the Premier League after facing an outstanding Real Madrid side in the European Super Cup earlier in the week.

Jose Mourinho, almost incredibly, has never lost a home match on a Sunday in any competition during his long managerial career and I would be surprised if the Hammers caused a shock this weekend.

The bad news for the Hammers is that Romelu Lukaku scored against the European Champions midweek. The former Everton striker scored in seven straight PL games against West Ham at one time for the Blues and, with that goal in Skopje under his belt, the Belgium international is unlikely to be lacking confidence on his competitive home debut.

Michael’s recommendation: United -1 on the handicap at 3/4


Michael’s Golden Goal prediction:

Minute: 23rd

Goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku

Correct Score: 3-1

Michael’s weekend wager:

This week Michael breaks new ground and believes the value is our enhanced price of 10/1 for the Big Six (Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, City, Spurs and United) to all win their opening weekend fixtures.



Odds are correct at the time of posting

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