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Monday, 21 January, 2019

Burnley can give champs Chelsea a tough afternoon

Previews and tips for all the Saturday 3pm games

Burnley boss Sean Dyche
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Chelsea v Burnley
Chelsea were deserved champions last season but their preparations have been far from ideal and Burnley may offer stiff resistance at Stamford Bridge.

The prolific Diego Costa is no longer part of Antonio Conte’s plans, while Eden Hazard is out until September and the Blues may struggle to tear teams apart in their absence.

The Clarets picked up just seven points on the road last season but Sean Dyche should have his troops in prime condition and they can keep the scoreline respectable.

Burnley +2 goals on handicap
1pt 11-10 Betfair, Coral

Team news
Eden Hazard and new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko are both injured. Pedro is sidelined and Victor Moses is suspended.

Jack Cork, Charlie Taylor and Jon Walters are all in line to make their debuts.

Key stat
Burnley lost only six of their 19 away league games by two or more goals last term.

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Crystal Palace v Huddersfield
Frank de Boer should prove a hit at Selhurst Park but his impact may not be immediate and Huddersfield could play their part in an exciting encounter.

The Dutchman wants his Eagles to play attractive football – a complete contrast to Big Sam’s style – and his squad may take time to adapt to their new tactics.

Huddersfield are positive and David Wagner isn’t the type to settle for a point. However, the Terriers were promoted with a minus-two goal difference and defensively they are suspect.

Both teams to score
1pt Evs general

Team news
Crystal Palace
Yohan Cabaye, James McArthur, Bakary Sako, Connor Wickham and Pape Souare are all out injured.

Steve Mounie and winger Tom Ince could make their debuts. Jonathan Hogg and Nahki Wells are out.

Key stat
Crystal Palace kept just five league clean sheets at Selhurst Park last season.

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Everton v Stoke
Everton lost just two league games at Goodison Park last term and the determined Toffees can get their season off to the perfect start with victory over Stoke.

Leading marksman Romelu Lukaku has left for Manchester United but an elaborate summer of spending has left spirits high.

Ronald Koeman’s men overcame Slovakian outfit Ruzemberok in the Europa League and that should give them a significant fitness edge over the visitors, who look a weaker side following the departures of Marko Arnautovic and Jonathan Walters.

2pts 7-10 general

Team news
New arrivals Wayne Rooney, Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane should start. Ross Barkley and James McCarthy will miss out through injury.

Darren Fletcher, Max Choupo-Moting and Kurt Zouma could make their debuts.

Key stat
Stoke haven’t won on the opening day of a Premier League season since 2009.

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Southampton v Swansea
Only relegated Sunderland netted fewer home league goals than Southampton last term and the visit of depleted Swansea may make for an uninspiring affair.

The Saints have finished in the top eight of the Premier League in each of the last four seasons but handling the future of Virgil van Dijk is an unwanted disruption and they could take time to find their stride.

The Swans scored just 19 goals on their travels last term and the injury to last season’s leading scorer Fernando Llorente makes life tough from the outset.

Under 2.5 goals
1pt 3-4 Betway

Team news
Unsettled defender Virgil van Dijk is unavailable. New recruits Mario Lemina and Jan Bednarek may feature.

Gylfi Sigurdsson will not be involved. Nathan Dyer and Fernando Llorente are out but Tammy Abraham should start.

Key stat
Eight of the last ten meetings between the sides have resulted in three or fewer goals.

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West Brom v Bournemouth
West Brom excelled last season to achieve a top-half finish but they look in store for a much tougher campaign this time around and that may start with defeat when Bournemouth travel to the Hawthorns.

The Baggies won just one of their final 12 matches last term and Tony Pulis hasn’t been particularly active in the transfer window.

The Cherries can improve again under Eddie Howe this season. They tasted defeat just twice in their final 12 games and they look too lively for hosts.

Bournemouth draw no bet
2pts 6-5 Betfred, Paddy Power

Team news
West Brom
Jay Rodriguez and Ahmed Hegazi could make their debuts. Gareth McAuley and James Morrison are sidelined.

Jermain Defoe should overcome an injury but Junior Stanislas is out. Nathan Ake is expected to start.

Key stat
Bournemouth lost just one of their final six Premier League away games last term.

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Burnley lost only six of their 19 away league games by two or more goals last term
E.W. Terms
Sky bet