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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

New boys Fulham can get off to a flyer against the Eagles

Best bets and team news for Saturday's 3pm Premier League games

Ryan Sessegnon can help his side to an opening-day victory
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Bournemouth v Cardiff
Neil Warnock's Bluebirds head the market for relegation this season and they could be given a difficult start to life in the Premier League by Bournemouth.

The Cherries have established themselves in the top flight after three seasons and have maintained the nucleus of their side for several seasons under Eddie Howe.

Bournemouth beat five of the bottom six at Dean Court last term and their quality in the final third significantly outweighs Cardiff's.

All of the Welsh side's new additions came from the second tier and their lack of top-flight experience could show.

Bournemouth -1 on handicap
1pt 12-5 general

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Key stat
Cardiff netted fewer goals (69) than bottom-half side Hull (70) last season.

Fulham v Crystal Palace
Fulham are a far stronger side on paper following their summer spending and they can mark their Premier League return with a win.

As well as retaining starlet Ryan Sessegnon, the Cottagers have made Aleksandar Mitrovic's loan permanent and bulked up their back line. 

Only Wolves netted more Sky Bet Championship goals in 2017-18 than Fulham, who lost just two games on home soil, and Slavisa Jokanovic's men can carve through Palace's rearguard.

The Eagles lost their opening seven league games without scoring last term and still lack any notable attacking threat aside from Wilfried Zaha.  

2pts 6-4 Betfair

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Key stat
Fulham have not lost an opening-day encounter for four years.

Huddersfield v Chelsea
Maurizio Sarri is among the most accomplished coaches in the world but he could take time to impose his methods at Chelsea, who are set for a tough start.

David Wagner masterminded a campaign of unlikely survival for the Terriers last term, who took points off the Blues and Man City towards the end of the season.

Chelsea lost more games on the road than any other top-seven outfit last campaign and failed to reinforce their front line this summer.

Town won their first two matches without conceding in 2017-18 and can get off to a promising start in their second Premier League season. 

Huddersfield or draw double chance
1pt 13-10 general

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Key stat
Chelsea have won just one of their last three opening-day fixtures.

Watford v Brighton
Despite winning one and losing six of their final nine Premier League games last term, Watford have stuck with Javi Gracia in the dugout and they could be set for a disappointing opening day.

The Hornets lost their sting towards the end of last campaign and, after firing four blanks in their final five games, they have done little to bolster their attacking armoury in the transfer window.

Brighton took four points from their two meetings with Watford in 2017-18 and have invested heavily to aid their chances of Premier League survival. 

Brighton draw no bet
2pts 5-4 general

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Key stat
Brighton kept ten league clean sheets last season.

Team news

  • Bournemouth's Jefferson Lerma will not play as he recovers from his World Cup efforts for Colombia, while Diego Rico, Junior Stanislas and Kyle Taylor are out injured. Cardiff loanee Harry Arter is ineligible to play against his parent club but Victor Camarasa could feature.
  • Fulham's Alfie Mawson (knee) and Denis Odoi (suspension) are out. Crystal Palace new boys Cheikhou Kouyate, Vicente Guaita and Jordan Ayew could start but Max Meyer is not fit enough. Connor Wickham, Jonny Williams and Scott Dan all miss out.
  • Huddersfield's Adama Diakhaby and Ramadan Sobhi could make their debuts. Isaac Mbenza's involvement is uncertain but Erik Durm will not play. Jorginho is likely to start for Chelsea, while Kepa and Mateo Kovacic could also make their debuts. N'Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud, Eden Hazard and Gary Cahill could all feature.
  • Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Foster could feature for Watford but Nathaniel Chalobah, Stefano Okaka, Gerard Deulofeu and Tom Cleverley are out. Brighton's Florin Andone (groin) is sidelined, while Jose Izquierdo is recovering from his World Cup involvement. Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Glenn Murray are fit.

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As well as retaining starlet Ryan Sessegnon, the Cottagers have made Aleksandar Mitrovic's loan permanent and have bulked up their back line
E.W. Terms
Sky bet