The opening weekend of the Premier League saw plenty of great games and this weekend promises to be no different. Manchester United kick off the first Friday Night game of the season at home to Southampton. The Saturday afternoon fixture sees Stoke host Manchester City at the Britannia and finally the first of the Saturday 3pm kick off's sees Burnley face Liverpool at Turf Moor.

Manchester United vs Southampton – Friday 19th August 2016 – 20:00 - Sky Sports 1

Can Southampton make it three in a row at Old Trafford on Friday?
Can Southampton make it three in a row at Old Trafford on Friday?

Manchester United kick off the first Friday Night fixture in the Premier League by facing Southampton at Old Trafford.

Jose Mourinho got off to the perfect start in his Old Trafford tenure with a 3-1 win against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

It was an excellent all round performance from a United team that was missing world record signing Paul Pogba due to a suspension that was carried over from his time at Juventus.

Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly were the two summer signings who started, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan starting on the bench for the Red Devils.

The first goal of the Jose Mourinho was scored by the man who he controversially subbed off in last weeks Community Shield, with the Spaniard Juan Mata looking to prove to his old boss that he can work under Mourinho.

United's second came from captain Wayne Rooney who headed in from close range to double United's advantage and then the final nail in the coffin was delivered from who else but Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Swede Ibrahimovic scored from 25 yards to the bottom right hand corner of the net to make it 3-0 and hand United all three points, a feat that they were unable to achieve last season under Louis Van Gaal.

Conceding a 69th minute goal was the only downside on an otherwise perfect day for Jose Mourinho, as he enjoyed a comprehensive first win away as United manager.

Manchester United will be looking to continue their fine record over Southampton. In 81 matches they have won 46, lost 17 and drawn 18 times but will be looking to avenge last seasons 1-0 loss.

United remain the favourites at 4/9 with Zlatan Ibrahimovic the favourite to score first at 3/1.

Manchester
Premier League football returns to Old Trafford on Friday evening

Southampton kicked off the new season with a 1-1 draw against Watford, despite falling behind to an early goal from Etienne Capoue they showed great resolve to draw level and secure at least one point.

The equaliser came in the 58th minute courtesy of new signing Nathan Redmond, who has already gone some way to justifying his hefty fee from Norwich earlier in the transfer window.

Watford were reduced to ten men in the 76th minute and that should have been enough to spur the home side on but with their laboured approach up until the goal and thereafter will have the new manager worried.

Claude Puel will be wondering if it will be a long and testing season after their opening day performance, with Europa League duty to also juggle he will need a large squad to fire consistently to achieve last years heights.

The loss of key men Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane have yet to really be addressed and the Saints will be looking to spend the Mane money in making other sizeable investments to the squad.

There has also been speculation about the futures of Charlie Austin and Jose Fonte, with old manager Ronald Koeman allegedly keen to take them to Everton, it is something that Southampton cannot afford with players regularly leaving for rival clubs.

Puel will have a huge job on his hands to challenge for the top ten in the Premier League again, with all of the top sides resurgent and the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham and Everton all improving on the managerial and player fronts.

The Saints will be looking to make it third time lucky at Old Trafford, the past two seasons under Louis Van Gaal have seen the Saints secure 1-0 wins and they will be hoping for the same again come Friday night's final whistle.

Southampton are the underdogs at 7/1 with Shane Long the favourite to score first at 10/1.

 

Stoke vs Manchester City – Saturday 20th August 2016 – 12:30- Sky Sports 1

Can City's bogey side Stoke produce another win at home?
Can City's bogey side Stoke produce another win at home?

Stoke City kick off the first home fixture in the Premier League by facing Pep Guardiola's Manchester City at the Bet 365 Stadium.

Mark Hughes got off to a good start this season with a point away at newly promoted Middlesbrough, in a match that saw them come from behind to share the spoils.

It was a performance that saw them lucky to escape with a draw, with Middlesbrough putting in an impressive performance at home on the first day of the season and with the ten new signings they have made they gelled very effectively.

Middlesbrough went ahead in the 11th minute thanks to a Alvaro Negredo goal, with the former Manchester City striker bundled in from close ranger after good work from Gaston Ramirez.

However, Xherdan Shaqiri's free kick in the 67th minute drew Stoke level and after that they did well to keep Middlesbrough to few chances and ran away with a hard fought point.

Mark Hughes will have been delighted with the acquisition of Joe Allen in midfield, who had a brief spell of 10 minutes in the game and Hughes went as far as to suggest he'll be a mainstay of the side from now on.

Stoke will be worried that they only produced one shot on target, which did result in a goal for them but with Marko Arnautovic and Bojan having a game to forget there will be more clamour for Hughes to sign a top class striker.

There was also the disappointing news that Jack Butland suffered a setback in his bid to regain fitness, with a recurrence of the ankle injury that ruled him out of the Euro's. He has been ruled out for a few more weeks, with Given looking to deputise during that time.

Mark Hughes will be looking to put one over on his old side and the new manager Pep Guardiola, who enjoyed a mixed first game as City manager and this examination at Stoke will be a big challenge after a hectic 3 games inside a week.

Stoke will be looking to continue to better their record against Manchester City. In 88 matches they have won 29, lost 36 and drawn 23 times but will be looking to avenge last seasons 4-0 loss.

Stoke are the underdogs at 4/1 with Mame Biram Diouf, Bojan and Marko Arnautovic the favourites to score first at 17/2.

Stoke
Can Mark Hughes topple old club Manchester City?

Manchester City kicked off the new season with a 2-1 win against Sunderland, with a late own goal from Paddy McNair cruelly snatching the points away from the visitors.

The winner came in the 86th minute courtesy of new Sunderland signing McNair, who was very unfortunate to head the ball into his own net, it was a result that Manchester City definitely didn't deserve.

They did however also complete an excellent 5-0 thrashing of Steaua Bucharest away in midweek, courtesy of a hatrick from Sergio Aguero who also missed two from the penalty spot. It was a complete demolition job by City and will give them huge levels of confidence coming into this match.

City started very well with a fourth minute penalty converted by Sergio Aguero, after Raheem Sterling was fouled in the box by Patrick van Aanholt.

Last seasons hero Jermaine Defoe equalised for the Weir siders on 71 minutes before the former Manchester United man won the contest for City.

The main headline from the match was Pep Guardiola's decision to omit Joe Hart from the starting XI, with Willy Caballero preferred to England's number one.

Although his performances in the Euro's have been poor he has always been preferred as the City keeper but this could be the beginning of the end for Hart at City, as Pep looks to bring in either experienced Chile international Claudio Bravo or Marc Andre Ter Stegen as his preferred keeper.

Guardiola will be encouraged by the debuts of both John Stones and Nolito but another fan favourite in Yaya Toure was omitted from the starting line up and has also been left behind while City travelled for their Champions League fixture on Tuesday as well.

Guardiola will be looking to continue Man City's excellent record against Stoke but they will also be looking to avenge the 2-0 defeat at the Britannia last season.

City remain the favourites at 4/6 with Sergio Aguero the favourite to score first at 3/1.

 

Burnley vs Liverpool – Saturday 20th August 2016 – 15:00

Can Burnley make history on Saturday?
Can Burnley make history on Saturday?

Burnley kick off their second home fixture in the Premier League by facing Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool at Turf Moor.

Sean Dyche and his men got off to the worst possible this season with a 1-0 defeat in their opening match against Swansea City, and it's a game they would have expected to get the maximum points from.

It was a good performance but to concede an 82 goal to Leroy Fer will have disappointed manager Sean Dyche, it is a bitter taste of what is to come for Burnley in the next 37 matches.

The match itself was a thoroughly entertaining affair that saw plenty of options wasted by both sides, with Andre Gray blazing over one of their better chances.

At the other end captain Tom Heaton kept Burnley in the match, producing two fine saves against Swansea's new signing Fernando Llorente.

Long Season Ahead

They face another huge challenge when Liverpool come to town, especially after their excellent result against Arsenal last Sunday, where they won 4-3.

This is a match that sees former Burnley striker Danny Ings return to the club, it will be like a new signing for Liverpool after he spent a large amount of last season out injured.

Sean Dyche and his side face a massive test as their recent record against Liverpool is very poor, they have lost their last four matches and their last victory was a 1-0 in the 2004/05 FA Cup match.

Burnley will need to make history if they are to beat Liverpool, with the Lancashire side failing to beat the Reds in a Premier League fixture.

Burnley will be looking to better their record against Liverpool. In 69 matches they have won 21, lost 30 and drawn 18 times.

Burnley are the underdogs at 11/2 with Andre Gray the favourite to score first at 7/1.

Burnley
Can newly promoted Burnley cause a huge upset against Liverpool?

Liverpool kicked off the new season with an exceptional 4-3 win against Arsenal at the Emirates, which saw Coutinho, Lallana and Mane grab the goals.

They began the match in uncertain style with left back Alberto Moreno the culprit again with a reckless challenge that resulted in an Arsenal penalty. They were lucky when Theo Walcott produced a poor penalty that Mignolet gratefully saved.

They were punished just a few minutes later when Walcott squeezed the ball into the bottom corner to give the Gunners a lead in the 31st minute.

But from then on it was Liverpool's day with Coutinho scoring an excellent free kick, which was practically unsaveable despite Cech's best efforts.

Adam Lallana put Liverpool ahead in the 49th minute with a cool finish, Coutinho returned to double his goal tally this season,  the icing was on the cake in the 63rd minute when new signing Sadio Mane put them 4-1 up.

Left Back A Problem

The more worrying aspect from Klopp's perspective will be that his side allowed Arsenal to get two goals back, through Oxlade Chamberlain and Callum Chambers but in truth the Gunners were well beaten at 4-1.

Burnley are their opponents in this match and their recent record against them is very good, they will feel slightly hard done by, that their opening two matches are away.

If they produce another performance like they did on Saturday, they will have six points from two games.

Klopp is actively looking at options at left back, given Moreno's performance throughout his Liverpool career it is incredible he is still at the club, let alone starting.

He will be looking to continue Liverpool's excellent record against Burnley and make it five consecutive wins against the Premier League new boys.

Liverpool remain the favourites at 8/15 with Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge the favourites to score first at 7/2.

 

Betting Tips

Rashford to score first @ 9/2 and Manchester United to win 2-1 @ 15/2

Aguero to score first @ 3/1 and Stoke to win 2-1 @ 14/1

Ings to score first @ 4/1 and Liverpool to win 2-0 @ 11/2

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