Brighton 8-1 to stun City in top-flight opener

PREMIER LEAGUE new boys Brighton have been given a tough opening fixture on their return to England’s top flight with Chris Hughton’s side rated 8-1 outsiders to beat Manchester City at the Amex Stadium.

The opening round of matches are scheduled for the weekend of August 11-12 and Brighton’s match looks certain to be one of those selected for live coverage against the 2-1 title favourites.

City are 2-5 for a perfect start, but they are not the shortest price first up as champions Chelsea are rated 1-5 to get off to a flyer against Burnley at Stamford Bridge. Ladbrokes offer 7-2 that Chelsea lead the table after the first round of fixtures.

Manchester United are 4-11 to overcome West Ham at Old Trafford, while Arsenal are 1-2 shots to down Leicester.

Liverpool are 8-13 to beat Marco Silva’s Watford at Vicarage Road with Tottenham, on paper at least, facing the most difficult of openers among the big six.

Spurs can be backed at 4-5 to win at Newcastle, who are 4-1 to mark their return to the big time with a victory and 4-5 with Coral to be the top promoted club.

Huddersfield don’t have a glamour clash in their first ever Premier League encounter but the trip to Crystal Palace is far from daunting and the Terriers are 9-2 to win at Selhurst Park.

It’s quite a nice start for Town, who follow the Palace trip with home games against Newcastle and Southampton but Hills offer only 11-8 that David Wagner’s side collect no more than two points from those three matches.

Everton are looking to get busy in the transfer market this summer and are odds-on to beat Stoke at Goodison Park but things quickly get much tougher for the Toffees, who could be in a sticky situation come the middle of September.

After the visit of Stoke Ronald Koeman’s men travel to City and Chelsea before a home game against Spurs, then go back on the road to Old Trafford.

Southampton are rated 8-11 shots to see off Swansea at St Mary’s, while West Brom versus Bournemouth is seen as the closest opener with Albion narrow 11-8 favourites.

Premier League opening fixtures: Arsenal v Leicester, Brighton v Man City, Chelsea v Burnley, Crystal Palace v Huddersfield, Everton v Stoke, Man Utd v West Ham, Newcastle v Tottenham, Southampton v Swansea, Watford v Liverpool, West Brom v Bournemouth.

Match in Focus

19:45 Sa 26May

Real Madrid v Liverpool

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Real have won just one of their last four Champions League meetings against English opposition
Expert verdict
Real Madrid have lifted the Champions League in three of the past four seasons but they could struggle to retain their crown against a lively Liverpool. Real have been the dominant force in Europe, with last year’s 4-1 thumping of Juventus in the final in Cardiff showcasing their superiority. However, Zinedine Zidane’s men have not bumped into a front three like the Reds’ often - Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have netted 29 of their 40 Champions League goals this season - and they are vulnerable to the counter-attack.



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