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The Premier League is finally making a long-awaited return to our screens kick-starting on Friday night. The PL Summer Series has seen goals aplenty with a chance for sides and fans to look at their new signings and set the tone for the new season.
The first weekend is full of blockbuster games starting when Man City legend Vincent Kompany hosts his former side at Turf Moor, a game we have picked out a fouls-based selection for later in this article. This game features the first of three players to watch contained in this article, with a selection picked for each player to go into any bet builders placed this weekend or to be placed as a value single.
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Player: Connor Roberts – In for a tough return to PL football
When the fixture lists were released, most sides were looking to avoid Man City on the opening day, particularly opposing right backs. Connor Roberts comes in as one of our Premier League players to watch as he faces off with England international, Jack Grealish.
Operating off the left flank, Grealish drew 3.42 fouls per game last season in addition to tallies of 2.58, 4.53, 4.65 and 4.98 in the years prior. Grealish is clearly an intricate winger and an exceptional ball carrier.
The starting right back, Roberts averaged 0.69 fouls per game last season, including 1+ in seven of his last nine. This was against Championship level opponents where Burnley averaged the league high in possession. Against a City side who will see most of the ball, Burnley will be frustrated, particularly by Grealish. 1+ foul is 1.25 and 2+ Roberts’ fouls are 2.25 for those fancying a bigger price.
Player: Bukayo Saka – Arsenal’s star boy to get his tally underway
Market: Goals/ Assists
Bukayo Saka is another one of our Premier League players to watch in game week one with his matchup against Nottingham Forest. Forest are widely predicted to stay up this season, however, they couldn’t really have been given a tougher start to their league campaign.
Saka had a wonderful season last year with 39 goal contributions across all competitions for club and country. Arguably the best right winger in the league over the past 12 months, we expect Saka to kick start either his goal or assists tally on Saturday for the new season, if not both.
Last season, this fixture finished an astounding 5-0 to the Gunners with Saka going off injured. He will be keen to not pass up this opportunity again. Furthermore, Arsenal are expected to line up with the same back line as against Man City, a back line featuring four right-footed players. This may not seem like a big factor but with these four favouring opening out to the right, Saka should see more of the ball than opposing winger Martinelli.
Player: Ollie Watkins – Villa star to pick up where he left off?
Team: Aston Villa
Market: Shots on Target
After a stellar season in 22/23 for Aston Villa, Ollie Watkins was in and around the England squad. Hoping to build on his performances under Unai Emery, Watkins now has a supporting cast around him including Moussa Diaby.
Watkins has started superbly in the preseason and hence he features in our Premier League Players to watch for week one. Goals v Lazio, Newcastle and Valencia backed up by an impressive performance against Fulham have seen Watkins register four SOT’s in four starts. It’s worth mentioning that Villa travel to Newcastle this matchday looking for another goal v the Geordies.
Villa should show more intent this year as they play with confidence inspired by their progressive midfield including Youri Tielemans. This should increase the chances created for Watkins, who hit the target at an astounding rate of 57.7%. 1+ Watkins SOT is priced immensely at 1.53.
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