Ed Chamberlin: Here we go!

  • By: Ed Chamberlin
  • Last Updated: August 23 2014, 7:44 BST

Sky Sports presenter Ed Chamberlin looks at the start of the Premier League season and ahead to this weekend's live games.

Manchester City started with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle
Manchester City started with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle

It's dangerous to jump to any conclusions after the first of fixtures in the Barclays Premier League, especially with two more weeks to go with the transfer window open.

However, Manchester City and Chelsea looked ominously good They backed up pre-season expectations and it's easy to see why they are clear at the top of Manchester City remain a 9/4 chance to retain the title.

Chelsea are the movers after week one, now 11/8 with Sky Bet to finish top.

The last four Premier League winners have kicked off their seasons on Monday Night Football and Chelsea could easily make it five.

Cesc Fabregas ran the show at Burnley and although you can't read too much in to one result, it's evident, as discussed at length in my season preview, that Jose Mourinho now has all the pieces of his jigsaw in place.

Fabregas and Nemanja Matic have the power to rival Manchester City, defensively Chelsea are rock solid and now have a goalscorer.

As Gary Neville said on Monday Night Football, Chelsea can fight you when necessary but also out-pass you or just steamroller you. They have the lot.

After Monday night, how Arsenal fans must wonder and now hope Arsene Wenger buys a powerhouse to bolster their midfield.

Meanwhile, the Louis Van Gaal era at Old Trafford began with a 2-1 home defeat against Swansea last Saturday, handing United their first opening-day home defeat since losing by the same scoreline to Ipswich in 1972.

They last lost their opening game of the season in 2012-13 and went on to win title. This time bookmaker reaction was dramatic. Sky Bet instantly pushed Manchester United out to 9/1 to win the title.

While van Gaal got all the headlines we must not overlook Swansea's achievement - their first League win against Manchester United since January 1982 and first ever League win at Old Trafford. That’s a real feather in Gary Monk's cap.

Now United have to bounce back at Sunderland. The game is live on Super Sunday and I will be hosting the show from the Stadium of Light.

Team Versus Team
A Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Leicester
C Palace v West Ham
Southampto v West Brom
Swansea v Burnley
Everton v Arsenal
Hull City v Stoke
Tottenham v QPR
S'land v Man Utd
Man City v Liverpool

Manchester United will be after revenge and owe Sunderland one after the defeat on penalties in the Capital One Cup semi-final and the game at Old Trafford in May, which was Ryan Giggs’ first defeat as interim manager and put Gus Poyet’s side three points clear of the relegation zone and on the brink of their miracle escape.

Prior to that United had had the sign over the Black Cats. They were unbeaten in 23 Premier League games (18 wins) and haven't lost successive League games to Sunderland since Bill Murray’s side won three in a row between December 1950 and October 1951. Sunderland are 15/4 with Sky Bet to repeat the trick.

United could improve considerably away from home. They were flying in pre-season until they got back to the pressure of Old Trafford.

It will be interesting to see if van Gaal sticks with the formation Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville discussed at length on Monday's show. Gary talked about the difficulties of recruitment and the £16m signing of Marcos Rojo suggests he will stick with it as you'd expect him to play as a left-sided centre-half with Luke Shaw (when fit) as the left wing-back.

It will be fascinating to see the team and system he plays plus how it all pans out on Sunday.

We start at 1230 BST on Sky Sports 1 with Hull v Stoke, followed by Manchester United’s trip to Sunderland.

Wayne Rooney is bound to be popular at 7/2 to score the first goal. His strike against Swansea was his 174th Premier League goal to move within one of third-placed Thierry Henry in the all-time top PL scorers list. Only Andy Cole (83) and Alan Shearer (87) have scored more away Premier League goals.

After that game it will be a race to get to Newcastle airport to catch the flight down to London as we've got the first 'blockbuster' game of the season on Monday Night Football when Manchester City host Liverpool.

Sky Bet have for Manchester City as odds-on favourites to win as Liverpool prepare for their first big test of the post-Luis Suarez era. Stopping the City juggernaut is a big ask.

I want to add a racing tip too! At Tuesday's York Ebor Preview Evening David O'Meara told all and sundry Repeater was a horse...who hated to win. It's never a good trait to be fair but this fellow has bundles of talent and I think he's going to run a huge race in the Betfred Ebor. I will be backing him each-way though!