Paul Higham is predicting goals as the Premier League returns to Bramall Lane and Frank Lampard enjoys a Stamford Bridge homecoming.
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Sheffield United v Crystal Palace (1400 BST - Sky Sports Premier League)
The Blades are back in the big time and they've got a huge chance to kick-off their home campaign with three points against a flat looking Palace side who will be desperate to have Wilfried Zaha starting and fully focused on his Eagles future.
United were the best Championship side at home last season but Roy Hodgson's men were experts on the road, winning 29 of their 49 points away from home and with talisman Zaha scoring nine of his 10 goals away from Selhurst Park.
Zaha has also bagged six in his last seven away games so if he's on his game then he, and Palace, will be a real threat on the break if the Blades are too gung-ho in front of what will be a buoyant Bramall Lane crowd.
Chris Wilder's side played well in their draw at Bournemouth though, and while they need to be wary of the extra Premier League nous Palace will have, there was enough about them to suggest they can justify favouritism in this one.
There should also be goals, with United scoring in their final 13 home games in the Championship while the Eagles scored in all but one of their away games against non top-six sides.
Prediction: Sheffield United 2-1 Crystal Palace (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Bet bet: Sheff United to win at 13/8
Sheffield United v Crystal Palace Opta stats
- In their first match of the season, Sheffield United became the first team to exclusively use British and Irish players in a Premier League game since Norwich City in August 2012 against Fulham.
- Only Manchester City (24) have scored more away Premier League goals in 2019 so far than Crystal Palace (20).
- Sheffield United have never won a Premier League game on a Sunday (P5 W0 D4 L1). They’re the only side to have played more than once on that day of the week without ever winning in the competition.
- Crystal Palace have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games in August (D2 L7), beating promoted Fulham 2-0 on the opening weekend last season.
- In his third Premier League appearance, Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp scored his first goal in the top-flight with his first shot against Bournemouth – the last Englishman to score with his first two shots in the Premier League was Marcus Rashford in February 2016.
Chelsea v Leicester (1630 BST Sky Sports Premier League)
What a first week in charge it's been for Frank Lampard, getting hammered at Old Trafford then losing to Liverpool on penalties in the early hours of the morning over in Turkey in the Super Cup - welcome to life as a Premier League boss!
It won't always be as tough as that with a talented Chelsea squad, but Sunday sees another tricky assignment as Brendan Rodgers brings his well-fancied Leicester side to town for Lampard's big homecoming at Stamford Bridge.
The Foxes won this fixture 1-0 last season but that was a rare loss for Chelsea against these opponents, and despite results going against them there have been plenty of positives to take from Lampard's first two games in charge - plus he has senior players returning all the time to help his younger charges.
Leicester weren't overly impressive in their home opener against Wolves and with a home crowd, players improving their understanding of Lampard's philosophy and an extra day's rest from their midweek Super Cup exertions, Chelsea have enough to get off the mark here.
Chelsea's defence hasn't looked the best though, especially against pace, and Jamie Vardy has that in spades, so with Leicester well suited to playing on the break, a goal should be theirs for the taking.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Leicester (Sky Bet odds: 15/2)
Chelsea v Leicester Opta stats
- Only one of the last 86 shots in Premier League games between Chelsea and Leicester has been converted – the one converted was scored by Leicester’s Jamie Vardy in a 1-0 win in December 2018.
- Chelsea have won their opening home league match of the season in 14 of the last 16 seasons (W14 D1 L1), with their only defeat coming as reigning champions in 2017-18 against Burnley.
- Chelsea haven’t lost their first two games at the start of a top-flight season since the 1973-74 campaign, when they finished 17th under Dave Sexton.
- This will be Leicester’s 500th Premier League game, the 16th different team to reach the milestone. Of the previous 15, only five have won their 500th game – Arsenal, Everton, Tottenham, Newcastle and most recently Manchester City (6-1 v Burnley in April 2010).
- Since the start of 2014-15, Leicester forward Jamie Vardy has scored 12 away Premier League goals against the ‘big six’ – three more than any other player.
Odds correct as of 1415 BST on 16/08/19
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