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Goals galore in Man City's victory over Stoke and other Premier League bets to consider this weekend

Plus, Arsenal to recover from last week’s defeat to Liverpool at the home of the champions.

1. Manchester City to beat Stoke City with 3 or 4 goals in the match (13/5)

PEP GUARDIOLA HAS been in the Manchester City hot seat for just six weeks but he has already managed to put his distinguished stamp on the team.

The former Barcelona player has managed to fit all of City’s most potent attacking players in the side, which has already started to pay dividends, with two wins in his opening two games.

Stoke will be relishing the chance to take on the favourites for the league title, but there will be pressure on the Potters to improve again this year, as well as maintain their attractive style of play.

But having said this, Mark Hughes’ side did lose seven of their 19 home league matches last season.

City are in buoyant mood and will be relishing the chance to maintain their fine start to the season. This match could finish 2-1 or 3-1 to the visitors.

Romania Soccer Champions League Source: AP/Press Association Images

2. Swansea to beat Hull City and West Ham to beat Bournemouth (18/5)

Swansea and Hull both started the season as many people’s tips to be in the relegation mix come the end of the season, with the newly-promoted side expected to struggle more than most. However, both teams started the season with impressive victories.

Mike Phelan enhanced his chances of being named the new permanent manager of the Tigers with a superb, yet surprising, victory over reigning champions Leicester City.

But you can’t help but wonder if that win may do more harm than good, with the three points covering up the obvious cracks in the side, although a takeover from a group of wealthy Chinese investors appears to be imminent.

Swansea on the other hand completed some smart transfers under the radar during the summer, snapping up Borja Bastón, Fernando Llorente and signing Leroy Fer on a permanent basis, although the loss of captain Ashley Williams will surely be felt over the course of the season.

The Welsh-based side picked up eight of their 12 league wins at the Liberty Stadium last season, and expect them to pick up all three points against Hull.

On Sunday, West Ham play their first match at the London Stadium (formerly Olympic Stadium) against Bournemouth, after conceding a last-gasp winning goal against Chelsea on Monday.

With a hectic European schedule to follow should they progress past the Europa League play-off round, Slaven Billic’s side will need to hit the ground running in their new stadium against a Bournemouth side that looked far from convincing against Manchester United.

Burnley v Swansea City - Premier League - Turf Moor Source: Dave Howarth

3. Arsenal to beat Leicester City and over 2.5 goals in the game (5/2)

After just one game of the season, we could all probably write the script for the upcoming nine months of Arsenal’s season – they will string a few impressive wins midway through the season, flirt with a title challenge only for Arsene Wenger’s side to fall away and the manager to say that they don’t have the financial muscle to compete with the league’s biggest clubs.

But what has kept Wenger in a job over the past decade is his ability to bounce back from a defeat, and to the tease the Arsenal fans as to what is possible with the side. In fact, the Gunners were the only side to beat the Foxes at home last season, thumping Claudio Ranieri’s side 5-2.

Last weekend, Leicester produced the worst possible start to their title defence by losing to Hull to become the first reigning champions to lose their opening match in the process.

With Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi both out injured for the visitors, Wenger has admitted he may have to take a risk on the fitness of Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud.

Anything less than three points and Wenger’s side will be already playing catch up on the early pacemakers.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Source: Nigel French

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About the author:

Shane Costello

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