Premier League odds, news and free bets: Sunday 2 September

Liverpool playing Arsenal at Anfield conjures memories of Michael Thomas clinching the league for the Gunners in stoppage time, Robbie Fowler scoring a quick fire hat-trick for the Reds or Andrey Arshavin scoring four times for the visitors

That game is the first of three Premier League contests to take place on Sunday, with Newcastle hosting Aston Villa later in the afternoon and the visitors will be looking to avoid a third successive defeat at St James’ Park.

Southampton are also starting a pointless opening in the face and opponents don’t get much tougher than Manchester United, with the Red Devils looking to move through the gears after beating Fulham.

Liverpool v Arsenal 13:30
Liverpool supporters were left underwhelmed by the club’s lack of transfer activity on transfer deadline day and Brendan Rodgers has merely succeeded in trimming his squad thanks to the offloading of Andy Carroll and Charlie Adam.

However, Nuri Sahin arrived recently on loan from Real Madrid and the Turk should make his debut for the Reds, with Rodgers likely to continue with the talented Raheem Sterling on the left flank after an impressive match against Manchester City.

Liverpool are 23/20 (Paddy Power free bets) to claim their first Premier League win of the season although that price seems a little skinny considering they have taken just one point from their opening two matches and it required a late Luis Suarez goal to avoid a potential banana skin against Hearts.

Arsenal are as meaty as 3/1 (Stan James) to claim victory at Anfield as they did last season although that was achieved thanks to an exquisite goal from Robin van Persie, with Alex Song the provider of the assist. Neither player are on the books anymore!

The Gunners would be pleased with a draw in this match and their previous two games have ended goalless so the 5/2 (Sky Bet) about the game ending all square seems like a reasonable shout.

Even so, Suarez is looking sharp as a tack and the fact that Liverpool are now playing pass and move football makes life easier for the Uruguayan who can be backed at 5/1 to score the first goal.

Newcastle v Aston Villa 16:00
Newcastle United surprised everyone last season by challenging for the Champions League places and there’s every reason to think they can match last season’s 5th placed finish which saw the Magpies finish ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool.

Alan Pardew has kept his prized assets at St James’ Park including star strike duo of Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, even if he didn’t manage to bring Andy Carroll back to the club on loan, something which would have given Newcastle an extra attacking option.

Cisse scored his first Premier League goal against Villa last season and the north-east team are strong favourites at 4/6 (BetVictor free bets) to claim all three points against a Midlands side who appear to be struggling at this early juncture.

Beating Tranmere 3-0 in the League Cup would have been a confidence booster for Paul Lambert’s team although they were worryingly outclassed 3-1 by Everton last weekend and it will be interesting whether the manager holds true with his assertion that his team will go out and attack in every match.

Villa were unable to land the surprise capture of Clint Dempsey on transfer deadline day and will rely heavily on Darren Bent for goals this season, with the England forward available at 8/1 (William Hill free bets) to score the first goal of Sunday’s match.

Cisse is yet to get off the mark and can be backed at 4/1 while Ba is a 9/2 chance and it was the latter that scored a spectacular winner against Tottenham a fortnight ago.

Southampton v Manchester United 15:00
It’s a pretty tough start to the season when you have to face both Manchester clubs although at least Southampton will gain solace from the fact that the fixture list will get progressively easier over the weeks and months.

Saints actually took the lead at the Etihad Stadium before failing to withstand a late onslaught from the champions although more telling was a 2-0 home reverse against Wigan that suggests it could be a tough campaign for Nigel Adkins’ men.

What they would give for three points against the Red Devils on Sunday and Southampton can be backed at 11/2 (Paddy Power free bets) to claim a famous win and subject United to their second successive away defeat after losing to Everton in their opening game.

Even so, there will be big money for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team to land the spoils in this match following their 3-2 win against Fulham and the general sense that Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa are beginning to find their feet for their new club.

United are a best price 3/5 (BetVictor) to win this match and close the gap to three points on leaders Chelsea which will be solid enough before the international break, with the fortnight allowing the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones to make suitable recoveries and improve things defensively.

You can’t be too confident that the Red Devils will keep clean sheets at the moment, with a 2-1 and 3-1 correct scorelines looking like the ones to back as Van Persie looks to continue on the goal trail and the Dutchman is 9/2 to score the first goal of this match.

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