Live on Skysports 1: Sun 13.30 & 16.00: Paddy Power’s 8/15 favs Manchester United should beat West Brom but Chelsea may struggle.
Manchester United begin the defence of their Premiership crown on Sunday with a tricky-looking trip to West Brom and Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are 8/15 with Skybet to start as they mean to go on by collecting maximum points at the Hawthorns today.
The Baggies, bet365’s 6/1 outsiders, gave United all sorts of trouble in the pair’s two meetings last season while United drew over half of their away matches, so some punters might fancy a modest flutter on the stalemate at 3/1 (); however, it’s worth remembering that the champions rode out the storm in the corresponding fixture to record a 2-1 win and with an improved line-up they should have the edge here.
Nevertheless, Roy Hodgson’s teams are usually tough to beat, particularly on home soil and the visitors might subsequently only manage a one-goal margin of victory (5/2, Boylesports). A repeat of last season’s 2-1 triumph, rated by Totesport at 7/1, isn’t out of the question then, as it should be a match in which both teams find the net (5/6, Stan James).
Elsewhere, it could be a fruitful season for Wayne Rooney, who will surely be one of the main contenders for the Golden Boot at 8/1 (Sportingbet) and the United marksman, at 7/2 courtesy of Partybets, can make a flying start by breaking the deadlock. Meanwhile, in what is set to be a relatively tight affair, Ladbrokes post an enticing 10/3 against an away win, chalked up on the back of an even first half.
Like Manchester United, Chelsea also kick off with a difficult assignment on the road, as they head to Stoke. Andre Villas-Boas’ side are 4/6 via Paddy Power to make a winning start under their new boss but the Blues could only draw at the Britannia Stadium last term and at 3.8 (14/5) with Betdaq, they may have to settle for a point on this occasion too.
Skybet offer 13/2 for it to finish one-each in the Potteries, just as did in last season’s meeting and also at 13/2, this time with bet365, is a goal at any time for City winger Matthew Etherington, whose pace and creativity could give Chelsea a real headache.