Manchester United begin the defence of their Premier League 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.
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 4/1 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.
By contrast, Arsenal can make light of the transfer uncertainty at the Emirates Stadium, by gleaning all three points from their visit to Newcastle, where Boylesports quote them at 10/11 to emerge triumphant and Manchester City can also enjoy an opening weekend victory; they’re 1/4 (Paddy Power) to get the better of promoted Swansea and 4/6 with Betfred to do so by at least two clear goals.
There appears to be a renewed sense of confidence at Anfield, where rejuvenated Liverpool look like a home banker at 1.5 (1/2) via Betdaq as they entertain Sunderland and Paddy Power make Kenny Dalglish’s charges 13/10 to beat the Black Cats ‘to nil’.
Elsewhere, Fulham and Aston Villa are hard to separate at Craven Cottage, where Skybet quote 12/5 for the spoils to be shared and a draw, at 12/5 with , could also be on the cards at the DW Stadium as Wigan tackle top flight new boys Norwich.
Liverpool to beat Sunderland ‘to nil’ – 13/10 (bet365)
Manchester United to beat West Brom by one – 5/2 (Boylesports)
Treble on Manchester United, Arsenal & Tottenham – 7/2 (William Hill)