Manchester United boss David Moyes expressed his dismay that the fixture computer had handed his side assignments against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in their first five outings but the former Everton manager’s complaint drew little sympathy from outside of Old Trafford and indeed it might actually act as a psychological boost to Jose Mourinho’s men as his Blues side prepare to lock horns with the champions on Monday.
Nevertheless, United are BetVictor’s 6/4 favourites for the points while Chelsea are priced at 11/5 by Skybet to strike the first blow in a potentially absorbing title race and it’s an enticing 5/2 (Stan James) to finish all square.
This early in the campaign, with the two sides still finding their feet and desperate not to slip-up, there’s a feeling that neither would be too disappointed if they were to emerge from this encounter with a share of the spoils, so both Winner.com’s 6/1, marked against a 1-1 scoreline and Ladbrokes’s offer of 14/1 about it finishing two-apiece, catch the eye.
Alternatively, Stan James mark 6/1 against scores being level at the end of each half and given the attacking prowess the teams possess, it certainly looks likely that both will find the net (8/13, bet365). Staying with goals, there are too many candidates to pick from in the first scorer betting but Robin van Persie certainly looks capable, at 11/8 (BetVictor), of notching at some point.
Manchester City started their season in impressive fashion, with an emphatic 4-0 triumph over Newcastle and they look set to follow that with a victory at newly promoted Cardiff, an outcome betway quote at 9/20. However, in front of a passionate and vociferous crowd in South Wales, another straightforward is a big ask, so a case can be made for both a City success by one at 5/2 (bet365) and BetVictor’s 15/2, chalked against Manuel Pellegrini’s charges bagging the only goal.
Liverpool’s triumph against Stoke on Saturday was well deserved, but Aston Villa have already shown that they’re not the pushovers of last season and they look huge at 16/5 (William Hill) considering they enjoy home advantage against the Reds. Also set to prevail on their own patch meanwhile, are BetVictor’s 13/20 jollies Tottenham, who host Swansea.
Elsewhere, Paddy Power make Everton 8/13 to follow up their decent performance in the draw at Norwich, with a victory over West Brom in Roberto Martinez’s first home match in charge of the Toffees, bet365’s 8/11 chances Southampton should have too much for Sunderland and William Hill quote Stoke at 5/6 to see off Premier League new boys Crystal Palace.
Finally, at St James’s Park, it’s 12/5 with bet365 for Newcastle’s tussle with West Ham to prove inconclusive and also at 12/5, this time courtesy of BetVictor, is a draw as Hull welcome Norwich to the KC Stadium.
Aston Villa to beat Liverpool – 16/5 (William Hill)
Man City to beat Cardiff by one – 5/2 (bet365)
Treble on Everton, Spurs and Southampton – 18/5 (BetVictor)
Man Utd and Chelsea to draw – 5/2 (Stan James)