Finally, after an excruciating long summer without football, the Premier League returns, and with it, an opportunity to win some money to make Match of the Day even sweeter.
There’s nothing worse than conceding an injury time equaliser, to ruin your acca (apart from Garth Crooks), but on the flip-side, there is nothing sweeter than hearing Jeff screaming “there’s been a goal at the Emirates!”, when waiting on Arsenal for the last leg of a tasty treble.
Swings and roundabouts, and there are plenty of ups and downs to be expected over the coming season, but hopefully we can start with a profit.
I’ve never put up any predictions about over/under 2.5 goals before, but looking at the prices this weekend, there seems to be some brilliant value floating around.
Liverpool kick-off the new season versus Stoke in the early kick-off, and the last two games at Anfield between the two sides have finished 0-0.
Liverpool always seem to start the season slowly, but should have enough firepower to see off a Stoke side that will take a while to adjust to the new playing style of Mark Hughes.
I can’t see Stoke troubling new boy Simon Mignolet too much, and a 2-0 victory for the reds looks a solid prediction. However, you can never be too confident on Liverpool bagging too many goals against the Potters, and the under 2.5 goals price at Evens looks a solid bet to add to the multiple.
Swansea v Manchester United is the late kick-off on the opening day, and we can expect goals galore at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea have had the benefit of being back in competitive action earlier than most, with the Europa League qualifying having already commenced.
They looked solid, with new-boys Wilfried Bony and Jonjo Shelvey linking up well with one of the finds of the season Michu. They will cause a rather worried David Moyes some problems, and with United’s pre-season being rather mixed, it would be no surprise to see Swansea bag a couple.
However a side with Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney in will always score goals, so the safe option is to side with over 2.5, and just enjoy the game, which looks set to be a cracker. 4/5 is a fair price, and is worthy of going in the multiple.
The final leg of the over/under treble is the West Brom v Southampton game, which looks set to have plenty of action.
The Baggies’ new signing, Nicolas Anelka will be looking to get off the mark straight away, and with new England front-man, Rickie Lambert on the opposite side, there looks to be goals in the offing.
Both are rather attacking sides, and will be a bit slow defensively earlier on in the season. It is worth risking the front-men being able to stick away the chances they are sure to get. 10/11,. tots up the over/under treble to 5.87/1, and adds a bit of interest during the televised games.
Opening Day BTTS & Win double;
Norwich entertain Everton at three o’clock, and the Blues has been in great form pre-season, showing they can match it with the big boys over in America. Kevin Mirallas looks like he is set for a massive season, and he can lead Everton to an opening day victory at Carrow Road.
Roberto Martinez seems to have fazed in his new passing style seamlessly during the season, and has a solid back four to base it off. Coleman and Baines are arguably the best full-back pairing in the league on their day, and both are set to go on to bigger things unless Everton step up and mount a European challenge this year.
Norwich have signed well, but still lack defensive depth and a central midfielder to run the show. This is where Everton can take advantage on Saturday, and with Fellaini pulling the strings in the centre, Everton should just have enough to see off the challenge of Chris Hughton’s men.
It’s worth taking advantage of Ladbrokes’ 18/5 about Everton to win, with both teams scoring.
Add this with Manchester United to beat Swansea, with both teams scoring at 11/4 and we have a 16.25/1 double that is extremely enticing.
Any-time scorer treble;
Theo Walcott looked in good nick for England in midweek, getting himself on the score-sheet, and he can replicate this come Saturday, against a rather week Aston Villa defence.
He is 5/4 to net any-time, and with his pace like to cause the Villa back-four problems all afternoon, he looks good value to start the season with a bang.
Kevin Mirallas can also carry on his pre-season form by getting his name on the score-sheet at the first time of asking. The Belgian has gone from strength-to-strength since arriving in the Premier League, and has excelled under the guidance of Roberto Martinez, slotting in to the fluid formation with great ease.
Employed as a wide-man, Mirallas is keen to link up with the lone striker, and this means the 5/2 about him netting looks a decent prospect.
Tottenham have brought in Roberto Soldado to bolster their attack, and mount a challenge for top-four next season, and he will start his campaign away at Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.
He has strength, and a sharp finish and although he won’t be used to the physical presence that Palace offer, he had the ability to be able to adapt quickly.
He is set to be penalty taker for Spurs, which could come in handy Sunday, and at 5/4 it’s worth adding him to our any-time trio, which will hopefully result in us having a bit of interest come Sunday.
1 point treble (Over/Under 2.5 goals): Liv/Stoke – Under, Swa/MU, WBA/South – Over @ 5.87/1 (William Hill)
1 point double: Everton to beat Norwich & BTTS, Manchester United to beat Swansea & BTTS @ 16.25/1 (Ladbrokes)
1 point treble (any-time scorer): Walcott/Mirallas/Soldado @ 16.72/1 (BetVictor)