Tottenham (2.4) Draw (3.4) Manchester City (3.1)
Its the new big 4 team vs the wannabe big for team. Harry Redknapp has more or less kept the same side whereas Manchester City have pulled out the chequebook again. This is a tricky fixture to call. Man City will have problems getting the new signings all working together. Their pre-season was pretty poor. Its going to be hard for Mancini to get them all working together on day one. After Christmas maybe when the team has gelled I could make a good case for City. This fixture has been kind for Spurs over the years. Its been 2-1 5 times in a row only to have been broken last year 3-0. I’ll go for Spurs here. If they are going to build on last years achievement then this is the type of game they have to win. Its 2.4 at William Hill.
Aston Villa (2) Draw (3.4) West Ham (4.3)
Last week this game had a totally different dimension. With O’Neil leaving, it leaves Villa with no manager. This has pushed the odds out for Villa. They were as low as 1.62 before O’Neil’s departure. Villa have made new signings to its going to be the same team that finished 6th. West Ham are in the rebuilding stage. With Avram Grant at the helm this year they probably won’t be staring relegation in the face like last season. I can see why the odds have gone up on Villa but I am not sure I agree with that. Its the same team but with O’Neil. I think that Villa at even money at naijabet is a pretty good price considering.
Blackburn (3) Draw (3.3) Everton (2.5)
I think that Blackburn will struggle this season. They were fortunate to finish 10th last season and with no new significant signings it will be hard not to get pulled in to the relegation battle. Everton finished strongly last season and are expected to do better than the 8th they finished last season. If they hadn’t has the slow start last season they could well have been in the Champions League. As no team has significantly changed I’ll make my prediction on what would have happened if this game was played at the end of last season. I think a draw. Its also nice its the biggest price on the coupon too. 3.3 at William Hill.
Bolton (2.3) Draw (3.3) Fulham (3.5)
Bolton look like they are going to have a better season this year. Owen Coyle steered them away from relegation last year and has built significantly on his squad. Fulham have a new manager in Mark Hughes who must be kicking himself for taking that job now the Villa job is available. Saying that, Fulham are a decent side and have progressed much over the last 2 years. In terms of betting, this is one of the trickier fixtures to call. I am not too keen on Bolton at 2.3 at home to a decent Fulham side but then again I am not too keen on 3.5 on a Fulham side that won once away from home all season. I’ll plump for the draw again at 3.3 at William Hill
Sunderland (2.25) Draw (3.4) Birmingham (3.6)
What happened to Sunderland last season was a mystery. They started strong but a bad run at the end meant they finished nearer the bottom that the top. They have sold one part of their striking partnership in Kenwyne Jones but still have Darren Bent. He was injured for the England game midweek but looks like he’s going to start. Birmingham over achieved last season I think. I can’t see them doing what they did last season again. Betting wise its a tricky one and any result wouldn’t be too much of a surprise. You can sign up to NaijaBet to place your bet.
Wigan (1.83) Draw (3.6) Blackpool (5)
The first odds on game of the weekend. Who would have thought that Wigan would ever be odds on to anyone in the Premiership? Their opponents are Blackpool though that are 1.29 to get relegated. If Wigan fail to win this they will struggle this year. Blackpool have a few things on their side. They more or less have the same side which came up. Hull came up a couple of seasons ago and started off flying. If they are going to win any games away from home this season this could well be it. I still expect Wigan to win this though but not willing to back it. It’ll be a cold day in hell before I back Wigan at odds on in the Premiership.
Wolverhampton (2.4) Draw (3.3) Stoke (3.3)
Wolves have strengthened their side with new signings Jelle van Damme, Steven Fletcher and Steven Mouyokolo who are all expected to start. Unknown players to me but Jelle van Damme has got to have the coolest name in the Premiership. Kenwyne Jones is Stoke’s big summer signing which could be good for them. They’ve never had an out and out striker relying more on set pieces to get their goals. Betting wise this is another tricky call. I think under 2.5 goals is nailed on but at 1.63 best price at Bet365 it doesn’t seem worth it. I think the draw at 3.3 looks the best bet. I am weary of picking too many draws though after last seasons total lack of draws early on. Its 3.3 at Totesport anyway.
Chelsea (1.18) Draw (7.5) West Brom (21)
Banker of the weekend possibly. I am not too sure myself. Chelsea will more than likely win this but at 1.18 its not a price that I’ll be backing as a single. Last season they had an easy game against Hull and it took a late goal from Drogba to win it. Their pre-season hasn’t been good, most noticeably losing to Manchester United in the Community Shield. If you lose at a short price its much more painful that losing at a big price. I think the Chelsea to win to nil at 1.8 at bluesquare
is a much better bet. The bookie is saying that its 4 times less likely that Chelsea win than it is for them to win to nil. That can’t be right.