Blackpool in dreamland after opening 4-0 win at Wigan

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Supposed Premier League whipping boys Blackpool made a mockery of pre-season expectations as they stormed to the top of the table after a 4-0 win at Wigan.

Blackpool were priced at 7/2 to win this fixture at the start of the day, but Ian Holloway’s men had confounded these odds by half-time as they took a startling 3-0 lead into the break.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher opened the scoring, before a Marlon Harewood brace and a fourth from Alex Baptiste sealed a famous victory at the DW Stadium.

Bettors who backed Blackburn to beat Everton at 9/5 were rewarded by Nikola Kalinic’s first-half strike, which gave Rovers a 1-0 victory.

Aston Villa shrugged off Martin O’Neill’s resignation with a 3-0 dismissal of West Ham, Wolves beat Stoke 2-1 while there were draws between Bolton and Fulham, and Sunderland and Birmingham.

It is Blackpool’s win, however, which will dominate the headlines this weekend. The Tangerine Army have already exceeded expectations of a winless season, and bettors brave enough to back the Seasiders will be reaping the rewards of their opening day showing.

There were similarly good wins to be had in the Championship, where QPR underlined their title credentials with a 3-0 win at Sheffield United.

QPR were 9/4 to win prior to kick-off, and Neil Warnock will be delighted to have returned to his old home Bramall Lane in such devastating fashion.

QPR are now 9/2 to win the Championship title, as they hold a joint lead with Millwall – who smashed Hull 4-0 – at the top of the table.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Cardiff won 2-1 at Derby, which will have been excellent news to bettors backing them at odds of 2/1.

Who do you think will win the Championship? Middlesbrough are 8/1 contenders. See the full Championship Betting Odds market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.