The Premier League opening day can often throw up a shock or two.
With two 5-0s on the board last year and West Brom thumping Liverpool 3-0, this accumulator looks for the alternative bets on day one of the Premier League.
Liverpool v Stoke – Under 2.5 Goals 17/20
The last three Premier League encounters between these two at Anfield have resulted in games producing less than 2.5 goals – the last two ending 0-0.
Stoke’s previous two opening fixtures have resulted in draws, the last of which was a 1-1 draw away to Reading, but prior to that they held Chelsea to a bore draw at the Britannia.
Liverpool have failed to win a Premier League opener since 2008/09 and you have to go back to 2007/08 for the last time they scored more than one goal on day one.
It will be interesting to see how Stoke set up under new manager Mark Hughes, but you have to feel any changes to the Potters’ style of play will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. First and foremost he will ensure they are difficult to beat in his first competitive game in charge and a Liverpool side likely to be without star man Luis Suarez could find them difficult to break down.
Norwich v Everton – Both teams to score 3/4
Both sides have found the net in six of the last seven matches between Norwich and Everton, including the last four.
Visitors to Carrow Road have often found the Canaries difficult to keep out and even Man City’s stoutest of defences found themselves conceding three in East Anglia last term. However, with more goals conceded than 17th placed Sunderland over the course of the season, they also found themselves slacking in defence at times last term.
While Roberto Martinez inherits David Moyes’ well drilled Everton back four, his style of play at Wigan – who last kept a clean sheet on day one since the 2009/10 season – suggests Norwich will get chances.
Arsenal v Aston Villa – Over 2.5 Goals 8/13
Only one of the last seven fixtures between these two sides has ended with less than 2.5 goals scored.
Last year’s 2-1 victory for the Gunners at the Emirates saw Santi Cazorla grab an 85th minute winner after he had opened the scoring, only to see Andreas Weimann equalise.
The season prior to that Arsenal turned Villa over 3-0 in N5, so Arsenal to win and over 2.5 goals to be scored in the match at 21/20 may appeal to some.
However, the Villans do not have the worst record in Islington, picking up points there in 2010/11, 2008/09 and 2007/08 so we’ve opted for the more conservative option, especially since Paul Lambert has secured the services of Christian Benteke for another year.
Sunderland v Fulham – Draw and under 2.5 goals to be scored in the match 13/5
For the last six seasons, at least one of the league fixtures between these two sides has ended in a draw, including four goalless encounters, which is available at 7/1.
Two of the last three of Fulham’s opening league fixtures have finished 0-0 and it would be no surprise to see another low scoring encounter here.
Sunderland also drew a blank last season away to Arsenal in their 2012/13 bow, and prior to that drew 1-1 away to Liverpool, with the Black Cats often proving difficult to beat on day one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.