There’s always money to be made on Premier League opening day, with new signings, fresh thinking and abject failure all contributing to big-priced scorelines and scorers as the most exciting division in world football kicks off.
All that being said, there’s usually a safe haven or three to invest wisely in. We particularly like the opening-day smarts of the trio below:
The Blues’ 2-2 draw at home to Swansea last term was something of an aberration, certainly under former boss Jose Mourinho, who had overseen opening-day victories over Manchester United, Wigan, Manchester City, Birmingham, Hull and Burnley during his two spells at Stamford Bridge.
Indeed, Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Stoke under Andre Villas-Boas four years earlier was their only other opening-day disappointment this decade, and both Portuguese bosses were sacked later on in the seasons they failed to start with three points.
That leaves new Blues chief Antonio Conte under a lot of pressure to post an 8/13 debut triumph over West Ham this weekend.
Unlike Chelsea, City do have a couple of seasonal-debut defeats on record in the past 10 years, going down 3-0 to the Blues a decade ago and 4-2 against Aston Villa a couple of seasons later, but their form since is almost exemplary.
A 0-0 draw at Tottenham is the only blot on the two-time Premier League champions’ opening-day copybook since 2008/09, with new boss Pep Guardiola hoping to add to five wins on the spin at home to Sunderland.
Little wonder City are the shortest-priced side in the top-flight this weekend at 1/4 to win.
The vast majority of the Hornets’ early winning form has come in the Championship, but it can’t be knocked considering a win or draw away to Southampton would leave Watford without an opening-day loss in a decade.
In fact, the 2-2 draw at Everton last term checked a run of three Watford opening-day wins in a row, with their previous failure to triumph coming at Burnley in 2012/13, by the same scoreline.
You can have 14/1 on another 2-2 at St Mary’s, although backing Walter Mazzarri’s men to avoid defeat at 1/1 in Ladbrokes’ double-chance market seems more prudent.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.