Manchester City v Manchester United
United were about seven seconds away from a 13th Premier League crown last year, only for the latest of late shows from Sergio Aguero to take it away from them on the final day.
It’s 5/4 that the Red Devils respond in textbook United fashion this time around and get the better of their big-spending neighbours – surely taking the title back in doing so.
City have failed to improve on their weaknesses from last year thus far – namely in central defence – and they should be wary of the fact that United have won the title every Premier League season after finishing second in the one that preceded it.
Verdict: Manchester United
Newcastle v Everton
Newcastle’s season defied just about every expectation in the country last term. A top-half finish did not seem feasible at the start of the campaign, let alone European qualification.
However, second-season syndrome could be something the likes of Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye fall foul of now opponents are familiar with their qualities after success in 2011/12.
Everton are a side who you know what you’re going to get from – solidity and consistency – and, at 5/4 underdogs, they could be a great price to finish above the potential flash in the pan, Newcastle.
West Brom v West Ham
West Brom have taken an unarguable gamble by handing Steve Clarke the managerial reins, whereas West Ham supremo, Sam Allardyce, knows what it takes to survive on the Premier League stage.
Clarke has big shoes to fill following Roy Hodgson’s departure for England and whether he can instil the discipline and defensive resolution that served the Baggies so well last year will be a huge challenge.
Allardyce is yet to be relegated from England’s top division and his unattractive, yet effective, style of play makes a price of 5/6 for the Hammers to finish above West Brom club seem excellent value.
Verdict: West Ham
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.