Southampton pip champions Leicester in pick of opening day wagers
With the Premier League on the brink of finally returning to stadiums and screens, we’ve cast a keen glance across the opening-day card in search of punting gold.
You’ll get just over 10/1 with Ladbrokes.com about the treble below, and there’s good reason to believe it will land with a bang.
Despite losing almost £60m worth of talent over the summer, with Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Victor Wanyama accounting for 82 Premier League starts in 2015/16, the Saints squad that finished sixth last term is mostly intact, with sound-looking replacements drafted in by new boss Claude Puel.
Conversely, Watford have once again picked up a smattering of unknown quantities, with the capture of 20-year-old forward Isaac Success from former Giampolo Pozzo family-owned club Granada the biggest purchase.
Pozzo’s sacking of Quique Sanchez Flores at the end of last season leaves a cloud over Watford that new boss Walter Mazzarri will struggle to shift in a hurry, and a trip to the south coast is hardly a soft start to the Italian’s tenure.
Only the three relegated clubs lost more top-flight matches on the road last term than the Hornets, while a mere five sides managed more home wins than the Saints, and just one each at that.
Shane Long and Dusan Tadic, who could both feature, bagged in a 2-0 Southampton victory at St Mary’s last season, a correct scoreline available at 7/1 here.
The Premier League champions weren’t that far off their imperious best in the 2-1 Community Shield loss to Manchester United, with departed colossus N’Golo Kante’s absence not as keenly felt as many will have predicted, largely thanks to their opponents’ shaky midfield.
Kante aside, Leicester’s first team was made up of the ten other consistent Foxes starters en route to their famous first title, plus Andy King, with new midfield signing Nampalys Mendy given 27 minutes to acclimatise himself to English football in the second half.
No other top-flight club managed to make double digits in the away win column last term, with Claudio Ranieri’s charges snatching 11 victories on the road by the campaign’s end.
Managerless Hull look in real trouble here.
Spurs have struggled on the first days of recent Premier League seasons, narrowly winning just two of their past six such matches and losing three, while former Goodison Park chief Roberto Martinez started each of his three campaigns in charge with 2-2 draws.
This pair haven’t been separated by more than one goal in their last nine encounters, with four draws coming from the past seven Everton v Spurs fixtures including in both games last term.
It all points to more of the same on Merseyside, while another Toffees 2-2 can be backed at 14/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.