Premier League fever is already sweeping Ladbrokes eight weeks before the start of the new season and there is another great betting opportunity for punters that can’t wait for kick-off – the chance to bet on who will be bottom after the opening weekend.
Swansea have been installed as 11/4 favourites on the basis that the play-off winners get underway with a daunting trek up to Manchester City to face England’s newest Champions League contenders, but a heavy loss is far from a foregone conclusion.
One reason to go against the market leader is that the team promoted through the Championship’s end-of-season lottery in five of the last seven campaigns have avoided defeat in their first top-flight fixture, while the other two were beaten by just one goal.
In addition, last year was the first time in a decade that a club that had just gone up closed matchday one in 20th position, when West Brom had the misfortune of being forced to travel to champions Chelsea and were on the end of a 6-0 thrashing.
Sunderland are second favourites to endure a horrific opening day at 9/2 when they visit a Liverpool side that won three of their final four home games in 2010-11 by three or more goals, however the Black Cats tend to get going relatively well.
Given that the teams that survived on the final day last term are facing likely fellow strugglers, with Wigan hosting Norwich and Blackburn meeting Wolves, there is therefore potential for a surprise regarding the early occupants of last place.
Everton could be the standout at 12/1 due to the combination of a tough first match away to Tottenham, the fact they have been bottom after one week in two of the last seven seasons and their tendency to underperform in the summer months.