Jim Knight has two selections from the Premier League in his quest to begin the season on a high and is advising smaller stakes for the opening weekend of top flight gamesIt's here! It's finally here! Well, I say finally; it barely seems like 10 minutes has passed since Sergio Aguero put the exclamation mark on a superb season with one of the most exciting finales we will ever see.
This weekend sees the return of the Premier League and it's great to have the domestic action back, especially after the England and Great Britain teams showed fantastic ability to mirror each other's disappointing performances on the international stage.
To start with, I'll be keeping the stakes relatively low. It's difficult to read too much into clubs' pre-season form and so it's always a good idea to wait until you've got a better read on how the teams are shaping up before getting too heavily involved.
If you want to read my ante-post tips for the season you can do so here.
First up is the live game between Newcastle United and Tottenham at the Sports Direct Arena. I like Andre Villas-Boas and I think he got a rough ride at Chelsea last season. Gylfi Sigurdsson is a great signing but Spurs' attack is looking about as sharp as a spoon at the moment.
Jermain Defoe is still the only recognised striker on the books and with wantaway Luka Modric heading to Real Madrid it could be tough for them to break through against a solid Newcastle back line.
Alan Pardew hasn't splashed the cash this summer but that's no surprise given the way his side performed last season. Holding onto their star players had to be the main objective this summer and they've done that.
Yohan Cabaye was one of the few French players to come out of Euro 2012 with any credit and in Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse they could have only of the most deadly strike forces in the division.
There's a few niggling injuries around for the hosts but given the quality they have in their squad and Tottenham's lack of attacking options I'll take the 6/4 (2.50) on offer for a home victory. £10 on that one returns £25 with Paddy Power.
My second selection is Wigan/Draw on the double chance market against Champions League winning Chelsea at 6/4 (2.50) with Paddy Power. Chelsea's squad still looks a little disjointed and I don't think they've managed to integrate their new signings into a cohesive unit yet.
The likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar may prove to be great acquisitions as the weeks and months go on but I'm not convinced they'll have the easiest opening game on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues face a Wigan Athletic side who will be well organised under Roberto Martinez and despite losing a couple of players over the summer in Mohamed Diame and Hugo Rodallega I think they've bought relatively well and they'll be hoping to consolidate their Premier League status in the upcoming nine months.
The Latics performed exceptionally well against the top sides at the end of the last campaign and although those games were more "do or die" than this one, the potential is there for an upset.
Chelsea look much too short at just 1/2 (1.50) to win at the DW Stadium in my opinion so it's £10 going on the double chance market backing the underdogs and the draw at 6/4 (2.50).
Balance at the start of the week: £500
|Newcastle to win: £10 at 6/4 with Paddy Power
|Wigan/Draw (Double Chance): £10 @ 6/4 with Paddy Power
|Total staked this week: £20|
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Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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