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Manchester United have the best record in their opening games. Jim Knight looks at the opening ties in the Premier League and envisages a tough trip for Roberto Di Matteo's men

The wait is over and the first round of Premier League fixtures. Here’s how the top-six teams in the Premier League betting have performed in their first game of the season for the last 20 years.

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Manchester United

Finding out Manchester United are the most successful team on the opening day of the Premier League season is no surprise. As you would expect from the 12 times Premier League winners, they hit the ground running better than most.

Thanks to moments like David Beckham’s lobbing Neil Sullivan from the halfway line, the Red Devils have started their league campaign with a win 65 per cent of the time, drawing 20 per cent of the time and losing 15%.

Their record against Everton is a reason for confidence, even if their most recent defensive display against the Toffees isn’t. Man Utd to win against Everton on Monday 10/11 (1.91) and they are 12/5 (3.40) to win the league.

Chelsea

Chelsea’s record in the first game of the season is impressive, especially in recent years. And it’s a record that pre-dates Roman Abramovich’s decision to shower the club in his billions.

The Blues haven’t lost their opening assignment since 1998 and since then, they’ve amassed a record of 11 wins and two draws on their first outing and that contributes heavily to their impressive 60% over the last 20 years.

That’s a nice stat to take into a potentially tricky tie away to Wigan on Sunday. Chelsea still look underpriced at 8/15 (1.53) to win against Roberto Martinez's side as they look to integrate several new players into their squad and the Wigan/Draw double chance at 6/4 (2.50) could prove solid value.

Arsenal

Arsenal’s opening-day form can be split up into two categories – pre-Wenger and with Wenger. Before the Frenchman arrived at Highbury in 1996, the Gunners won just two of their first five Premier League opening day fixtures. Since then though, opening day defeats are rare.

Wenger has kicked off the new season with a defeat just once during his 16 years at the club. 60% of the time, Arsenal’s Premier League campaign has begun with a win and they’re 2/5 (1.40) to improve that record by beating Sunderland at the Emirates on Saturday. Arsenal to win the league is 12/1 (13.0).

Liverpool

Liverpool have won half their games on the opening day of the Premier League season. Between 1993 and 2002, Liverpool won eight and drew two of their 10 opening games of the season.

In the 20 years of the Premier League, the Reds have only lost three of their first outings which compares favourably with United, Chelsea and Arsenal, but their habit of dropping points via the medium of the draw has been costly.

They’ve won just two of their last nine opening day assignments, drawing five and losing two. Liverpool’s overall win rate of 50% isn’t bad, but might have punters thinking a win away at West Brom isn’t an absolute banker. Liverpool to win against West Brom on Saturday is available at evens (2.00) and they’re 25/1 (26.0) to win the Premier League.

Manchester City

Considering they spent much of the last 20 years scrapping against relegation, Manchester City haven’t done too badly first time out, although that record does include forays into the second and third tiers.

City have only lost 30% of their opening day fixtures against 35% win and draw rates. But with the injection of cash from Sheikh Mansour, applying the historical stats to the present day version of City is tricky.

All things considered, they tend to start the season relatively well and it’s hard to see that changing when they host new arrivals, Southampton. Man City to win against Southampton on Sunday 2/11 (1.18) and they are favourites to win the league at 5/4 (2.25).

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham have generally disappointed first time out on the Premier League era. 40% of their opening fixtures have ended in defeat and a further 30% have resulted in draws. That’s 70% of ‘not winning’.

To defend the White Hart Lane outfit, they haven’t always been the strongest of teams over that period. But more recently, they’ve won one, drawn one and lost four of their last six opening games of the season – a period when they’re generally considered to be on the up.

Their chances of improving that record look dubious this time around as they’ve been handed a tricky trip to Newcastle first up. Tottenham to win against Newcastle on Saturday is priced at 6/4 (2.50). Andre Villas-Boas’ side are 25/1 (26.0) to finish top of the league.

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If there's a red card in any of these matches, we'll refund all losing First Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score & Scorecast singles on that match.

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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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