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Simon is backing one of Brendan Rodgers' new signings to start with a bang plus there's your chance to win a £20 free bet with Diary of a Punter next week

With the ante-post picks out of the way, it’s time to get down to business and focus on the weekly grind of turning a profit on the football markets during the 2012-13 season. If you want to read my ante-post tips, they're available here.

Whilst I hope to bring lots of good news over the course of the season, I reckon I can bring you some even better news right now.

As of next week, the Diary of a Punter column will have a free bet of £20 to give away each week, courtesy of our friends over at Paddy Power.

Keep an eye out on our Twitter feed (@GoalBetting) and on the Goal Betting site for more details on how to get involved and how to snag that free bet!

However, in the meantime, there’s a full schedule of domestic football to get involved with and see if we can start this season off with a bang, so, on to my selections for week one.

With no real form lines or trends in the leagues yet, it’s very much a case of keeping my powder relatively dry to start with, looking to build as the weeks go on, but I still think there’s opportunities to make a little cash this weekend.

First up is the Manchester City vs Southampton match on Sunday.

The start of the season is a funny old thing; the supposed stronger teams, often still take a few matches to really get into the swing of things (Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all drew their first games last year), whilst the promoted teams tend to come out of the blocks faster than Usain Bolt, before ultimately fading away.

If Sunday’s Community Shield has taught me anything (and granted, it’s not much), it’s that City’s defence can certainly be penetrated, especially if Mr Stefan Savic happens to be in one of the central defensive positions. Southampton on the other hand were impressive in the Championship, have goal machine Rickie Lambert and the creative force of Adam Lallana, along with a young and hungry group of players around them.

"If Sunday’s Community Shield has taught me anything (and granted, it’s not much), it’s that City’s defence can certainly be penetrated, especially if Mr Savic happens to be in one of the central defensive positions."

- Simon on Manchester City's defence

With this in mind and, whilst I do believe City will get the job done, I believe Southampton will get on the score sheet.

You can currently get 6/5 (2.20) with Paddy Power for both teams to score, whilst the price is shorter elsewhere, and this is good enough for £10 of my £500 bankroll to start things off.

My second and final selection of the week falls in the West Brom vs Liverpool match where Fabio Borini should make his league debut for the reds, against their former assistant manager, Steve Clarke.

The 21-year-old Italian knows Brendan Rodgers well and the way he likes to play and has seemingly fit in to the squad well, already getting on the competitive score sheet in the Europa League qualifiers.

From what I have seen so far, he will line up in the middle of the front three and will have Luis Suarez creating chances for him throughout the match. He gets in great positions in front of goal and he won’t need many chances to convert one. At 7/4 (2.75) with Paddy Power, it’s getting £10 of my betting bankroll.

Don’t forget my colleague, Jim Knight, will also be keeping his diary, under the same rules and conditions as myself, so be sure to check his predictions too and, of course, check back next week for your first chance of winning a £20 free bet. Most of all, enjoy the start of the 2012-13 season and the best of luck in all of your betting endeavors.

 
Diary of a Punter: Simon's Selections this week
Balance at the start of the week: £500
Fabio Borini to score: £10 at 7/4 with Paddy Power
Both Teams to score (Manchester City v Southampton): £10 @ 6/5 with Paddy Power
Total staked this week: £20

Sign up with Paddy Power for up to £250 in free bets

Simon Pilkington is a sports writer, an avid supporter of Liverpool FC and has been betting on sports for the past 13 years. Follow Simon on

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