In just over a fortnight’s time, the richest league in European football is back. The first round of the FA Premier League kicks off on 10 August and promises to be something special.
Manchester City won the league title by a country mile last year, but their main rivals have invested heavily to cut their advantage at the top. It remains to be seen whether the likes of United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham will be able to offer a sustained challenge to the dominance of Pep Guardiola.
Getting the ball rolling
First things first, swing by the Oddsshark website, procure your favourite betting agency and get your account sorted out with a username and password. As a new customer and with the new season set to start, there should be several offers on the table.
Where should I be investing my money?
The best place to start is Old Trafford and the very first game of the new season. Manchester United host Leicester City looking to lay down a marker of intent for the season ahead – they need to hit the ground running, something they have failed to do since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Leicester, meanwhile, finished ninth last season and are unlikely to get a result at the home of United. Jose Mourinho’s side are at just 1.44 to win this one, with Leicester out at 7.50, and a 2-1 win for the home side comes in at 9.00, according to Oddsshark.
One side which could well be worth keeping an eye on this season is Everton. The Toffees moved swiftly to bring in highly rated Portuguese coach Marco Silva, who in turn signed Brazilian forward Richarlison from former club Watford.
Everton could only manage an eighth place finish last season under the stewardship of Sam Allardyce, but Silva would look to have the guile to take them further. They will have their work cut out, however, against a Wolves side who won the Championship and have come up to the Premier League with every intention of sticking around.
And it is Wolverhampton Wanderers who come into this game as the favourites to take all three points. Wolves are at just 2.25 to make a winning start to the campaign, with Everton at the higher price of 3.20 and s stalemate slightly higher still at 3.30.
Wolves have stepped up their plans in the transfer market, and have succeeded in being in the experience of João Moutinho from Monaco. However, Everton have been there, done that and bought the proverbial T-shirt, and a 2-1 away win for Silva’s new side is priced at 12, meaning that a US$5 bet would offer a US$60 pay out.
You can also potentially double you money by backing over 2.5 goals in this game at 2.05. Under 2.5 goals in the match is at the slightly lower price of 1.75, but this is a match Everton are likely to snatch, despite their slightly longer odds.
But the mot mouth watering tie of the weekend will take place on the Sunday, when current champions Manchester City head to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal. Unai Emery has taken over at the Gunners and has a full regeneration project on his hands.
The experienced boss has been active in the transfer market this summer and has looked to add a blend of youth and experience to the squad, while allowing fan favourite Jack Wilshere depart for West Ham United. Whether they will be able to get the better of Manchester City, however, is another matter entirely.
Guardiola and his side won the title by a massive 19 points last season and stopping them will require a massive effort. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is City who come into the game as the favourites to take the points – they are at just 2.00 to make a winning start to the campaign.
Arsenal are not counted out by any stretch of the imagination though. The Gunners are at 3.50 to take the points in front of their own fans, with a draw priced slightly lower at 3.30.
Emery has become known for building sides which are solid at the back, and a 1-0 win for Arsenal is priced competitively at 17.00 That means a US$5 bet would bring in a pay out of US$5, and would admittedly require Arsenal to keep a clean sheet against a side that scored 106 league goals last season.
Premier League Round 1 fixtures
Friday, 10 August
(1.44) Manchester United x Leicester City (7.50); draw (4.50)
Saturday, 11 August
(3.40) Newcastle United x Tottenham Hotspur (2.10); draw (3.40)
(2.00) Bournemouth x Cardiff City (3.60); draw (3.50)
(2.30) Fulham x Crystal Palace (3.10); draw (3.30)
(6.00) Huddersfield Town x Chelsea (1.53); draw (4.00)
(2.20) Watford x Brighton (3.30); draw (3.25)
(2.25) Wolverhampton Wanderers x Everton (3.20); draw (3.30)
Sunday, 12 August
(1.28) Liverpool x West Ham United (11.00); draw (5.00)
(1.90) Southampton x Burnley (4.00); draw (3.40)
(3.50) Arsenal x Manchester City (2.00); draw (3.60)