Premier League football is back!
There is a full slate of fixtures on-tap as Premier League clubs begin their quest for glory.
We talked to Aron Black at Bet365
to get some input about the betting action for a few of Saturday's matches.
Here is a look at what's on-tap for the opening day of the Premier League season:Liverpool v Stoke (-250, +380, +850)Why bet Liverpool:
The Reds open at home, in the comfortable confines of Anfield, where they have never lost to the Potters. In the 45 matches the clubs have played in Liverpool, the Reds have 35 wins and 10 draws. The dust appears to have settled on the Luis Suarez saga and rumors are that the Uruguayan will stay for at least one more season. Suarez will miss the opening six matches of the season as he continues to serve a 10-match ban for biting an opponent last season. Manager Brendan Rodgers will probably start a front-three of Coutinho, Sturridge and new signing Iago Aspas. It's still a threatening three, even without Suarez.
Why bet Stoke:
With the sacking of Tony Pulis, the physical, bullish approach to the game that the club has played for years looks to be a thing of the past. Mark Hughes is the man responsible to usher in a new era of Stoke football. The Potters have managed to hold the Reds off the scoresheet in the previous two meetings at Anfield. Trouble is, they haven't scored in either match as well with both the 2011 and 2012 fixture resulting in a 0-0 draw.Key betting note:
Liverpool is undefeated in their previous six home matches (in all competitions) against the Potters.2012-13 fixture result:
Liverpool 0, Stoke 0Where the action is:
"The home fave Liverpool sees their support, however at +850 Stoke is the most popular underdog for this Saturdays games."
Arsenal v Aston Villa (-250, +420, +750)Why bet Arsenal:
No club finished hotter than Arsenal last season. After a 2-1 loss at Tottenham Hotspur, the Gunners closed the season with eight wins and two draws in their final 10 matches. The side remains virtually unchanged as the London club and manager Arsene Wenger have yet to make a splash in the transfer market.
Why bet Aston Villa:
The Villains figure to be a young, exciting club this season. With 19 goals, striker Christian Benteke was the fourth leading scorer in the league last campaign and will look to improve on that total.Key betting note:
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in each of Villa's previous 11 away matches.2012-13 fixture result:
Arsenal 2, Aston Villa 1Where the action is:
"All the action on this one is on the over 2.5 goals at -175. Arsenal are always a popular bet for over the goals, and given the expectation of this game being a pretty open affair, its not a surprise to see the action being well weighted to the over"Norwich v Everton (+220, +240, +140)Why bet Norwich:
The East Anglia club made some savvy business moves in the transfer window bringing in a pair of strikers (Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper) and a great, young box-to-box midfielder in Leroy Fer. The Canaries' biggest issue last year was their goalscoring and both Hooper and van Wolfswinkel should remedy that.Why bet Everton:
Former Wigan boss Roberto Martinez takes over managerial duties at Everton after David Moyes replaced Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Martinez will look to get off to a flying start away from Goodison Park. The Toffees finished sixth in the table a year ago and were a strong defensive unit away from home, conceding just 23 goals in their away matches.Key betting note:
Norwich has scored at least two goals in each of the previous four meetings with Everton.2012-13 fixture result:
Norwich 2, Everton 1Where the action is:
"The popular play is on over 2.5 at +100. The Canaries have seen a couple of decent arrivals that should provide goals in Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Martinez would love to get his season off in style by scoring at least a couple of goals away from home."
Sunderland v Fulham (+125, +240, +250)Why bet Sunderland:
Sunderland hired gaffer Paolo Di Canio toward the end of last season and he prevented relegation and defeated bitter rivals Newcastle. Now, he gets a full season from the get-go and a plethora of new signings at his disposal. Emanuele Giaccherini, Jozy Altidore, Vito Mannone and Mobido Diakité headline the facelift at the Wearside club.
Why bet Fulham:
The Cottagers finished last season in poor form and will look to jump out to a steady start in 2013-14. New signing Adel Taarabt (on loan from QPR) gives Fulham a tricky dribbler and a player who can instantly create scoring chances . Going forward, the club was Dimitar Berbatov and not much else, so the Moroccan will add a different wrinkle to the Fulham attack.Key betting note:
There were under 2.5 goals in Sunderland's last five home matches in 2012-13.2012-13 fixture result:
Sunderland 2, Fulham 2West Brom v Southampton (+140, +240, +220)Why bet West Brom:
The Baggies are coming off a great campaign, but top goalscorer Romelu Lukaku returns to Chelsea after his season-long loan. How will West Brom replace the striker's 17 goals? Well, they went out and added Nicolas Anelka and has impressed since joining the club. Also, they have added the services of Championship player of the year (while with Watford) Matej Vydra who joins from parent club Udinese.
Why bet Southampton:
Southampton will be a different club defensively this season with the addition of CB Dejan Lovren and CM Victor Wanyama. The pair instantly improves the spine of the Saints' formation as the club looks to improve on their 60 goals conceded one year ago.Key betting note:
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in five of West Brom's previous six home matches.2012-13 fixture result:
West Brom 2, Southampton 0
West Ham v Cardiff (-110, +260, +300)Why bet West Ham:
The London club has made great strides to improve on its 10th place finish a year ago. Andy Carroll is now a Hammer after a season-long loan and makes the perfect target-man in Sam Allardyce's long-ball system. Liverpool-bust Stewart Downing also joins the Hammers and will immediately plug into wing and provide service for the aforementioned Carroll. If Carroll doesn't get the start due to his injury, Mobido Maiga will be the Hammers' striker.Why bet Cardiff:
The Welsh side has been aggressive in the transfer market strengthening the squad for life in the Premier League. Steven Caulker comes in from Tottenham and will anchor the back four. Chilean Gary Medel joins the club from Spanish side Sevilla and should prove to be the calming influence in midfield.Key betting note:
West Ham went undefeated in its last five home matches to close out the 2012-13 Premier League season.2012-13 fixture result:
N/AWhere the action is:
"The Hammers are seeing the bulk of the action here. Premiership newcomers Cardiff will find it tough to play at a very boisterous Upton Park, and West Ham have added to their squad to make them stronger."
Swansea v Manchester United (+300, +250, +105)Why bet Swansea:
The Swans have been tipped by many as the top club outside of the Big 6. They have made some nice signings over the past couple of seasons including goalscoring threat Wilfried Bony. The club has a tough task ahead of it, but the Swans will play their brand of attractive, free-flowing football and attack the Man United defense with style.Why bet Manchester United:
The opening match for the defending champs is a big one. David Moyes has taken over as manager after the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down as gaffer of the club and would like to get three points right off the bat. We'll see just how much the Wayne Rooney soap opera has effected the club and coach.Key betting note:
Swansea concluded the 2012-13 campaign conceding at least two goals in eight of its final 10 matches.2012-13 fixture result:
Swansea 1, Manchester United 1Where the action is:
"Man United is seeing the most action of any team for the first day of the new Premiership season. Not a surprise to see them being backed, however, it’s a brave price to back for an away fave on the first weekend."