Manchester City have reinforced their defence ahead of embarking on their quest to retain a top-tier title for the first time, which starts at Newcastle this afternoon.
A price of 67/100 says Manuel Pellegrini’s men will kick the campaign off with three points at St James’ Park, where Newcastle have assumed a sizeable 15/4 for the home win, while the draw weighs in at 14/5.
Given the Citizens’ frankly fantastic record against this foe, it’s difficult to oppose their favouritism.
But if backing an odds-on outfit away from home isn’t your style, try this better value bet on for size:
Man City to win to nil @ 21/10
This pair met on the opening day 12 months back at the Etihad.
City didn’t encounter many problems then, running out emphatic 4-0 winners.
It was the second of four matches in which they’ve kept a clean sheet against the Magpies, all of which they won (if you include a 2-0 extra-time toppling in last season’s Capital One Cup).
Not since October 2008 have the sky blue-clad club failed to beat their forthcoming foes, while Newcastle’s last win against City came all the way back in September 2005.
This imperiousness certainly doesn’t discourage a punt on the flawless road victory for the visitors.
When you consider City’s track record on day one, it’s even harder to refute these odds.
Five of the previous seven first days have ended with the two-time Premier League champions claiming the spoils without having their laundry sullied.
As part of the spectacular capitulation Alan Pardew’s men suffered in the first half of 2014 they lost five of their final eight matches without hassling the scoreboard operator.
City, by contrast, closed their title-winning campaign with three triumphs without concession from four and all the signs point to another helping here.