With both sides among last season’s overachievers, Fulham – who finished ninth – and Norwich City – who finished 12th – will want to make fast starts to maintain that momentum.
But given the relative lack of funds at Craven Cottage and Carrow Road, it’s going to hard for either team to push on and this is reflected in bwin’s relegation odds, which see Fulham priced 10/1 and looking slightly safer than Norwich at 7/5.
This is mostly down to the loss of the Canaries’ inspirational manager Paul Lambert, with the architect of Norwich’s double promotion leaving for Aston Villa, and it remains to see whether replacement Chris Hughton can do as good a job of motivating a squad still short of Premier League experience.
Fulham, by contrast, have enjoyed a fairly stable summer and even enhanced their squad with the acquisition of two experienced internationals in Mladen Petric and Hugo Rodallega.
With both sides not wanting to start the season badly, it would be no surprise if these two evenly matched teams finish up sharing the points, so lead-draw looks to be the best call at 7/2 in the run of play market.
As such, the Lilywhites are rightly 4/5 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market ahead of the two teams’ opening-day encounter at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
This leaves the draw at 5/2 and a Norwich win at 17/5.
Martin Jol’s team (as with many Fulham sides) have built their success on their home record and last season were the sixth best Premier League team on their own patch.
Crucially, included among their list of ten triumphs at Craven Cottage was a 2-1 victory over Norwich.
It’s 29/4 for a repeat performance and new customers using the £20 free bet available when registering with bwin stand to win ₤165 if they successfully back this outcome.
For a more sure-fire bet, consider a punt on over 2.5 goals at 91/100.
Norwich had a refreshingly open approach on their return to the Premier League, with 27 of their games last season featuring three goals or more, so it would be no surprise to see a few goals fly in at the Cottage.
With last season’s top scorer Grant Holt spurning a move to West Ham to stay at Carrow Road, he’s worth backing at 8/1 to get the last goal – especially as the Canaries scored 16 times in the last 15 minutes of games last term
Because of their ability to get late goals, should Hughton’s new charges come into half-time level they will be confident of turning that into three points and punters can back them to do so at 35/4.
But with both sides not wanting to start the season badly, it would be no surprise if these two evenly matched teams finish up sharing the points, so lead-draw looks to be the best call at 7/2 in the run of play market.
Recommended bet: Lead-draw in the run of play market at 7/2.
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