If there’s one thing we love here at bwin, it’s goals, especially of the opening-day variety. But where to find them this weekend in the Premier League? Well, this punter reckons you should look no further than the three televised games between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, Wigan Athletic and Chelsea, and Manchester City and Southampton.
Read on to find out why all three fixtures should feature over 2.5 goals and then back them in a treble which could deliver none-too-shabby winnings of £104.91 for anyone using the free £20 bet on offer when joining bwin.com.
Over 2.5 goals in Newcastle v Tottenham @ 87/100
With the season all shiny and brand new, it is tough to look at form to predict outcomes given the previous competitive match for either of these sides was in May. However, in the 2011/12 campaign, both teams were involved in more games with over 2.5 goals than under.
Alan Pardew’s men have to prove that they were not simply one-season wonders and that they can charge towards a top-four challenge again with the firepower of the Senegalese ‘Cole and Yorke’, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
The prospect of facing those two, who bagged 29 Premier League goals between them despite Cisse only being present for half of the campaign, will surely make Andre Villas-Boas reluctant to play the infamous high defensive line that cost his Chelsea side so many goals last season.
Both teams conceded a healthy amount of goals last season (Spurs shipped more than Everton, Newcastle let in more than 13th-placed neighbours Sunderland) and boast attacking talent such as Ba, Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa, Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart. It should be a real goal-fest at the Sports Direct… sorry… St James’ Park.
Over 2.5 goals in Wigan v Chelsea @ 87/100
Having been involved in a five-goal Community Shield clash against Manchester City last Sunday, Chelsea and their eleven attacking midfielders (OK, maybe Petr Cech might get a game) travel to Wigan to play a team they have given a sound bashing to on more than one recent occasion.
Like Newcastle and Spurs, both of these teams were involved in more games with over 2.5 goals last season than not and with the two Robertos (Martinez and Di Matteo) both favouring attacking tactics, the trend looks likely to carry on at the DW Stadium on Sunday.
There were three goals in their last meeting as the Stamford Bridge outfit recorded a 2-1 home win in April, and who could forget the 8-0 and 6-0 back-to-back drubbings on the last and first days of the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons?
With the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, Marko Marin and Fernando Torres buzzing around the Latics rearguard, the home side will do well to keep Chelsea to under 2.5 goals, but may fancy bagging one or two themselves against a Blues back-line that leaked three times in twelve second-half minutes at Villa Park last week and looked far from secure in pre-season.
Over 2.5 goals in Man City v Southampton @ 1/2
Finally, we come to the late Sunday match at the Etihad Stadium. Both teams were involved in more goals than you can sheikh a stick at (see what I did there?) last season and there is little reason to think that will stop this year.
City have enjoyed back-to-back 3-2 wins against QPR and Chelsea, and despite a bizarrely slow summer in the transfer market, their stars from last season appear ready to shine once again as they seek to retain their Premier League title.
Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure all looked as sharp as ever in the Community Shield, and Southampton boss Nigel Adkins will do very well indeed to keep them from scoring over 2.5 goals on their own.
The Saints are looking forward to their return to the top flight and in Rickie Lambert, they have a player with a pedigree for scoring lots of goals at every level he has featured in to date. With 23 of City’s league games last season featuring over 2.5 goals – and 15 of their 19 home fixtures – the odds look good for that trend to continue.
Roberto Mancini’s charges put four past Swansea in their opening game last season, and that had been 0-0 at half time, so if the same occurs here, don’t panic.
New customers can register here to claim a free £20 bet or click here to see all our Premier League odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwin