Tottenham haven’t won an opening weekend fixture in the Premier League since beating Liverpool 2-1 in 2009 and with Real Madrid-target Gareth Bale missing through injury, the enhanced 11/10 on a win or draw for Ian Holloway’s newly-promoted Crystal Palace is the bet to be on.
Spurs have gone wild in the transfer market this summer, with £60m quartet Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue all available for a debut run-out at Selhurst Park.
The absence of talismanic winger Bale, however, will worry the White Hart Lane faithful, as the Welshman fired home 21 of the club’s 66 league goals last season and Spurs won 52% of the 44 games Bale played in all competitions, compared with just four victories in the ten games he didn’t feature in.
Palace are back in the top flight after a nine-year absence and Holloway – who was so close to keeping Blackpool up a couple of seasons ago – looks set to repeat the striker-heavy strategy he used at Bloomfield Road, with three new forwards brought into the club, plus deals for last year’s loan signings Kevin Phillips and Steven Dobbie, as the south Londoners try to score their opponents into submission.
Of this cardre of new hitmen, Marouane Chamakh – who started his Arsenal career so promisingly three years ago, with seven goals in his first 15 games when covering for the injured Robin van Persie – stands out as a player who could be vital to Holloway’s survival bid, and the 9/1 about the Moroccan international opening his Palace account with the first goal of the match is the pick.
A repeat of Holloway’s last Premier League opening weekend result – Blackpool’s 4-0 hammering of Wigan Athletic in 2010 – is unlikely, but the 23/2 on a 2-2 correct score goalbet is appealing, with Bwin refunding losing single bets if any Tottenham player scores two goals or more.