The 2012 Olympics may have drawn to a
timely close but there will be plenty more golden moments as the English
Premier League kicks off on Saturday, 18th August. Read my rundown and check out my picks from the opening games of the season.
The 2012 –13 EPL promises entertainment
by the stadium load and there is a glut of tasty matches for the opening weekend.
The firmament of sports commentary
lost one of its brightest stars last weekend when Sid Waddell was called to the
big commentary box in the sky. This betting preview of the 2012-13 Premier
League's opening matches is dedicated to the memory of the Sultan of Simile
a.k.a. 'The Voice of Darts' himself, and borrows some of his choicest quotes.
exciting than if Elvis walked in and ordered a chip butty!
Arsenal kick off their Premier League
campaign against Sunderland on Saturday and while I think that the Gunners will
struggle this season, dealing with unhappy players and a trophy drought of
hosepipe-ban proportions, they should have no difficulty overturning a side who
finished 25 points behind them last season. With Arsene Wenger (still)
Teflon-coated and cool as a prized marrow you’d be daft not to back a home win
at 4/11 as opposed to an away win at 11/2, even a draw (offered up at 10/3)
doesn't turn my head. This game will be all about Arsenal.
As they say
at the DHSS, you're getting the full benefit here
Reading return to the
Premier League not so much as underdogs, as underpuppies. They will take heart
from the fact that they are in with a shout of a point when they host a Stoke
side who managed just four away wins last season (Bolton were relegated on
six). Reading is 11/8 to renew their Premier League life with a win, while an
away victory for the Potters is at 8/5 (but I’m backing a draw at 11/5).
swings back and forth…like a metronome
Under the stewardship of new boss
Brendan Rodgers, the once mighty Liverpool take a trip to West Bromwich Albion,
now managed by former Liverpool coach Steve Clarke, looking to continue the
three game winning streak, notched up in pre-season. The Pool are Evens to take
a win and I think that as (new) Liverpool have plenty to prove they will be
considerably faster out of the blocks than the Baggies. A slice of Mrs
Richardson's 2012–13 shoe fund is going straight on a Reds victory.
Eat your heart out Harold Pinter,
we've got drama with a capital 'D' at St James’ Park
Sid Waddell’s home side, Newcastle
host Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday’s 5:30 televised kick-off. This should
(could) be an absolutely cracking encounter as both these sides finished well
last season and will be looking to set out their stall for a top four finish this season, as early as possible.
However, I think that Newcastle owed
a lot of their position to good fortune last year and will be on the wrong end
of a high-scoring result against Spurs. The bookies have a home win at 7/5 an
away win at 6/4 and, certainly worth a Plan-B bet, a draw is at 23/10.
With the “anything can happen” nature
of the Magpies (the latest transfer gossip has nine Newcastle players heading North to
Rangers on loan), predicting their eventual league position is like trying to
pin down a kangaroo on a trampoline.
BFH - Bus Fare Home bets
Three of the safest bets in football
are scheduled for Sunday and Monday. Sunday lunchtime sees the perplexing
Champions League champions, Chelsea take on relegation fodder Wigan. A Chelsea
win is at 8/15 compared to a home win at 9/2, but as Chelsea were as
predictable as a wasp on speed last season (refusing to adhere to my
expectations) I feel very confident in backing them to tear Wigan apart and to
win at a canter, especially after having lost out in the Community Shield.
Like giving Dracula the keys to the
Sunday's second match sees the
reigning Premier League Champions (and Community Shield holders) Manchester
City host the Saints of Southampton who return to the Premier League after a
seven year absence. Southampton hardly look like contenders following their 4-0
humbling, at home to the Italian outfit Udinese in their last game.
Much as I have fond memories of
Southampton I do think the Saints won't
just have to play out of their skins to beat Manchester City at the Etihad
Stadium, they'll have to play out of their essence. After the foreplay that was the
Community Shield, Manchester City will pick up exactly where they left off last
season, extend their impressive home record and start their 2012–13 campaign at
the top of the table, leaving their opponents merely cutting with spoons in
their wake. The most one-sided encounter since Christians
V Lions way back in AD 15.
The bookies have this at something of
a foregone conclusion as a home win is at 1/7, a Saints win is at 11/1 and a
draw is at 5/1. Mrs Richardson's shoe fund is making a heavy investment in the
Citizens for this game.
Manchester (shares now available down
United will have to get used to looking up to their noisy
neighbours, leaving their fans about as happy as a penguin in a microwave. The runners-up from last season, the
“other” team in Manchester start with a trip to Everton on Monday night and
Alex Ferguson with his psychology of a claymore will consider Everton to be
just the first step towards snatching the Premier League trophy back from
City’s cabinet. Everton will find their Premier League opener against United
akin to trying to stop a water buffalo with a peashooter and will have to play
out of their collective pie crusts to get anything out of this game. The
bookies have a home win at 3/1, but a Red Devils’ victory is at 4/5.
All in all there is only one word for
this opening Premier League weekend, “magic football!”
RIP Sid Waddell 1940 – 2012