by Tom Allen
The start of the Premier League season has snuck up on most but the odds
compilers are seemingly on the ball and the majority of matches look priced
correctly on opening weekend.
With action spread across three days, featuring four televised matches, there
is plenty to look forward to but the best is probably saved until last with
Everton hosting Manchester United on Monday night.
United have a decent recent record at Goodison Park but a trip to Merseyside
first up is no easy task and the odds-on quotes about an away win look just
about short enough.
Ahead of his proposed move to Old Trafford it remains to be seen if Robin van
Persie will feature against the Toffees but the Arsenal man's former teammates
can open up with a win against Sunderland at the Emirates and so, too, should
Manchester City face newly promoted Southampton, and are no bigger than 1/5
to start with three points, while Saturday's most eye-catching fixture comes in
the late game where Newcastle and Tottenham can hardly be separated by the
I see this pair being fairly closely matched this term once more but, with
home advantage, Newcastle are tipped to start on the front foot and I can see
them taking care of Spurs.
While Alan Pardew, quite improbably, has been able to keep hold of all his
key men in the off-season his counterpart on Saturday, new Tottenham manager
Andre-Villas Boas, has faced an uphill struggle and the Portuguese will be
unhappy at the current composition of his squad.
Having been unable to thrash out a deal with Manchester City, as yet, for
striker Emmanuel Adebayor, AVB goes into battle on Saturday with Jermain Defoe
as Tottenham's only recognised forward while playmaker Luka Modric is on his way
to Real Madrid.
The loss of that pair should not be underestimated and, with Gareth Bale also
a doubt through injury for the trip to the north-east, this is probably a good
time to face Tottenham before Chairman Daniel Levy opens his chequebook.
There is no reason why Newcastle cannot build on their success of last term,
which resulted in a fifth place finish, and Pardew is a manager on the up.
He'll recognise this as a terrific opportunity to steal a march on genuine
rivals and Spurs started poorly last term before embarking on their tremendous
2pts Back Newcastle Draw No Bet (vs. Tottenham) @ 10/11 (William