Liverpool Vs Stoke
Saturday 17th Auguest 2013: 12:45pm
In arguably the less-anticipated managerial debut of the day, Mark Hughes takes his Stoke team to Liverpool, and Potters fans will be hoping not just for a win, but a dramatic shedding of the long-ball skin that people claimed 'plagued' the side during Tony Pulis' reign.
To do this though they'll have to beat a Liverpool team who have strengthened in key areas, even if Luis Suarez is not available. Matches between these two in the past may not have been crackers, but let's hope a new season changes all of that on Saturday.
Opening day blues for Stoke
Liverpool are heavy favourites for the win on Saturday, with Ladbrokes giving the best odds at 4/9. The draw is 19/5 with BetVictor, while Stoke are 17/2 with Stan James to get all three points.
Obviously putting your money on a Liverpool win won't net you much cash, but the Liverpool by two goals might do, as it is 10/3 with Ladbrokes. It might take Stoke a while to get used to the Mark Hughes way of doing things (which is... any suggestions?) and we think a young and vibrant Liverpool side might take advantage of this.
Sturri-ng up trouble
Hopefully Daniel Sturridge will be available on Saturday after stepping up his comeback from injury. While Sturridge for First Goalscorer at 9/2 with Coral looks good, the striker may not start on Saturday. In which case, we like BetVictor's offer of Sturridge for Anytime Goalscorer at 13/10.
For Anytime Assist, young Coutinho looks like a nice bet. Boylesports are offering 5/2 on this, and if he carries his pre-season form into the Premier League, he could have a sparkling game on Saturday.
Swansea Vs Manchester United
Saturday 17th August: 5:30pm
David Moyes first Premier League game in charge of the Red Devils promises to be an intriguing one, especially against last season's surprise package, Swansea. Swansea have invested smartly in the close-season, and new signing Wilfried Bony looks like a bony-fide (wayhey!) goalscorer. With him leading the line, Michu should be able to drop deeper into his favoured attacking midfield role, instead of being utilised as a striker like he was for much of last season.
It won't be easy for United, especially given their spluttering pre-season form, and anything other than a win will inevitably crank up the pressure on the new manager.
United are obviously the favourites for this one (they are Champions after all) and BetVictor have the best price for them to pick up the three points, at 21/20. A Swansea win can be found at 10/3 with Coral, while the draw is 13/5 with Stan James.
We quite fancy the draw here. Swansea are a strong team, and United have looked far from convincing especially with a lack of reinforcement in the transfer market. BetVictor are offering 7/1 on a 1-1 draw, and we reckon this might be worth sticking something on.
Swansea to strike first?
Given their home advantage, we reckon Swansea could spring a surprise against the Champions and score first. And who other to do it than new boy Wilfried Bony? Especially when he's 8/1 to open the scoring with Paddy Power.
To add to this, United to come from behind and draw is 8/1 with William Hill. It's hard to see United losing their knack of grinding out at least a point, but whether they have enough for the win is questionable at this moment.
Trust Paddy Power to come up with a good 'un again. They're offering money-back if the favourite doesn't win in any Premier League game this weekend.
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Sam publishes regular feature and tips pieces for Howtobet4free. He has a blog, crackingjabulanis.blogspot.co.uk, and can be found on Twitter by following @Gaytski.