It’s week two of the English football season and that means the return of Premier League action!
Saturday punters will be eager to get their BTTS coupons on this weekend. We’re backing these six teams at odds of over 6/1.
West Bromwich Albion V Sunderland
Both West Brom and Sunderland survived difficult campaigns in 2013/14 and they will be equally determined to start the new campaign in a positive fashion.
Fans of the Hawthorns club will be hoping that a change of manager will spark an improvement in 2014/15 and Alan Irvine will fancy his chances of starting in style at home to one of the league’s lesser sides. Meanwhile, Gus Poyet’s Sunderland aim to build on their fantastic end to last season by hitting the ground running.
Although last year’s matches both ended in wins to nil for the respective hosts, there are plenty of reasons to fancy goals here. Each of the past seven head-to-head meetings have ended with a minimum of two goals and four of those ended in BTTS winners.
Seven of West Brom’s previous 10 home games ended with both teams on the scoresheet, whilst the same statistic can be linked to Sunderland’s away form towards the back end of 2013/14. With the added excitement of an opening day, both teams will be out for goals and that attacking approach should allow for an entertaining affair that involves chances at both ends.
It’s a tough fixture to call, but goals should be a feature.
BTTS Yes @ 10/11 with William Hill
Birmingham City V Brighton & Hove Albion
After beginning their respective Championship campaigns with disappointing defeats, Birmingham and Brighton will both seek three points in at St Andrews. We’re backing plenty of goals at St Andrew’s.
Birmingham were saved on the final day in 2013/14 but Lee Clark’s men will be expecting another difficult season ahead. Since the turn of the year, the Blues have failed to keep a single clean sheet at home in a dozen Championship matches. Additionally, they even conceded to League Two newcomers Cambridge United in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup contest.
The visitors will be looking to punish a poor home defence and will look to last season’s double over the Blues for inspiration. However, having lost to Sheffield Wednesday at home on the opening day, Sami Hyypia’s men will be wary about any potential lapses in the defensive third.
Brighton are the stronger outfit here and we would expect them to avoid defeat. Nevertheless, the Blues will be buoyant in their first home game of the season and we expect them to find the target too.
BTTS Yes @ 19/20 with William Hill
Shrewsbury Town V Tranmere Rovers
Both Shrewsbury Town and Tranmere Rovers began their League Two campaigns with score draws and we’re backing the flow of goals to continue as they collide at New Meadow.
The Shrews started with a 2-2 draw away at AFC Wimbledon and are already showing signs that it will be an exciting season in Shropshire. Micky Mellon’s men will be desperate to bounce back to League One at the first time of asking and the early indications are that they will enjoy a much more productive season in 2014/15.
Likewise, Tranmere are aiming to secure promotion back to the third tier after joining the Shrews in relegation last term. Rovers opened their League Two account with a 1-1 draw against York City and will be looking to build on that with a first win of the season here.
Whilst both teams were relegated last season, the common problem was defence rather than attack. Tranmere secured a double over Saturday’s opposition last term but the Prenton Park club must be careful, especially after James Collins hit two goals on his return to Shrewsbury last week. The 23-year-old hit 14 league goals for the club in 2011/12 before departing for Swindon and will be looking for further success back in Shropshire.
However, Tranmere themselves boast a number of talented attacking players and are more than capable of finding the target. A 2-1 either way could be a likely outcome.
BTTS Yes @ 10/11 with William Hill
A £10 treble returns £71.07 with William Hill