Last weekend, we opened the season with a lovely 9/2 winner, and we’ll be hoping to double our joy this Saturday with our tasty 6/1 offering.
We’re backing one team from each of the top three divisions, and hope that they can all secure the necessary victories needed to continue our perfect start to the campaign. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for another winner.
Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion
All 20 Premier League clubs will be hoping for a positive start during the opening weekend of action, but those feelings are particularly strong at Selhurst Park, where both Crystal Palace and West Brom will be starting the new campaign with some fear. But while Alan Pardew’s men could be in for a difficult campaign, they can grab a crucial three points here.
Palace are far from perfect, and will need to improve after a poor second half of 2015-16. However, Pardew has made some astute signings in the trio of James Tomkins, Andros Townsend and Steve Mandanda. Conversely, Tony Pulis has done very little to improve the Baggies, despite the club being under new ownership.
It’s hard to see where the Baggies will score goals from. In truth, the same accusations could be thrown at the Eagles too. However, with home advantage on their side, the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Connor Wickham can be optimistic about starting the season in style.
Pardew’s men are unlikely to obliterate West Brom, but the visitors could be in for a very long nine months ahead. And we’re predicting their slog to start with a narrow defeat at Selhurst Park.
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town
Rafa Benitez’s started their Championship campaign with a shock defeat in the season opener at Craven Cottage, but the Magpies will still be confident about bouncing back to the Premier League. If Newcastle are to gain promotion, their form at St James’ Park will need to be extremely strong – starting with a win against Huddersfield.
The hosts certainly have enough reason to be optimistic. The firepower of Dwight Gayle, Ayoze Perez and co should give them a fantastic chance of goals, particularly as the Terriers leaked 37 on the road last term. The visitors did concede in their season opener against Brentford too while also shipping two on Tuesday night against Shrewsbury in the League Cup, albeit with a rotated team.
David Wagner’s side does boast some quality, and can hope to have a better season than last year’s 19th-placed finish. Nevertheless, they aren’t going to be challenging Newcastle towards the top, and that gulf in quality should be telling here.
A crowd of over 50,000 will be there to spur the hosts on during their first home game of the season. Expect them to leave the ground smiling.
Gillingham v Bury
League One side Gillingham have opened their season with back-to-back 3-1 victories at Southend United, and Justin Edinburgh’s men look in great condition ahead of their first home game of 2016-17. While Bury are likely to give them a tough test, the Gills have every reason to think they’ll continue their perfect start.
The hosts enjoyed a decent record at Priestfield last term, registering 13 wins and 41 goals in the league, and will want to kickstart this season’s home campaign in similar fashion. With Jay Emmanuel-Thomas in particularly inspired mood, scoring goals shouldn’t be a problem.
Bury did begin their season with a home win, but played 120 before losing out to Burton in the EFL Cup. David Flitcroft’s side certainly boasts enough quality to fancy their chances this season. However, the trip to Kent could be a step too far.
We’re backing the hosts to make it a hat-trick of competitive wins.