Well done, football fans. We’ve all managed to finally put pointless friendlies and snide international matches in the bin. Gone are the half and half scarves (sort of) and the Mexican waves, as we welcome back the Premier League with open arms.
Now, aside from the obvious, the return of England’s top division also means a large dose of Hotshot Jackpot. That’s your opportunity to bag £250,000 for free. Zilch. Absolutely nothing.
To enter, you need to select six first goalscorers here. There’s £250k up for grabs, but it rises by £25,000 each week if the pot isn’t won.
To get you started, here are our six picks for the first week of the season.
CHELSEA V BURNLEY: ALVARO MORATA
Burnley are set to pay a visit to the champions for their opening game of the season, a side which have failed to beat The Blues in their last six attempts in the league. With Diego Costa’s future swinging precariously in the balance, it’s tough to select him to get our week off to a flier.
New boy Alvaro Morata may have missed a penalty in the Community Shield, but he did have the highest conversion rate of any striker to score 10+ goals in La Liga last season, scoring 15 goals from 55 shots (inc. blocks). Let’s see if he can get Stamford Bridge rocking.
EVERTON V STOKE: WAYNE ROONEY
Look who’s back! Rooney makes his league return to Goodison Park this Saturday, and we’re backing him to make an instant difference. No, we’re not promising an overhead-kick-flip-screamer, but even a dodgy muffled goal would do the trick here.
In fact, only Frank Lampard & Alan Shearer have scored more goals on the opening day of the Premier League than Rooney. It’s on.
SOUTHAMPTON V SWANSEA: CHARLIE AUSTIN
The Saints have won six of their last eight league matches against Swansea in the league, and they kick-off their season with a home match we think they have in the bag. After a lengthy injury, Charlie Austin has returned to the team during pre-season, and aside from being a dab-hand at racing tipping, he’s a pretty damned good striker. We’re backing him to return to St. Mary’s in style.
BRIGHTON V MANCHESTER CITY: GABRIEL JESUS
Despite an injury-ridden first season with the Citizens, Jesus netted seven goals and four assists in ten league games. He’s been largely talked up as one of football’s biggest wonder-kids, and this season could see him break into the scene with a vengeance.
There’s talk of him getting priority over Sergio Aguero as the star striker, and we think he can start off with a stormer on City’s first competitive meeting with Brighton since a League Cup game back in 2008.
NEWCASTLE V TOTTENHAM: HARRY KANE
Here I am! Rock you like a Harry Kane! Okay, now we’ve gotten that out of the way, we think last season’s Golden Boot winner can be the man to find the net first against recently-promoted Newcastle.
There’s been 14 goals in the last three league meetings between these sides, so at the very least we’re expecting a thriller.
MANCHESTER UNITED V WEST HAM: ROMELU LUKAKU
Jose’s £75 million man netted his first competitive goal against Real Madrid in the Super Cup this week, and with an average of 2.95 goals per game between these sides, we think he can net first. If you played HSJP last season, you’ll also know he was a fan of winning the cash for our punters.