As Bruce Buffer would say: ‘It’s time!’
The Premier League is back and your Sundays now belong to yourself again. No more of your other half suggesting you get a hobby, or pushing you towards seemingly-intellectually-driven concepts that you’ve no interest in.
Nope, feet up and slippers off my friend.
This double-header carries excitement because it’s the first of the year, but actually, these two games might be absolute classics in their own right.
God, I can barely contain myself. Let’s try to make them profitable.
Leicester v Wolves: Both Teams to Score (Yes) – 9/10
Chilwell. Tielemans. Maddison. Perez. Gray. Vardy. Iheanacho. Doherty. Moutinho. Neves. Jimenez. Jota.
This could genuinely be considered, along with West Ham and Everton, the second tier of the Premier League behind the superpowers and the standard there has risen considerably over the last number of years.
It would not come as a surprise to me whatsoever to see Leicester come fourth either. Brendan Rodgers goes gung-ho with reckless abandon which wouldn’t suit the likes of Harry Maguire anyway.
It’s a huge leap to suggest the Foxes got a cracking deal, that’s for sure.
Wolves, on the other hand are far more defensively focused, but they still lack that defensive cover in central areas when their wing-backs bomb forward. Their weaknesses have not been addressed, instead, they threw more money in attacking areas.
If you’re still wondering why both teams to score is the bet here, you probably should stop reading.
Newcastle v Arsenal: Arsenal to Win and Both Teams to Score – 13/5
You could make the case for Newcastle being relegation fodder. You could also make the case that their transfer business, including signing a striker for a record fee, was undermined by the return of Andy Carroll.
While Andy Carroll definitely serves a purpose, it’s almost a case of giving in and accepting that if Plan A doesn’t work, you’ve got a ready-made solution on the bench and the temptation of installing him in the starting XI gets bigger by the week.
Ironically, it’s exactly his inclusion here that makes me want to back both teams to score. It might not be a long-term solution that will help massively in their points differential, and it certainly jeopardises their blueprint going forward, but in this situation – against a team who ship goals for fun away from home and can’t head the ball – it’s just the ticket.
Arsenal have had their best window in some time. Nicolas Pepe is the signing of the summer, and so he should be for that money. But there’ll be bucketloads of goals for the Gunners this season.
They’ve got three genuine forward players who could help themselves to 20 goals apiece, easily.
Not even Man City or Liverpool have that. They’ll have plenty in hand here, but their failure to focus on defensive reinforcements will cost them short-term.
They still have enough to win at Newcastle, though.
* All odds correct at time of posting.