Sundays are just better when there’s football on, aren’t they? Funny memes in the WhatsApp group, your f*rts that didn’t happen because nobody was around to smell them, and the dodgy Indian that causes all of those things to mould nicely together.
Absolute bliss. Here’s a gorgeous treble to keep you in-tune.
Reading’s transfer window is probably as good as half the Premier League sides. If you look at the firepower they were able to bring in, particularly George Puscas – the Romanian sensation – it’s hard to see why they won’t be competing for a play-off spot come season’s end.
But in the opening four weeks of any campaign, balance always wins out. Always. This Reading side are set up to fall short because they did two things: too much business, and too much late business.
There have been next to no sessions to integrate this team and all of their play will be fragmented. Cardiff, meanwhile, are well used to each other and have a premium player in each central position across the spine of their side.
It’s also a team managed by Neil Warnock, so they’re guaranteed results in the second tier of English football because they’re the rules. Josh Murphy is too good for this division.
Selection: Cardiff to win @ 11/10
Sheffield United play very decent football, similar to Bournemouth in their approach. They deep dive into analytics and try to get things done the right way. They’ve also set a huge emphasis on their home form, and understand they need to shoot on sight.
There’s plenty of firepower up the top end of the pitch too, to happily cement that idea that you’re better off winning one in every two games than drawing both.
This is a simple equation that should, realistically, present itself more in team briefings.
Palace on the other hand are lightning away from home. They have so much pace on the break and there’ll be wide-open spaces in which they can attack. Both of these teams are very strong from attacking set pieces too – and there’s the weekly guarantee that Palace will get a penalty. We’ll blame Zaha’s tricky feet.
Selection: Over 2.5 goals @ 5/4
Now, you might think I’m having a swipe at Chelsea here, when I’m really not. I thought they were every bit as good as United in the first hour of that game last Sunday. The only difference was the £80 million quid defender that the FFP decided Chelsea couldn’t even try to match. That’s fine.
Mount, Barkley and Co. all look capable of something special and in games like this where the first goal will set up the narrative more-so than most, it’ll be big.
I can just see the inexperience of Chelsea and the gung-ho nature of Brendan Rodgers catching them by surprise early on. The blueprint is there, if you think about it. What team play as closely to Man United’s style of attack in this league? Leicester.
I sneakily fancy Leicester for a top-four finish. Tielemans, Maddison, Ndidi as a midfield three long-term? Not too many better outside the big two. I’ll give Leicester a goal start and take it from there.
Selection: Leicester +1 goal on the handicap @ 11/10
*Prices correct at time of posting and this treble pays approx 8/1 if all three win.