Saturday kicks off at St James' Park where a turbulent Newcastle United host Tottenham with both sides hoping to brush aside off-the-field issues with an opening weekend victory.
Transfer activity at both clubs has been slow to non-existent, with Rafa and Pochettino expressing their disappointment in the club’s dealings over the summer. Will either side get off the mark in a repeat of last year’s opening day fixture? Jonathon Hague walks us through Saturday’s opening fixture of the season with two Premier league betting tips for you.
Tottenham to Win @ 11/10 – BET NOW
Spurs have a point to prove to their fans in the opening fixture of the season after a rather barren transfer window. The squad need to show that they are more than capable of challenging for the Premier League title despite all the sides around them improving and local rivals Arsenal under new leadership for the first time in 22 years.
Many of Tottenham’s players will be unavailable for selection following the World Cup with Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderwiereld, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen only just returning back to their club after going deep into the competition in Russia.
Pre-season has been mostly positive for Pochettino’s make-shift side, but a 4-1 loss to Girona in their final pre-season fixture has put a dampener on proceedings and woken a number of people up to the realities that Spurs may face this campaign.
Luckily for the North London side Son Heung-Min and Christian Erikson will be ready to play key roles in Saturday’s game but Harry Kane's presence upfront missing will mean a lot of pressure will be on his back-up, Fernando Llorente, to convert his chances in Newcastle.
Newcastle to Win @ 29/10 – BET NOW
The Magpies, on the other hand, are going through their usual battle with owner Mike Ashley who has failed to back current boss Rafa Benítez as he promised at the end of last season and has caused his players to strike from media duties over season bonuses.
Usually a calm and measured figure in the dugout, Benítez looks downtrodden and defeated before the season has begun. Not happy with his squad, the Geordies will unfortunately be looking at relegation battle if the situation with regards to ownership isn’t sorted as soon as possible as it is a strong possibility that Bentiez will walk away from the club.
Salomon Rondon has been added in a swap loan deal from West Brom with Dwight Gayle going to opposite direction to add to their attacking firepower, but the Venezuelan has yet to really set the Premier League a light in his time at the Hawthorns. Can Rafa get the best out of him? Time will tell, but early signs point to a lack of goals in this Newcastle side.
Tottenham to Win to Nil @ 5/2 – BET NOW
Rafa’s frustrations about his squad are perfectly reasonable as he has done wonders with a Championship level squad. The additional quality necessary to kick on in the division is not available to warrant Newcastle advoiding a relegation dogfight.
Tottenham, for all their lack of transfer activity, finished 3rd in the table with this squad last term. Not only are they a bright, young squad, but international pedigree is found all over the park. In pre-season, Spurs accumulated 19 goals in six games against strong opposition that included Roma, Barcelona and AC Milan.
Concerns will be raised by the 4-1 loss to a midtable Spanish side in Girona last weekend, but against Newcastle I can only see a dominant Spurs display. Knowing, that his team are not the sum of their parts, I can only see Rafa setting his side up to sit back and try to hold Spurs off for as long as possible.
Off-the-field issues for Newcastle will play a part in their performance this weekend and a hostile atmosphere against Mike Ashley will only make St James' an ugly place to play this season.
5/2 for Tottenham to win to nil is fantastic value when you consider that Spurs kept a clear sheet twice against Newcastle last season and won this very fixture on the opening day 2-0 too.
Son Heung-min First Goalscorer @ 5/1 – BET NOW
Son Heung-Min and Christian Eriksen will be key to unlocking the Newcastle backline and when Harry Kane is out of the squad the Korean freely enjoys goalscoring spells. Last season, Son was the second highest scorer in the Spurs team behind Harry Kane with 18 goals in all competitions, 12 of those in the Premier League.
13/8 is a strong price for anytime goal scorer and I have a strong feeling that he could be the man to open up the Newcastle defence so I reckon a 5/1 punt on Son to be the first goal scorer is great value.
|Newcastle v Augsburg||0 - 1||04/08/2018|
|Braga v Newcastle||4 - 0||01/08/2018|
|Porto v Newcastle||0 - 0||28/07/2018|
|Hull City v Newcastle||2 - 2||24/07/2018|
|St Patrick's Athletic||0 - 2||17/07/2018|
|Newcastle v Chelsea||3 - 0||13/05/2018|
|Girona v Tottenham||4 - 1||04/08/2018|
|Tottenham v AC Milan||1 - 0||31/07/2018|
|Barcelona v Tottenham||2 - 2 (5 - 4 Pens)||25#8/07/2018|
|Roma v Tottenham||1 - 4||25/07/2018|
|Tottenham v Brentford||2 - 1||21/07/2018|
|Tottenham v Southend||6 - 0||18/07/2018|
It is important for punters to compare odds as bookmakers' price vary widely and there are so many different markets to bet on.
Odds can be different across the bookies involved and the 5/1 for Son Heung-Min to open the scoring at St James' Park as our recommended bet is as low as 4/1 in some Premier League odds, so it pays to shop around and use Easyodds odds comparison service.
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