Chlesea lead the way in title odds

Chelsea's Jose Mourinho and Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini look set to battle it out for the Premier League title this season
Chelsea's Jose Mourinho and Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini look set to battle it out for the Premier League title this season

Champions Manchester City will only kick-off the new Premier League campaign as betway’s 5/2 second favourites behind Chelsea (15/8, to successfully defend their title.

But Manuel Pellegrini’s troops are nevertheless well-fancied at 4/6 via BetVictor to start as they mean to go on by collecting maximum points in their opener at Newcastle.

The Magpies will kick-off as Paddy Power’s 9/2 outsiders at St James’s Park, where it’s 10/3 at bet635 to finish all-square and that stalemate might attract one or two punters following City’s Community Shield hammering at the hands of Arsenal last weekend.

However, the Eastlands outfit have racked up nine successive league victories against Newcastle and, with several of their key players likely to return in this one, City are hard to oppose on Tyneside.

Nevertheless, a close encounter isn’t out of the question and Ladbrokes offer a generous 31/10 about an away success by a one-goal margin.

More accurately, Pellegrini’s charges are 15/2 courtesy of Stan James to finish on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline and perhaps most enticingly, bet365 quote odds of 11/5 for the visitors to come out on top and both teams to find the net.

Liverpool’s summer recruitment drive has seen them plunder the talent pool at Southampton three times, securing the signatures of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren and thanks to a quirk of the fixture computer, the trio will make their Reds debuts against their former club on Sunday.

It’s just 4/11 at Stan James that they start their Anfield careers with a bittersweet victory and indeed bookies expect the home side to dominate, bet365 pricing Brendan Rodgers’s side at 10/11 to be in possession of a lead at both the interval and full-time.

In Paddy Power’s handicaps meanwhile, Liverpool have attracted support at even money when kicking off a goal in arrears, BetVictor consider 2-0 (13/2) to be the most likely scoreline and it’s 11/8 courtesy of Skybet for the Reds to win ‘to nil’.

On Monday, William Hill chalk Chelsea up at 2/5 to secure the points at newly-promoted Burnley, 17/2 chances at BetVictor to stun Jose Mourinho’s men.

On their return to the top flight, the Clarets are more than capable of giving a good account of themselves but getting on the scoresheet might prove difficult and accordingly the Blues catch the eye at 13/10 (betway) to triumph ‘to nil’.

At Old Trafford, Louis van Gaal is 4/11 with William Hill to make a winning start as Manchester United boss as his team get the season under way in Saturday’s early kick-off against Swansea.

That price gives little away and punters seeking slightly heftier returns might be better served visiting Stan James’s handicaps, where United give away a goal start at 5/6.

Also considered a home-banker are Arsenal (3/10, Paddy Power), who tackle Crystal Palace and they double up with Manchester United at 3/4 via William Hill. Turning that into treble by adding a Tottenham triumph at West Ham boosts the odds to 13/5.

Elsewhere, continuity could be key for Everton (29/20, BetVictor) as they travel to top flight new boys Leicester, Stoke are outstanding value at even money courtesy of betway ahead of their home clash with Aston Villa and bet365 make QPR 6/4 to see off Hull.

Finally, at the Hawthorns, Stan James rate a stalemate at 12/5 as West Brom entertain Sunderland.

Unbeaten Sheffield scrapper Kell Brook heads to California this weekend to do battle for the IBF Welterweight world title but it’s the champion Shawn Porter that bookies fancy to emerge triumphant, William Hill installing the American as their 4/9 favourite.

Brook is a 2/1 chance at BetVictor, which looks a touch high ahead of what looks set to be a tight contest, although the best bet at the StubHub Center is Paddy Power’s 5/4 for the bout to go the distance.

In cricket, the momentum is all with England ahead of the fifth and final Test match against India at the Oval.

The hosts have won their last two matches and are 11/8 courtesy of bet365 to make it three on the bounce to seal a 3-1 series success.

The weather might play a part and on that basis betway’s 29/20 about a draw will attract market support, however, Alastair Cook’s side negotiated the conditions successfully enough at Old Trafford, prevailing by more than an innings so a few showers in London shouldn’t stand in their way.

Bet of the week: Arsenal, Man Utd and Tottenham treble – 13/5 (William Hill).

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