Fulham face Norwich with Cottagers looking a solid opening day punt
Fulham and Norwich go head to head on Saturday afternoon the Cottagers look very backable at odds of 5/6 with Sportingbet, who also release a free bets offer for the new Premiership campaign.
Both these teams look to begin their Premier League campaign with what could be a crucial three points.
As the home side, Fulham are definitely the favourites for success and they do have a decent record over Norwich at Craven Cottage. Manager Martin Jol is looking to take his team to the next level too, so three points and nothing else will do for him.
With several new arrivals at Fulham – including Hugo Rodallega from Wigan – Jol will hope to put his stamp on proceedings more than ever as he looks to combine, slick attacking football with positive results and a top half finish.
In many ways, it needs to be more of the same from Fulham this season. Last year, they finished 9th in the Premier League and a similar outcome would be more than welcome, with home form key to matching their ambitions.
As for Norwich, they begin life under new manager Chris Hughton in this fixture. Last year, the Canaries were excellent for the majority of the campaign of course, finishing 12th in their first season back in the top flight.
This was under Paul Lambert though, the man who guided them to back to back promotions. He has now left to join Aston Villa and Hughton will hope he can continue what has been a tremendous few years at Carrow Road.
He certainly has the squad to have a successful campaign. If anything, they have strengthened from last year with signings such as Robert Snodgrass and Jacob Butterfield from the Championship.
The former Newcastle United boss also managed to convince club captain and leading scorer from last year Grant Holt to stay at the club, so Norwich are in decent shape. This takes nothing away from how difficult the new few months could be though with the Premier League more competitive than ever.
Overall, this should be an extremely closely fought opening fixture with both teams looking to avoid defeat at the very least. Fulham’s home advantage makes them favourites, but Norwich will hope to replicate their decent away form from last year.
This one gets underway from 3pm on Saturday afternoon.