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Champions League Group G

Chelsea 'win to nil' of interest

Ben Coley previews the first Super Sunday of the Barclays Premier League season and expects Chelsea to start well.

Last Updated: 18/08/13 at 13:29 Post Comment

Spurs fans should be treated to three points on Sunday

Spurs fans should be treated to three points on Sunday

Ben Coley previews the first Super Sunday of the Barclays Premier League season and fancies Spurs to win comfortably.

Andre Villas-Boas will start the season without Gareth Bale but that shouldn't prevent them from winning at Palace, who look set for a long battle against relegation.

Hull also get their campaign under way and their task is an enormous one as they visit Stamford Bridge having never won away at Chelsea before. With Jose Mourinho back in charge, Chelsea should make it a day for favourite backers.

Crystal Palace v Tottenham (1330 BST)

The first London derby of the season and one which comes with fond memories for Palace, who won the last version 3-0 way back in January 2005. The bookies' favourites for relegation, Palace do look up against it in the absence of injured striker Glenn Murray and his creator-in-chief Wilfried Zaha, now plying his trade in Manchester for the champions. To his credit, Ian Holloway has brought in striking provisions but whether Marouane Chamakh, Kevin Phillips or the promising Dwight Gayle have what it takes to perform in the here and now remains open to some debate. On the plus-side, Palace get to take on a Spurs side shorn of their best player in Gareth Bale and with admittedly talented additions having to prove that they can make a seamless transition into the Premier League. I'm afraid that's as positive as I can be for Palace fans as I don't envisage great success for their side either here or further down the line. Spurs did only win four of their 10 games without Bale last season compared to 25 wins in 44 games with him (all competitions), but there's a gulf in class between these sides with or without him and for this game only the absence of Murray and Zaha from Palace's promoted side is probably more relevant. Palace began to struggle at home towards the end of last season and while the stats below offer hope for the hosts, I see Spurs as closer to 1/2 chances that the prices on offer.

Verdict: Crystal Palace 0 Tottenham 2

Opta stats:

Tottenham have only won two of their last 12 opening Barclays Premier League games (D4 L6).

The Eagles have lost only one of their last six Premier League games against Spurs.

Against no other side have Palace scored more Premier League goals than they have managed against Spurs (10).


Chelsea v Hull (1600)

There will be an electric atmosphere at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as Jose Mourinho returns to his adoring fans. With Mourinho at the helm, Chelsea simply don't know what it's like to lose a league game on home soil and even quotes as big as 18/1 may fail to underline the task faced by Hull, who have never before won away at Chelsea. In their favour long-term is the fact that they've been here before - underdogs, expected to be relegated - and they've survived, and with an experienced manager like Steve Bruce in charge they could ruffle a few feathers just as they did under Phil Brown five years ago. Bruce has been particularly busy this summer and Maynor Figueroa looks a great buy from Wigan, as does Tom Huddlestone if his undoubted talents can be coaxed into appearing on a week-in, week-out basis. Throw in Ivory Coast international Yannick Sagbo and the talented Danny Graham and they've an attacking threat, too, it's just hard to see it cracking a Chelsea defence sure to have been drilled relentlessly on the training ground. I've made the case for Chelsea producing the best home record this season already and I expect it to begin here. Hull scored the fewest goals of any top-half Championship side last term and Sky Bet's 10/11 about a home win to nil will definitely attract business. For us, the prices about this game aren't sufficiently tempting but we can watch and, hopefully, see Chelsea get our ante-post portfolio off to a winning start.

Verdict: Chelsea 3 Hull 0

Opta stats:

Hull have not won any of their previous 19 competitive games away at Chelsea, losing 14 (D5).

Chelsea have won 44 points on the opening day fixtures in the Premier League era; more than any other side.

Chelsea scored the most headed goals (16) in the Premier League last season.

  • Both matches are being televised live in the UK on Sky Sports.


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