Back Everton - 1 v Stoke at 2/1
Joe is away.
Joe Dyer 2017-18 P/L: +0.00
Back Crystal Palace @ 1.865/6 to beat Huddersfield
And so the Battle begins again. In the four previous renewals, I've occupied every position - first, second, third, and fourth - so with a five-man battle this season I'm desperately hoping I don't complete the set with a fifth place finish!
I'm confident Crystal Palace will get me off to a good start however. New boss Frank de Boer is yet to make a significant dent in the transfer market but I'm not overly worried about that. Christian Benteke is an excellent striker and declared himself happy at Selhurst Park recently, while the likes of Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha were in great form in the second half of last season. I expect that trio of players to be pivotal this season, and they all should start in this game.
I'm always slightly wary about opposing a newly-promoted club in the first few weeks of the season because of the momentum they bring from a successful promotion campaign, but I fear for Huddersfield this term and it could be a case of them getting off to a poor start and never recovering.
From a betting perspective, if this game were to be played half way through the season and Palace had demonstrated similar form to how they finished their last campaign then I believe they'd be a lot shorter than the 1.865/6 we're being offered here. For that reason, I'm backing the Eagles to get me off to a flying start.
Mike Norman 2017-18 P/L: +£0.00
Back Newcastle/Draw Double Chance at 2.3411/8 v Tottenham
Live on Sky Sports Main Event
My attention was first drawn to Brighton v Man City, where I'm expecting an entertaining affair, but it's to the one of the other promoted clubs I go for my opening gambit in this season's Battle.
Both Newcastle and Tottenham haven't enjoyed the best of transfer windows, with rumours that Rafa Benitez is unhappy with his budget and Mauricio Pochettino yet to add a single player to the ranks, but I'm expecting the hosts to come roaring out of the blocks in front of a noisy St James' Park and get a positive result.
Spurs have a number of injury concerns, with Kieran Trippier likely to be miss out, meaning Eric Dier will have to fill in at full-back and doubts over the influential Victor Wanyama, which would leave the central areas looking a little thin.
Add in Danny Rose's toxic comments about the lack of investment and there are enough reasons to think Spurs are vulnerable this weekend. The 5.59/2 available on the home win looks chunky, but I'll play it safe and add the draw at a still tasty 2.3411/8.
Dan Thomas 2017-18 P/L: +£0.00
Back The Draw @ 3.39/4 in West Brom v Bournemouth
As a newcomer to the Betting Battle, the pressure facing the promoted clubs lining up on Day One of the season is a feeling I'm all too familiar with. For that reason I'm steering away from the unknown and head-on towards the mid-table mediocrity of West Brom v Bournemouth.
Already likely to be a 1.011/100 shot for the last game on Match of the Day, the Hawthorns encounter does in fact have a few intriguing storylines underpinning it...
The signing of Jermain Defoe will I'm sure be pivotal to how The Cherries season plays out but just as important is the return of Nathan Ake and he'll be expected to help plug the holes in a defence that conceded no less than 67 times last year.
They likely won't be overly concerned going into this though given West Brom's atrocious end to the last campaign, netting on just four occasions in their final nine games. Tony Pulis has however moved to address that issue with the signing of former England International, Jay Rodriguez who has impressed in pre-season.
Ultimately you know exactly what you're going to get with a Pulis side at home, they'll be well drilled and unforgiving at the back and in the context of this match-up have only lost one of their seven meetings at the Hawthorns against Eddie Howe's men.
I can see both sides scoring, likely through the aforementioned summer signings, but find it hard to see either doing enough to gain an opening day victory so backing The Draw at 3.39/4 is how I'll be playing it.
Adam Baylis 2017-18 P/L: +£0.00
Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 2.9215/8 in Watford v Liverpool
Live on Sky Sports Main Event
For my first bet as a newcomer to the Battle, I'm focusing on Liverpool, who look set to be a potent attacking force this season. A front three of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firminho could wreak havoc against a Watford team that conceded the fourth most goals in the Premier League last season.
At the other end, Liverpool's failure to sign Virgil Van Dijk or another centre back leaves them exposed to the same defensive frailties that haunted them for much of last season.
Despite early kick-offs often failing to produce an entertaining spectacle, I'm hoping for a goal fest and tipping up over 3.5 goals in a game that could be very open.
Harry Phillips 2017-18 P/L: +£0.00
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