Liam Smith gives his tips on a selection of games from the Premier League, the Championship, Leagues One and Two, and the Vanarama National League.
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Manchester United v Tottenham – Wayne Rooney to score first
Wayne Rooney will be keen to prove why he is United’s top marksman again this season, following the departures of Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao. But Spurs are no pushovers, with stars such as Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and sought-after keeper Hugo Lloris in the side. But I’m tipping Rooney to bag the first goal of the new Premier League season – and I’d put my money on it being a cracker.
Best odds: 41/10 (888sport)
Bolton v Derby County – Derby to win by three goals
The Championship’s nearly men, Derby, have found it hard to make that final step in their pursuit of promotion but I reckon this will be their season. While Wanderers could get off to a slow start as former Celtic boss Neil Lennon looks to bleed youngsters into his team. The ambitious Rams will want to get going with a bang – and I’m tipping them to run riot at the Macron stadium.
Best odds: 13/1 (BoyleSports)
Doncaster Rovers v Bury FC – Bury to win 3-1
Bury begin the new League One campaign on a high following their record-breaking season and some brilliant acquisitions in players such as Leon Clarke, Tom Pope and Jacob Mellis. The hosts, meanwhile, toiled last term but will be hoping to push on towards the play-offs this time around. I can see the Shakers being the league’s dark horses and coming out fighting with a convincing win here.
Best odds: 33/1 (Coral)
Accrington Stanley v Luton Town – Luton to win both halves
Luton have the strongest team in League Two, thanks to the summer signings of Paddy McCourt, Mark O’Brien and Craig Mackail-Smith. The hosts were quieter in the transfer market but they were delighted to secure the services of former Liverpool kid Adam Morgan. While both these teams are likely to do well this season, I’m tipping the Hatters to kick off the new campaign with a convincing win over this hard-to-beat Accrington Stanley team.
Best odds: 31/10 (BetVictor)
Kidderminster v Grimsby – Grimsby to score in the first 10 minutes
You have to feel sorry for Kidderminster as a great club is slowly slipping out of the Vanarama National League. Grimsby, on the other hand, believe they can finally climb out of the division this term following many failed attempts. And since the Mariners have sold their allocation for the game, I can see their faithful fans spurring the team on to an early goal and comfortable opening victory.
Best odds: 21/10 (Paddy Power)
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