Fulham vs Aston Villa: Jol to win the battle of new managers
With Fulham and Aston Villa beginning the season with new managers, the pressure will be on both to open with a victory and it is certainly Martin Jol that stands the best chance of gaining the three points.
Fulham have kept clean sheets in six of their last nine matches at Craven Cottage and in the process have taken 20 points from these fixtures.
It is 6/5 in the Premier League odds that Fulham achieve victory and the pressure is on new Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish to overcome the summer departures of influential wing duo Ashley Young and Stewart Downing.
Aston Villa have also only triumphed in only one of their last nine Premier League away games on the opening day of a new season.
The bright news for Villa is that new signing Charles N’Zogbia marked his debut with a goal in the pre-season draw with Braga, while there are signs that Stephen Ireland may be on the right path to rediscovering his best form.
Aston Villa’s odds are 23/10 to beat Fulham and they enjoyed a run of one defeat in their last eight Premier League games last season.
The draw can also be backed at 23/10, which has been the result in eight of the last 13 Premier League showdowns between the pair.
With Aston Villa failing to keep a clean sheet in their last 20 Premier League away games, there is every chance that Fulham will score at Craven Cottage.
However, Fulham have not scored more than once in their last seven opening-day fixtures of a new season.
Therefore, a 1-0 Fulham victory could be a wise choice in the correct scoreline market at 7/1.
Damien Duff is not only one goal away from reaching 50 in the Premier League, but may also feel he has a point to prove after scoring an own goal against Villa on the final day of the 2009 season which largely caused Newcastle to be relegated.
The scorecast of 50/1 is available that Fulham win 1-0 and Duff gets the only goal.