How the Bookies See it
- Winner: Leicester City 19/20, Draw 5/2, Hull City 11/4 - Bet365
- First Goalscorer: Jamie Vardy 5/1, Ahmed Musa 11/2, Riyad Mahrez 11/2 - BetVictor
- Half Time/Full Time: Leicester/Leicester 12/5, Draw/Draw 7/2, Draw/Leicester 18/5 - Coral
- Following the shock departure of long-serving boss Steve Bruce during the summer, Hull City enter the new season without a manager and lacking direction to boot. The Tigers have made just the one signing ahead of their return to the top flight (Will Mannion from AFC Wimbledon), but have allowed a number of first team players to depart. A positive set of pre-season results against much weaker opposition may not be enough to mask the crisis that currently surrounds the team from Humberside.
- Leicester City faced a real struggle to keep hold of their prized assets this summer, but will be happy with their efforts. Losing N’Golo Kante to Chelsea was a blow, but keeping hold of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez was certainly a coup, as was the signing of Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow. The champions spent pre-season mixing it with some of Europe’s elite, but ultimately lost out to PSG and Barcelona and only recorded a solitary win against Oxford United.
Leicester will be eager to start the new season positively if they are to prove that last season’s title win was no fluke. A trip to Hull on the opening day would usually be treated with caution, but given the turmoil the Tigers find themselves in, a win for the boys in blue should be all but guaranteed, providing the tag of Premier League champions doesn’t weigh too heavily on the shoulders of the squad. Leicester to win to nil could be worth a go, especially at 21/10 with 888Sport.
Jamie Vardy enjoyed an outstanding season last time around and will be hoping to pick up where he left off. The striker will certainly be buoyed by his goal for England at Euro 2016 and will desperately want to get his hands on the Premier League trophy again in May. The former non-league man is well-priced to find the net at anytime in the match, while William Hill are offering odds of 50/1 that the 29-year-old will hit a hat-trick on his return to league action.
Hull may be favourites for the drop, but don’t expect them to go down without a fight so early in the season. Mike Phelan will take charge of the side until a new boss can be found, but could a win over the champions earn him the role on a full-time basis. The former Manchester United assistant manager is 2/5 with Coral to become the next Hull City manager. Out on the pitch, the Tigers aren’t favoured by the bookies, but could be capable of springing a surprise. A 1-0 win for last season’s Championship play-off winners is a very tempting 19/2 with BetVictor.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Jamie Vardy to score anytime - 9/5 with BetVictor
*Please note that odds may fluctuate in the run-up to kick-off.