English Football: 18th August 2012

Matchday 1 of the England Premier League, as well as other divisons, and we got some good tips for you.

England Premier League
Liverpool to beat West Brom @ 1.96 (Betfair) – 2 points

Liverpool have come into the season in the best shape I have seen in a number of years. They have a squad that is extremely fresh, no pressure on trying to deliver to King Dalglish’s standards, and signed an young exciting manager, who is looking to play good football and deliver the results at the same time.

Liverpool have had a strong pre-season so far starting of their Europa League campaign in fine fashion as well as some good friendly performances against Leverkusen and Tottenham as well to give them confidence with the new side. Fabio Borini is the new signing and he should start up front with Luis Suarez to give them a quick counter-attacking lineup along with Steven Gerrard to support them right behind. The midfield of Liverpool is boasting a whole host of young talent including the likes of Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Jay Spearing, Shelving and Joe Allen along with the experienced Joe Cole, Lucas Leiva and Downing which gives them a perfect blend in order to set up well for this season.

West Brom are a team in transition at the moment with a lot of players leaving the squad including the likes of Fulop, Scharner, Cox, Shorey, Mattock, Andrews, which leaves the squad a bit short on experience. They have signed up Lukaku, Rosenberg, Foster and Ghanassay for this season, who aren’t world beaters or some players to get excited about. Odemwingie, Long, Brunt, Fortune, will be the key experienced players for them, which don’t give anyone confidence to back them tonight, and the team should struggle and will take a few weeks to get rolling in my opinion.

Liverpool to sneak a narrow victory in this game.

England Championship
Birmingham to beat Charlton @ 1.90 (Betfair) – 3 points

Birmingham are set to improve this season after missing the opportunity to get automatically promoted, even though they played well throughout the campaign.

Birmingham’s Jack Butland will finally make his league debut for the team this season and will be looking at this being his break out season in club football. Birmingham have strength and depth in quality with an extremely powerful attacking lineup for the Championship division with the likes of King, Lovenkrands, Morrison, Rooney and Zigic, who will all be looking to score from the get go. This year they have also added Darren Ambrose, Hayden Mullins, along with experienced vetrans Davies, Ibanez, Carr, Elliot and Caldwell.

Charlton have come up dominating League One and have a bunch of players that have done the job in that division. The question is whether they will be able to step up a division. Bradley Wright Phillips is the man to watch out for from Charlton, as he had a break out year last year. They also have the likes of Jackson, Kermorgant, Hollands who have been key to their success last year.

Chris Powell’s side has done decently well in pre-season, but hadn’t face any quality opposition other than Fulham (who fielded a weakend side). Additionally, they played over 120 minutes + penalties in mid-week so several members of the team could be facing exhaustion ahead of this game.

Birmingham are the favorites with a strong team and depth in the squad, makes them almost the favorites to win this game and the league.

England League One
Bournemouth to beat Porsmouth @ 2.00 (Pinnacle) – 3 points

Portsmouth stand up in League One of English football, without an owner or prospective one as well, and are staring down the bottom of the barrel as things look. They will also kick off this season at the bottom of the table with -10 points due to their poor financial situation, and were even forced to sell all their players in order to survive as a football club.

Portsmouth were defeated in the Capital One Cup by 3-0 with their first team coach playing on the field, and then limping of injured. Since then they have signed on 10 players on one month contracts, and we could have a number of kids helping to fill up the squad again, which bodes no confidence for a team, who were playing in the Premier League a few seasons ago.

Bournemouth on the other hand are a much more confident side, after being in the top half of the table for a number of years, and are now looking to push up the table to try and get promoted to the Championship. Their front 2 of Matt Tubbs & Josh McQuoid are among the contenders for the top scorers for the season. They also have a host of experience with players like Marc Pugh, Wesley Thomas, Steve fletcher among others who are available ot do the business for them.

Bournemouth should take the advantage of Pompey’s plight and win this one tonight.

Scotland Premier League
Celtic AH-1 to beat Ross County @ 1.91 (Betfair) – 2 points

Celtic are the overwhelming favorites to win the Scottish Premier League, and if they aren’t able to thrash newer sides like Ross County in these league games, then we have to doubt on how this team is expected to go ahead and impress in Europe as Scotland’s representative in the Champions League.

What adds a twist to this game is the no of players that Celtic have doubtful ahead of this game, which is no fewer than 11 players including the likes of: Dylan McGeouch (broken jaw), Daryl Murphy (hamstring), Gary Hooper (hamstring), Anthony Stokes (ankle), Mo Bangura (thigh), Rabiu Ibrahim (groin), Paddy McCourt (groin), Scott Brown (hip), James Forrest (groin) and Filip Twardzik (ankle).

Samaras and Ledley will be 2 of their key fit players who Lennon will look forward to rely on for this game. Others such as Scott Brown, Ki Sung-Yueng, Charlie Mulgrew, James Forrest will be amongst the other key players who Lennon will expect will step up to the occasions and start delivering good results for Celtic.

Ross County have drawn their first 2 games so far this campaign, which is a decent starting moving them into 8th. They have picked up a few players with experience such as Scott, Kovacevic, Tokely and Glen, who should help them develop well and hold together as a team.

A few years ago Ross County came to Celtic and beat them 2-0 in a cup game, which was early in Lennon’s career. Last year these 2 sides met, and Celtic went to Dingall and beat them 2-0, and will be looking to repeat a similar performance tonight.