Twelve months ago, Roy Hodgson took charge of his first Liverpool competitive match and the West Brom manager could not have envisaged that a year down the line would see him at the Hawthorns to try and mastermind an Albion victory over the Premier League champions.
Hodgson was treated unfairly at Anfield, although the former Fulham boss demonstrated that he’s a class act by steering the Baggies away from the relegation zone last season and they ended up eight points clear of trouble in 11th, with a top-half finish the target this time around.
You can back West Brom at 6/1 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets) to claim victory against Manchester United and that is a chunky price about a side that should really have beaten the Red Devils last season before Javier Hernandez struck late to give the visitors victory at The Hawthorns.
Like Hernandez, Peter Odemwingie proved to be one of the bargains of the season and the Nigerian is 19/2 (Victor Chandler – £25 free bets) to continue where he left off last term by breaking the deadlock against the English champions.
United warmed up for the start of the season last Sunday with a dramatic 3-2 Community Shield victory over Manchester City which saw Sir Alex Ferguson’s team recover from going 2-0 down to win the match in injury time.
Bet365 offer 8/15 that they get their Premier League campaign off to a winning start and the title favourites look strong in all departments after the arrival of Ashley Young from Aston Villa and the signing of Phil Jones from Blackburn.
Wayne Rooney has also looked sharp during the pre-season matches and the England striker is 9/2 (Coral – £25 free bet) to score the first goal of the game, with Young on offer at 17/2 (Victor Chandler) and Nani the same price.