Both West Ham and Cardiff supporters were crying into their pints at the end of last season, with the Hammers capping a miserable season by being relegated from the Premier League and the Bluebirds missing out on promotion through the play-offs once again.
It led to the sacking of Avram Grant and Dave Jones from their respective positions, with Sam Allardyce and Malky Mackay the men appointed in their place and it is the former who is expected to be happiest on Sunday afternoon.
West Ham are 4/5 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to claim victory at the Boleyn Ground, with Allardyce having drafted several new players into the squad while managing to retain the services of Carlton Cole and Robert Green. Time will tell whether Scott Parker also remains at the club.
It would appear that Kevin Nolan will play in an advanced midfield position and the former Bolton and Newcastle player is 13/2 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock for his new club, while fellow new signing Matt Taylor can be backed at 11/1 (Coral) and is sure to offer a threat from set pieces.
Even so, Cardiff have made a couple of notable signings themselves and 4/1 (Blue Square – £20 free betting) seems a pretty lumpy price about the visitors on the basis that it’s the opening game of the season and the pressure will be on the home side.
Mackay has brought Robert Earnshaw (8/1 Betfred) back from Nottingham Forest and the forward will be fuelled by passion to do well for his hometown club. He will be partnered by Kenny Miller who is 17/2 to score the first goal.