We can expect Wigan and Norwich to be two of the most entertaining sides in the Premier League this season, although it remains to be seen whether an attractive brand of football is the best way to stay in the top flight.
There is a reason why Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers have prospered in the division with a direct style and it will be interesting to see whether Paul Lambert persists with the same tactics that helped the Canaries enjoy a double promotion last season when they finished second in the Championship.
Norwich are 11/4 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets) to enjoy a dream start at the DW Stadium, the scene of Blackpool getting their Premier League party started twelve months ago when the Tangerines emphatically won by a 4-0 scoreline. Boylesports offer 200/1 that lightning strikes twice, although Roberto Martinez might have learnt a few lessons about that particular occasion.
Wigan go into the new season without Charles N’Zogbia who has departed for Aston Villa, with most people expecting the Latics to be scrapping against relegation, something they did for a large chunk of the last campaign before staying up on the final day of the season.
Even so, they are strong favourites at 6/5 (bet365 – £200 free betting) to claim an opening day victory and banish memories of that woeful result a year ago which saw Chelsea follow things up by winning 6-0 at the DW Stadium. Martinez will be desperately hoping that Hugo Rodallega remains at the club and the Colombian is 6/1 (Coral – £25 free bets) to score the first goal.
Norwich have acquired several new players this summer and we might expect Steve Morison to start the match after arriving from Millwall. The Welsh international is 9/1 with Ladbrokes to open the scoring on his debut, with Grant Holt available at 8/1 with the same firm.