Huddersfield host Norwich at the John Smith’s Stadium in the Championship on Saturday at 3pm.
It’s a battle of the bottom-placed finishers in the last two Premier League campaigns as both sides look to heal and rebuild.
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The Terriers have appointed Carlos Corberan, who was Leeds Under-23’s manager under Marcelo Bielsa, in his first managerial role in professional football.
It’s huge pressure on the 37-year-old; avoiding a relegation battle would probably constitute a successful season to be honest, especially if key goalscorer Karlan Grant moves to West Brom as rumoured. It’s perhaps unlikely he will feature against Norwich having missed the EFL Cup defeat at home to Rochdale.
The Canaries, meanwhile, won this division just 16 months ago and Daniel Farke’s side are heavily fancied to do so again.
They are likely to be missing Grant Hanley, Sam Byram, Xavi Quintilla and Emi Buendia through injury, while Josip Drmic, Tom Trybull and Moritz Leitner are not expected to play for the club again, but still more than enough strength in depth to field a very strong XI at this level.
As such, the 23/20 on them beating Huddersfield looks a very good price. The draw is 5/2, with a home win 23/10.
I expect these sides to feature at opposite ends of the table this season, so to be getting Norwich odds-against without fans in the ground is one of the better-looking prices of the weekend.
Should the 2018/19 Championship campaign top-scorer and player of the year Teemu Pukki start, the 17/10 on him to score anytime or bagging a brace at 10/1 (both SkyBet) both appeal.
A possible betting avenue is referee Geoff Eltringham, who has shown fewer than four cards in his last nine Championship matches. Under 40 booking points is 5/6 (Betfair), but feels too risky to be placing big stakes on alone in the first game of the season.
Like with Pukki scoring, I always try to wait for the starting line-up before placing a player-specific bet. Should Pukki, Todd Cantwell and Onel Hernandez start as Norwich’s front three, selecting each of them to have one or more shot on target along with under 40 booking points is a fun small-stakes play at 21/2 (Betfair).