Premier League Opening Day tips
|Mohamed Salah to be first goalscorer against Norwich||13/5 with Unibet|
|Sadio Mane to be first goalscorer against Norwich||4/1 with BetVictor|
|Raheem Sterling to be first goalscorer against Tottenham||5/1 with Unibet|
When Jamie Vardy scored Leicester’s second goal in the Foxes’ 3-0 win over Crystal Palace in July 2020, it secured his place in one of football’s most elusive clubs. Vardy became the 29th and most recent member of the Premier League’s 100-goal club. Unfortunately for Vardy, the milestone came during lockdown which deprived the former England striker from sharing the moment with his team’s supporters.
Last season came and went without a new inductee to the club, but we should see three new members join the club at some stage this season. Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are closing in on the century mark in the Premier League while Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling is also in the race to be the next to register 100 goals in England’s top flight.
Salah, whose 22 goals left him one behind Tottenham’s Harry Kane in last season’s Golden Boot race, needs three goals to join the club. If the Egyptian starts this season the same way he did last season, then he will be the 30th member of the league’s 100-goal club. Salah bagged a hat-trick in Liverpool’s season opener against Leeds last September and that would be enough to reach the hundred goal mark.
Opening Day Record:
- Salah - 6 goals in last 4
- Sterling - 4 goals in last 3
- Mane - 4 goals in last 5
The 29-year-old has a great record on the opening day of the Premier League season. Salah has scored in each of Liverpool’s last four season openers and his six goals includes his hat-trick at Anfield as the defending champions began their title defence with a 4-3 win over newly-promoted Leeds United. Liverpool's opening six fixtures are quite favourable and for the third season running, they will face a newly promoted side to start their domestic programme with Norwich hosting Jurgen Klopp’s side on Saturday evening.
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The Egyptian, who has won the Golden Boot award in two of the last four Premier League seasons, can be backed at 14/1 with William Hill to score a hat-trick at Carrow Road and take his total of Premier League goals to 100 in 159 games. Salah is also 13/5 to be first scorer with Unibet.
Goals Per Game:
- 0.63 - Salah
- 0.41 - Mane
- 0.33 - Sterling
Salah’s team-mate Mane scored both goals as the Reds finished last season with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace which helped the Anfield club secure third spot and book their place in this season’s Champions League. Mane needs a fast start to the season if he is to score the five goals needed to reach three figures before his team-mate. But with a favourable run of fixtures to start with, the Senegal forward could be the next to reach the milestone.
Mane has scored four goals in Liverpool’s last five season openers, but has failed to open his account in the Reds’ openers in their previous two campaigns. Mane, who scored the only goal on Liverpool’s last visit to Carrow Road two seasons ago, is 4/1 with BetVictor to score first and 40/1 to start the season with a hat-trick.
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Both Salah and Mane had quiet summers compared to Sterling who played a pivotal role in England reaching the final of Euro 2020. Sterling scored three goals in six matches to become the first player since Gary Lineker in 1986 to score the Three Lions’ first three goals in a major tournament.
Unfortunately, Sterling could not add to his tally in the latter stages of the tournament, but he will now be turning his attention to domestic glory. Last season, City had a quadruple on their mind, but ended up winning two trophies - the Premier League and the Carabao Cup. They will want to to win at least three trophies this campaign.
Sterling is one of four current Manchester City players to have featured in England’s final defeat to Italy in a penalty shootout. Jack Grealish became the fourth following his £100m transfer from Aston Villa and it was Grealish who provided the cross for Sterling to head home the only goal as England beat the Czech Republic 1-0 in the group stage. The pair will look to combine often for the defending champions.
Opening Day Hat-Tricks:
- 1993 - Mickey Quinn (Coventry v Arsenal)
- 1995 - Matt Le Tissier (Southampton v Nottingham Forest)
- 1996 - Kevin Campbell (Nottingham Forest v Coventry)
- 1996 - Fabrizio Ravenelli (Middlesbrough v Liverpool)
- 1997 - Dion Dublin (Coventry v Chelsea)
- 2008 - Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa v Manchester City)
- 2010 - Didier Drogba (Chelsea v West Brom)
- 2019 - Raheem Sterling (Manchester City v West Ham)
- 2020 - Mohamed Salah (liverpool v Leeds United)
On the first weekend of the 2019/20 season, Sterling became the first player since Chelsea’s Didier Drogba in 2010 to score an opening day hat-trick when finding the net three times in Manchester City’s 5-0 win at West Ham. Sterling might have to wait for his start in the Premier League as he recovers from his Euro 2020 campaign. The 26-year-old is 80/1 to repeat his treble from two years ago and 5/1 with William Hill to open the scoring against Tottenham.
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Harry Kane, who is one of the 29 members of the league’s 100-goal club, is being lined up to join Pep Guardiola’s team as a replacement for Sergio Aguerio who joined Barcelona at the end of last season. The combination of Kane and Sterling for Gareth Southgate saw England reach the World Cup semi-finals three years ago and the final of the Euros this summer. Sterling will be confident of scoring the four goals he needs to reach the 100-goal mark especially playing with Kane who led the Premier League last season with 14 assists to go alongside the 23 goals.
Olivier Giroud is next on the list of active players to join the 100-goal club, but his transfer to Milan means the former Chelsea and Arsenal forward will most probably finish his career with 90 Premier League goals. Christian Benteke needs 18 goals to get to 100, but his total of 16 goals in his last four seasons suggests the Crystal Palace striker might have to wait before entering the elusive club.