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Premier League opening weekend preview

Posted 6th August 2009

The summer transfer window remains open for another few weeks and the pre-season spending is sure to continue. The build-up to the 2009/10 season has been dominated by events in the transfer market and it seems that the new campaign has caught some teams underprepared.

TManchester City are one such team. They have grabbed most of the summer headlines and their start will be closely monitored, with an opening day visit to Blackburn Rovers a tricky test. Mark Hughes has spent so much time wondering how to spend his millions that training ground preparation has slipped sown the pecking order.

TCity have had a poor pre-season. A strong line-up that contained Emmanuel Adebayor, Gareth Barry, Kolo Touré and Robinho lost 3-2 against Rangers, whilst the preceding trip to South Africa contained two defeats out of three.

TCarlos Tévez and Roque Santa Cruz have been troubled by injuries and I sense a slow start for the Citizens. Rovers will start the season in excellent shape under the guidance of Sam Allardyce and I am backing a home win in this one with Blackburn upsetting the Premier League odds.

TAnother home team to follow is Wolverhampton Wanderers against West Ham United. The raucous Molineux crowd will be fired-up for their return to the top flight and Mick McCarthy's outfit should carry some of last season's momentum with them. West Ham are a bit unstable at the moment and an opening day defeat could set the tone for a difficult campaign.

TEverton and Arsenal are two clubs which have, to the concern of their fans, been relatively quiet in the transfer market. Both will need a good start to appease the terraces and I fancy a draw in this one.

TI expect Chelsea (against Hull City), Manchester United (Birmingham City) and Liverpool (Tottenham Hotspur) to open with wins, with Rafa Benitez's men claiming the only away win of the opening weekend.