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Rupert Wyman 14th Aug 2009 - 14:12

Gunners to start firing straight away

Arsenal travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in their Premier League season opener as 11/10 favourites as a new ear begins with ESPN broadcasting their first top flight game.

After the collapse of Setanta ESPN have stepped in picking up much of the Irish broadcaster's former contracts and the Disney-owned channel could not wish for a better match as last season's fifth-placed Everton host the Gunners who finished a place above the Toffees last term.

David Moyes worked wonders yet again last season as Everton finished in fifth for the second successive season. Everton are priced at 2/1 to start their season in style in front of their home fans while the draw is available at 11/5.

However, it is the away side who look the best bet. They may have lost both Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure to the fortunes of Manchester City but if Arsene Wenger's side play to their potential then they should come away from the North West with the points.

Arsenal go into the match with a 12-game unbeaten run away from home and this should continue. If you are not overly confident about Arsenal's chances then either the draw no bet market with odds of 29/50 or the double chance at 6/25 should provide you with enough insurance.

Arsene Wenger will have to do without the services of injured quartet Abou Diaby, Samir Nasri, Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott. Nevertheless the Emirates chief has the talents of Andrei Arshavin, Robin van Persie and of course captain Cesc Fabregas at his disposal.

Arshavin was Arsenal's best player after he joined the club last season scoring six goals in 12 matches. The Russian is 13/2 to open the scoring at Goodison and 15/8 to score at any point during the match.

However, a better bet could be Robin van Persie, who scored in this fixture last year, at 11/2 to score first and 6/4 to score within the 90 minutes.

The Dutchman should be able to take advantage of a unusually less than solid Everton defence that is missing the injured Phil Jagielka and is likely to have wantaway star Joleon Lescott at the heart of it.

Everton also have troubles at the other end of the pitch with their midfield playmaker and creative spark Mikel Arteta still injured, as is star striker Yakubu. To make matters worse for David Moyes Jo is an injury doubt.

The Toffees have scored exactly one goal in their last six home matches against Arsenal and this could be repeated, with the most likely scorer being Tim Cahill at 11/4.

In the correct score betting a 2-1 Arsenal win at 8/1 appeals the most. If Everton's defence isn't at its usual best then the Gunners could really take advantage thus making the total goals attractive with over 2 goals priced at evens.

Arsenal have a reputation of having a soft underbelly and away games don't come much tougher than this but I expect the Gunners to start the season with a bang and record their 12th Premier League opening day victory. Plus in the process inflict Everton's fifth defeat in seven years on the opening day.

As the Premier League season starts don't forget to follow all the action with us as our Live In-Play service will have numerous betting opportunities from the first whistle to the last. To give you that little extra boost prior to kick-off William Hill have a bet one get one free offer on this match. For the full details click here.

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