Will Mourinho's return be a Special One?
Jose Mourinho's long awaited return to the Premier League ends on Sunday when he takes charge of his first Chelsea game since his controversial sacking back in 2007, and already he is ruffling a few feathers.
In a recent interview he mused that standards have dropped since he last managed there and that the last couple of titles have been won by ordinary teams; claiming the titles were won more on the ineptitude of the other teams around them rather than the winners' ability. Thus, taking a swipe at most of Manchester!
Mourinho has the highest win percentage in Premier League history (70%) among managers to have been in charge for at least one season. He also has the best win percentage of any of the 14 Chelsea managers who have been in charge for more than 100 league and cup games (67%).
We believe that the influence of the "Special One" will pay dividends come the end of the season and we have installed them at 9/4 joint favourites to win the league outright.
Chelsea (2/9) welcome Hull City Tigers (18/1, draw 5/1) to Stanford Bridge on Sunday in Sky's late game and we have Wincast offers on both teams to keep you entertained as well as Opta offers, which we will offer on every Premier League game this season.
The Blues have made a number of key signings in the close season, most notably that of German International Andre Schurrle. The former Leverkusen striker signed for £18m in June and we have him at 9/2 to score the first or last goal and 6/5 to score at anytime during the match. Marco van Ginkel (11/1 first/last, 4/1 anytime), described as the "next Frank Lampard" by his former manager, has also signed for an undisclosed fee from Dutch side Vitesse. They have also signed veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on a free transfer. Whether he makes his debut or the ever dependable Petr Cech starts against Hull we will give you 4/7 to keep a clean sheet.
Chelsea are notoriously strong on the opening weekend of the season picking up a record 44 points in the Premiership and have won 12 and drawn just two of their last 14 opening day fixtures. Their record against newly promoted teams isn't bad either; losing just 3 from 73 against newly promoted teams.
A lot of that success is down to Frank Lampard (4/1first/last, EVS anytime). The evergreen stalwart is the only player in Premier League history to score 10 or more goals in 10 consecutive seasons. A constant threat will be Fernando Torres (3/1first/last, 8/11 anytime), who scored a hat trick against Hull whilst at Liverpool in September 2009.
Hull City have been relatively busy in the transfer market bringing in 12 players including some big names, most notable those of Tom Huddlestone (25/1 first/last 8/1 anytime), from Tottenham and Danny Graham (14/1 first/last, 11/2 anytime), on a season long loan deal from Sunderland.
Hull don't have the best record at the start of the season, with their last away win coming way back in 2002 against Exeter in the old Division 3. Last season they also found the goals hard to come by, ending up with 5 fewer goals scored than relegated Peterborough. Though they won 21 of the 23 games in which they scored first. To score the first goal against Chelsea we go 9/2.
In previous games between the pair, Hull have never won. In the 4 Premier League games between the sides Chelsea have won 2 with the others finishing in a draw.
If anyone fancies a punt on Hull winning the league we go 7500/1, though a more sensible bet would be to stay up at 11/10.
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