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A tasty treble to kick-off the football season

Blackburn play host to Cardiff in the opening game of the new Football League season tonight (7.45pm KO, Live on Sky Sports 1) and rate a solid bet at 5/4 with Coral to secure all three points.

The home side have a fully fit squad with winger Ben Marshall and striker Rudy Gestede having overcome bugs, whereas Cardiff have only two available centre backs, as Juan Cala is suspended and Ben Turner injured.

That is going to make life tough defensively for the Bluebirds, as Blackburn have a real striking talent in the shape of Jordan Rhodes.

The 24-year-old has been with Rovers for two years and scored 52 goals in 87 appearances.

His deadly finishing saw him become the first Blackburn player since Alan Shearer (1994/95 and 1995/96) to score over 20 league goals in consecutive seasons, and he is going to be real handful for the Cardiff backline.

Coral go 7/2 on Rhodes netting the opener, and he can also be backed at even money in the anytime scorer market. Both of these are appealling, as are special enhanced odds of 3/1 on him netting and a Rovers victory.

Saturday’s televised game (5.15pm KO, Live on Sky Sports 1) sees Fulham travel to Portman Road to take on Ipswich, and Felix Magath’s men look worth siding with at 17/10 with Coral to emerge victorious.

The Cottagers finished 19th in the Premier League last season to end a 13-year spell in the top flight, and owner Shahid Khan has splashed the cash in an effort to help Magath get them straight back up.

Ross McCormack, who was the top scorer in the Championship last season when netting 29 goals in 47 appearances for Leeds, is umdoubtedly a key signing for Magath.

He hasn’t featured in Fulham’s last two pre-season games, but the London side have still managed five wins from six games and Magath’s new look team seem to be gelling together nicely.

I have little doubt that McCormack will be in the starting XI for this one, and Fulham look to have the quality to overcome the Tractor Boys and get their quest for an immediate return to the Premier League off to a flying start.

Sunday’s TV action (4pm KO, Live on Sky Sports 1) promises to be a cracker as newly promoted Wolves host a Norwich side who are looking to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking.

Wolves go into the game as favourites, but have failed to win any of their last five league clashes against the Canaries.
Norwich also showed signs of improvement last season under Neil Adams, and I think they are decent value at 21/10 with Coral to win this.

New signing Lewis Grabban looked sharp in when scoring both goals in their pre-season friendly against Celta Vigo which ended 2-2, and the 26-year-old striker looks worth a wager at the 6/1 on offer with Coral in the first goalscorer market.

Best bets:
Blackburn v Cardiff
Blackburn to win – 5/4
Jordan Rhodes first goalscorer – 7/2
Jordan Rhodes anytime goalscorer and Blackburn win – 3/1

Ipswich v Fulham
Fulham to win – 17/10

Wolves v Norwich
Norwich to win – 21/10
Lewis Grabban first goalscorer – 6/1

Treble
Blackburn, Fulham and Norwich – pays just under 18/1