One point between each promoted teams in opening top-flight matches
It is never easy to come from the Championship to the Premier League. The first top-flight fixtures brought many surprises, however all three promoted clubs from England’s second tier started their campaigns at home.
QPR hosted last season’s new boys Hull City, Leicester City entertained Europa League outfit Everton, while Burnley welcomed title contenders Chelsea to Turf Moor.
Only one point was gained between the three of them, as the Foxes earned a well-fought draw against the Toffees. Despite twice going behind, Leicester showed great grit to bounce back at what was a rocking King Power Stadium. There had been questions raised about whether record £8m striker signing Leandro Ulloa could cut it in the top-flight. His goal proved that from set pieces at least, he will be real handful for Premier League defences. As a result, the east Midlands side are odds-on at 1/5 to stay up this season. Although their rearguard needs work, Nigel Pearson has instilled a resilience into the team, and a never say die attitude which they exemplified against a well-organised Everton.
QPR, however, were fancied to do well against Hull, who had just sold centre forward Shane Long to Southampton days earlier. Playing three at the back, with new partnership Steven Caulker and Rio Ferdinand, the latter was at fault for the goal. However, the Tigers, as they did consistently last term, showed they are hard to break down, and can defend a lead. The Loic Remy situation needs to be resolved. If he decides to stay and commit his future to the club, he needs to get his head down and give 100 per cent. Last season, you would have bet your mortgage on Charlie Adam converting from the penalty spot; however, such is the ruthlessness of the Premier League it didn’t go his way. Manager Harry Redknapp will demand an immediate response with the club 7/4 to be relegated this season.
If Sean Dyche could have chosen his first opponent, no doubt Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea would have been near the bottom of his list. Although the Clarets gave a good account of themselves, even taking the lead after 15 minutes, it only motivated a response from Chelsea. At 13/8 to be propping the rest of the league up at the end of the season, they could surprise a lot people, however, and will face marginally easier teams over the next nine months.