2012/13 Premier League betting primer

The 2012/13 Premier League season is starting to hit its stride, with some of the big teams making a great start, with a few surprise names featuring near the top of the table. However, last season still lingers long in the memory, and no wonder. Here are just ten of the many things you might need to know about the 2011/12 campaign in case you decide to visit the ladbrokes sports page and have a little flutter:

• Robin van Persie was top scorer with 30 goals, being the first Dutch player to win the golden Boot since Ruud van Nistelrooy back in 2002/03.

• Manchester City’s title win was largely down to terrific home form, with the moneybags outfit winning 18 of 19 games at the Etihad Stadium.

• Despite an impressive points tally of 89, the champions’ rivals Manchester United missed out on the big prize by goal difference. 89 is the most points ever won by a second-placed team in Premier League history.

• 2011/12 saw 1066 goals scored, including 10 in the 8-2 victory for Man Utd against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

• In his debut season, City winger David Silva made the most assists last season with 15.

• The most fouled team last season were QPR, who avoided relegation on the final day.

• 2011/12 saw a total of 19 hat tricks scored, two of which came from Wayne Rooney against Arsenal and Bolton for Man Utd.

• The woodwork wasn’t Liverpool’s best friend last season, as the reds managed to hit the post or crossbar an astonishing 33 times.

• The 20,000th goal scored in the history of the Premier League was scored by promising Aston Villa midfielder Marc Albrighton in their defeat at the hands of Arsenal.

• Man City left-back Gael Clichy became the third player to win the Premier League trophy with two different clubs, following in the footsteps of Ashley Cole (Arsenal and Chelsea) and Henning Berg (Blackburn and Manchester United).

Man City goes for the Premiership title tomorrow

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes reacts during their English FA Cup soccer match against Milton Keynes Dons at Loftus Road in London January 17, 2012. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh (BRITAIN – Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

They’ll be plenty of subplots tomorrow in what promises to be the most nerve wracking match in the last 40 years for Man City fans.  The biggest sub plot of all is that Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes was dismissed by Man City a few years back and his dismissal was handled by Man City in a way that left a bad taste in Hughes’ mouth.   Now Hughes finds himself with the rather delicious irony that he can deny a rare championship to a Man City club that he believes treated him poorly.   More importantly QPR need exactly 1 point to avoid the disaster of relegation.

Anybody who believes that Man City will have an easy time tomorrow may have a surprise coming.  Look for QPR to play Italian style football, in other words a physical, defensive minded game that has a 0-0 tie as it’s goal.   QPR will be very conservative, using tactical fouls all game long to avoid any mismatches.   Hughes will play what I jokingly call the 0-0-10 formation, that is he will have his midfield and even his forwards focused on helping out on defense and consuming time.  QPR surely will play not to lose and this is an incredibly hard strategy to overcome.

Roberto Mancini’s troops must find a way to score early to put the pressure on QPR to attack.  Man City should have its hands full in what promises to be great match.  The longer this matches goes without a score, the more that the pressure will rain down upon the shoulders of Man City players.   Should be fun!