Premier League Season Preview
The Premier League season kicks off again on August 10th when Manchester United take on Leicester City, with the rest of the league also playing that weekend. After a stylish win last season, Manchester City are odds on favourites to lift the title again and many people will be fancying them to do so. In behind, Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool will be battling it out for the remaining top four spots, with two set to miss out in what would be a disappointing season.
Teams like Everton and Burnley will be looking to make the top half and challenge in the cup competitions, while at the bottom the battle to fight off relegation looks sure to be very interesting. Of the teams that have been promoted this summer, Wolves and Fulham have spent well and improved their already talented squads and both will fancy their chances of survival. Should they survive that would throw the relegation battle wide open, with a whole host of clubs potentially being dragged in.
The Premier League Title Race
The experts on the season predictions page have differeing views, with positives for both Manchester City and Manchester United on the page. The biggest problem most punters will have with Manchester City is that they are 20/33 to win the title before a ball has been kicked. Yes they were fantastic last season, and created a big gap between them and their rivals, but all it takes is a couple of injuries, a dip in morale and a big push from someone and this race is much closer than the bookmakers are predicting.
The two teams that have shown consistent improvement over the past couple of seasons are Liverpool and Tottenham, with the former taking another good step forward this summer. Liverpool are the second favourites behind Manchester City at 15/4, and if something went wrong for City, they look to be the most likely to take advantage. Tottenham have not really done much this summer, but should again compete as their youthful line up gains more experience. Perhaps their biggest positive this summer was keeping hold of players like Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who will no doubt have attracted interest from elsewhere. At 14/1 they are bigger than both Manchester United and Chelsea, which is a little surprising.
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Can Anyone Break into the Top Six?
The top six teams in the Premier League could finish in any order, but the majoirty of people would have the teams finishing in the position of 1st to 6th. However, with Arsenal and Chelsea going through big changes this summer, can anyone take their spot in the top six and break up the dominance? Based on what we saw last season and what they have spent again this summer, Everton look the most likely to do that, and they are priced up at a tempting 9/2 to finish in the top six. For the last two summers now Everton have spent big and their board will want to see a return.
One team to keep an eye on this season has to be Wolves, who played very well last season in the Championship and who have continued their upward curve by spending very well this summer. It would be no surprise to see them finish in the top half of the table and if you think they can go one better and finish in the top six you can back them at 17/2 to do so. If Leicester City can keep hold of their squad then they would also come into the equation for this, and are priced up at 8/1.
Which Teams are Facing the Drop?
The race for relegation looks set to be the most exciting to watch this season, and anything could happen. The favourites for the drop are Cardiff City, and it is no surprise to see that, they are odds on too, priced up at 5/7. Fulham and Wolves were the other two clubs promoted to the Premier League and Fulham are 17/10 third favourites for the drop while Wolves are as big as 7/1 after impressing many people with their business this summer. If the bookmakers are right, two of the three promoted teams will head straight back down, although there are many others that look likely to be invovled in the fight.
Huddersfield are second favourites for the drop after surviving their very first season in the Premier League. They are priced up at 6/5 to go down this season, and they will need to play a lot better than what we saw from them towards the end of last season if they are to stay up. Watford and Brighton are two other teams that will have their sights focused on a relegation battle, Watford can be backed to go down at 19/10, while Brighton are 21/10. Neither have done much to improve their squads and unless they overachieve and surprise us all, a long, tough season awaits them.
With the way the league looks set this season it would be foolish to discount many other teams as far as the relegation battle goes. Both Bournemouth and Newcastle played well in parts last season, but also really disappointed at times. They have failed to add to their squads so far, and a bad run of injuries at the wrong time could see them both dragged into it. These two will appeal to those looking for a value bet, Bournemouth are 5/1 to be relegated while Newcastle are slightly bigger at 11/2.