The Premier League is a long way away and we have a summer of transfer activity to enjoy before it all kicks off on the 12th of August. At this time of year it’s always good to look at the odds for the length of the season and start spreading around some bets in the portfolio for the upcoming campaign.
Chelsea won the title comfortably in the end, despite a late-season blip which nearly let Spurs back in. Antonio Conte celebrated lifting the Premier League trophy in his first season in English football, and he’ll take his side into the coming season’s Champions League.
Spurs will be appearing in Europe’s elite competition for the second year in a row, but will hope to do much better than last year where they were dumped out in the group stages. How much would an extended run in the competition this time around affect their domestic form? Spurs’ north London neighbours will have no such worries, as the Gunners dropped to 5th in the final standings. This could have the reverse effect for Arsenal – we saw how well Chelsea got on last year without the distraction of the Champions League. Of course, Arsenal are in the Europa League, but knowing Arsene Wenger’s track record he may not take the tournament too seriously.
Then we have Manchester City and Liverpool, who are both expected to be big challengers again this year. City will no doubt spend the biggest over the summer, and Pep Guardiola will be expected to produce a better return than he did in his first season. Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, is still the darling of Liverpool after leading them back into the Champions League.
The Red Devils qualified for the Champions League via the Europa League after beating Ajax in the final, salvaging a season in which they finished 6th, a full 24 points off Chelsea at the top. That put a gloss on what was ultimately a disappointing return, and it’s now four seasons since United won the title. There is no doubt it will be high on the agenda at Old Trafford.
There are still question marks over Pep Guardiola’s attacking style and how well it is suited to the English game, but there is no questioning the talent at his disposal. At short odds and with a focus on the Champions League, City are passed over at this stage.
Similarly, one wonders how much motivation Chelsea will have to retain their title, particularly if they progress deep into the Champions League. The Pensioners are +350 with SkyBet if you fancy another Blues win.
It’s been eight seasons since a team won back-to-back titles – Manchester United in 2008 and 2009 – so it’s going to be a big ask for Chelsea to do it, particularly with Champions League football. They were fortunate (in a manner of speaking) that they had no European distractions last term, and that helped them to put sole focus on the domestic front.
Spurs finished in the top four for the second time in a row, and for a brief moment towards the end of the season looked like giving Chelsea a run for their money. The north Londoners are +900 with Bet365.
One of the reasons their Champions League campaign faltered last season was that they played home games at Wembley. With White Hart Lane under development this season, Spurs will be playing all games at home this year and that may affect domestic form too. It’s certainly enough to make us swerve Pochettino’s men, even if they are one of the most exciting sides in the Premier League.
Could Liverpool win their first ever Premier League? the Reds are +1200 with Betway if you think they can.
Jurgen Klopp has definitely brought about improvement since his arrival and has also made Liverpool into one of the most attractive sides to watch. It was 2014/15 when they last competed in the Champions League, and that might take their focus away from domestic duties. Even under Klopp the Reds have had a habit of throwing in the odd shock results, and they may well be worth backing against in games that follow midweek European commitments.
We’d rather back Arsenal at +1400 with Betway
Stopped laughing yet? It’s true that the Gunners haven’t won the title since the 2003/4 season, but with the bookies offering 1/3 of the odds for a top two place, they could be worth a shout. Bet365 go +1200 and 1/5 of the odds for a top three finish, which is another option for the more conservative punter.
The positives, in terms of the Premier League at least, are that Arsenal have no Champions League football. Arsene Wenger has often used the lesser cup competitions as a chance for squad players to get match experience, so one suspects he will be more focused on the domestic front than the European one. Having signed a new contract the Frenchman is set to stay, and the rumours are that there will be big money to spend. Remember they had that great start last season, and if they’d maintained it they could have been serious contenders.
Manchester United to win the Premier League
Arsenal to win the Premier League – Each way