The Premier League makes a big return this weekend! If you have somehow missed the big name transfers and the astronomical transfer fees exchanging hands over the summer, I can only assume you’ve been living on a desert island! Not only have we got these top footballers joining the league but we have European football’s most iconic managers taking charge of some of the league’s biggest teams, as they attempt to apply their trade to the world’s most competitive top flight division.
Jose Mourinho’s drawn-out arrival at Manchester United is one such headline that has captured the spotlight, along with his signings of Ibrahimović, Pogba, Mkhitaryan and Bailly. All in all, this has resulted in the Premier League’s most crowned team being touted as 2nd favourites for the title at 10/3 (4.33) with bet365, despite their 5th place finish under Van Gaal last season. Ibra has a reputation for scoring goals wherever he goes, and it seems as though his transfer to United is not expected to be any different as the Swede is 9/1 (10.00) and 3rd favourite to be Top Goal scorer.
The blue side of Manchester are outgunning their arch-rivals in the To Win Outright markets despite the big spending this summer however! Pep Guardiola, no stranger to his counterpart Mourinho of course, has taken charge of the 2013/14 Premier League winners Manchester City and like United, not only have they got a new and successful manager but they’ve also had an influx of big name players – Gundogan, Nolito, Sane, Stones and Zinchenko! The Cityzens are favourites for the Premier League title at 5/2 (3.50) and Guardiola is clearly more than capable to guide them to their 3rd Premier League title! He’ll look to his main man Sergio Aguero to fire his side to the title, with the Argentine favourite for the Top Goal scorer title at 10/3 (4.33).
- See also: All Premier League odds!
Some would say that Mourinho’s former side Chelsea have been flying well below the radar in the build up to this year’s campaign following a disastrous 2015/16 season which saw them finish in 10th position. This does of course mean that there’s no European football for their forthcoming campaign and this does supply a big advantage in light of the reduced fixture list. Hazard had a season to forget but it seemed that as soon as Mourinho exited the club, he found his form again and following some impressive performances at Euro 16’ with Belgium – he could well shine under new manager Antonio Conte. Hazard is 40/1 (41.00) to be top goal scorer and the Blues are 11/2 (6.50) for the Premier League title. Also, Chelsea are 13/8 (2.62) to be Top London Club at bet365, and following their exciting acquisitions of Premier League title winner N’Golo Kante and hot prospect Batshuayi; this could host some real value against their London rivals.
Arsenal & Spurs
Speaking of whom; Arsenal and Spurs have both experienced lesser exciting summers following successful Top 4 2015/16 campaigns, although respective fans would prefer not to see the 2 sides mentioned in the same notion. Spurs have acquired Wanyama and striker Jansen, whilst Arsenal’s key signing is Xhaka quite simply. Some would argue that a more familiar squad could prove to be a real advantage for the forthcoming season but the lack of strengthening in key areas will have fans worried, particularly for the Gunners who will once again rely on Sanchez to boost their goal scoring options, with the Chilean a 20/1 (21.00) shot to be Top Scorer. Spurs’ key striker Harry Kane surpassed all expectations last season and struck an impressive 25 goal haul to narrowly pip Aguero and Vardy by 1 goal to the Golden Boot title; and he’s 7/1 (8.00) to retain his Top Scorer crown despite some woeful Euro 16’ performances. Perhaps he’ll be back off free-kick duty now..
One further team that have made drastic changes this summer is Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp. The German did of course join Liverpool mid-way through last season’s campaign and only now is he having his influence on squad additions after guiding Liverpool to an 8th spot finish and 2 major yet unsuccessful finals with the Europa League and Capital One Cup. Over 12 players have now left the club to generate transfer funds that have been spent on new acquisitions such as Mane, Wijnaldum, Klarius, Klavan and Matip. Mane and Wijnaldum were both amongst the league’s top 5 goal scoring midfielder’s in the 2015/16 campaign so it’s clear to see that Klopp aims to add goals to his new-look side. Liverpool are very much outsiders for the title despite the big changes – 9/1 (10.00) with bet365 but like Chelsea, they have the benefit of a reduced fixture list with no European football this year. The last time this happened, they went so very close to claiming their first Premier League title in 25 years, albeit with Suarez and Sturridge scoring for fun.
And who could forget about the Champions, Leicester City..?! It’s fair to say that their 2015/16 campaign was a true inspiration and most likely a ‘once in a lifetime’ occurrence at 5000/1 but it was loved by football fans from across the globe. The reality has now settled in and Leicester City will be in the Champions League and are 100/1 (101.00) to win it unbelievably. They have of course lost their star midfielder Kante to Chelsea but have kept hold of key striker Jamie Vardy, whom is 16/1 (17.00) to be Top Scorer, and also 2015/16’s PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez. The Foxes are a seemingly-withdrawn 28/1 (29.00) to retain their Premier League title but could well struggle with the burden of Champions League football expanding their fixture list.
Premier League newcomers
In recent years, the Premier League newcomers have put up a great challenge and this has seen sides such as Watford and Swansea flourish, whilst Premier League regulars Newcastle and Aston Villa drop down into the Championship. This year’s newcomers will of course be hoping to put up a solid fight, and with Middlesbrough spending well in the summer on players such as Negredo and Valdes – they’re 4/5 (1.80) to be Top Newcomer, and 8/1 (9.00) To Finish in the Top Half of the league. Swansea, on the other hand, could be in for trouble ahead since they’ve now sold club captain Ashley Williams and key goal-threat Andre Ayew, they are 3/1 (4.00) to be relegated.