Acknowledging that realistically a limited number of teams are capable of winning the Premiership title, bookies tend to offer top-flight markets without a certain number of teams and this season is no exception.
For punters, there’s often some great value to be had in such wagers and one such flutter stands out this time around. In the betting without the ‘big two’ – deemed to be last season’s respective champions and runners-up Manchester United and Chelsea – Manchester City are a cracking bet at 5/4 with Betfred.
Roberto Mancini’s men finished level on points with second-placed Chelsea last season and although they were only three points ahead of Arsenal in fourth they were nine clear of fifth and should be even better this season. Admittedly they are likely to lose Carlos Tevez, but Sergio Aguero has come in, along with Gael Clichy while big name signings such as Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko have now bedded in and should prove more effective this year.
For the Gunners, a 5/2 chance at bet365, it’s been a summer of uncertainty and at this stage, it’s still distinctly possible that Arsene Wenger will be forced to sell skipper Cesc Fabregas. Gervinho has arrived at the Emirates Stadium to strengthen their attack but Arsenal may actually be weaker this season, while their rivals get stronger.
Next in the betting without United and Chelsea, are Liverpool at 4/1 with Boylesports. The Reds have brought in the likes of Jordan Henderson and Stuart Downing while Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll should form a formidable partnership up front and they’ll fancy their chances of overhauling the Gunners. Subsequently, with each-way terms offering two places, Kenny Dalglish’s men could generate a profit even if they finish behind City.
Alternatively, punters fancying Liverpool to finish above Arsenal can obtain odds of 2/1 with Skybet for the Reds, United, Chelsea and Manchester City occupy the top four positions.
Also available, is a market without the ‘big six’ – the half-dozen top teams from last season. Having ended up seventh last term, Everton are Betfred’s 13/8 favourites to do so again but the Toffees continued to exercise enforced financial restraint and will start the campaign with the same personnel so they might find it difficult to maintain their relatively high standards.
Aston Villa are next in the betting and will have their backers at 4/1 () but as Paddy Power offer three places at a quarter of the odds, their 14/1 shots Bolton are worth considering each-way.