Some huge transfers have been completed, including Raheem Sterling’s £49m switch to Manchester City, and top flight teams have returned from far off lands where they were playing out pedestrian friendly fixtures in heavily sponsored but loosely termed ‘cup competitions’, so it can only mean one thing; the start of the new Premier League season is upon us.
Champions Chelsea haven’t done too much high profile business to date, the capture of Manchester United flop Radamel Falcao on loan their most notable acquisition, nevertheless the Blues are 15/8 favourites via Coral to retain the title with Manchester City, at 3/1 (Betfred) again expected to be their nearest challengers.
Manchester United have been busy, bringing in several big-money signings but bookies don’t seem convinced that Louis Van Gaal’s charges will improve on last season’s fourth place, so they’re a 5/1 shot at BetVictor to clinch the Premier League crown and Boylesports post 4/1 against Arsenal.
The Gunners have actually been the team attracting cash as the campaign has drawn closer and at the prices they’re arguably the value pick.
Aiming to break up that quartet and get back into contention for a Champions League place, Liverpool have overhauled their squad, securing the services of the likes of Christian Benteke, Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino. At 28/1 (Skybet) though, the Anfield outfit aren’t considered title challengers and betway rate them at as high as 11/4 to end up in fourth or better.
Indeed, after last season’s disappointment, the pressure will be on Brendan Rodgers to improve things and BetVictor subsequently consider the Reds boss their 5/1 jolly to be the next manager to leave his post.
At the other end, the three promoted teams are all tipped to find the going tough. Ladbrokes chalk Watford up at just 8/11 to head straight back down to the Championship, bet365 price Norwich at 11/10 to be relegated and Bournemouth are 7/5 (Skybet) for the drop. However, having replaced manager Nigel Pearson with Claudio Ranieri, despite Pearson steering them to safety last term, Leicester could find themselves in trouble and they appear overpriced at 3/1 courtesy of Hills to end up in the bottom three.
Elsewhere, Sergio Aguero heads the top scorer market at 3/1 with BetVictor, ahead of Chelsea’s Diego Costa (6/1, Paddy Power) although bet365’s 16/1 chance Christian Benteke might be worth an each-way interest, now he has switched to Liverpool. Aguero can also be backed at 8s (BetVictor) to be named Player of the Year, although Eden Hazard, is Paddy Power’s 4/1 favourite in that market.
Finally, the incoming transfers at Stoke lend appeal to Ladbrokes’s 23/20 about them securing a top ten finish, Skybet’s 8/11 about Spurs ending up in the top six looks a banker and in bet365’s betting without the ‘big six’, Everton catch the eye at 3/1.
Arsenal to win the title – 4/1 (Boylesports)
Leicester to be relegated – 3/1 (William Hill)
Stoke to finish in the top ten – 23/20 (Ladbrokes)
Christian Benteke to be top scorer – 16/1 (bet365)