The view that last season’s Premier League campaign was the best on offer in a long time, maybe even ever, is a fair one. Audiences are clearly not drawn to pass and move football with patient build-up play. The slow yet breathtaking striking of the proverbial hammer that we’re used to seeing in other parts of Europe is evidently not at home in English football. Some may say otherwise, but we all know the Premier League is a product marketed on its rich entertainment value and likelihood of the unexpected or improbable.
If we excuse Manchester City’s method of rising to and reaching the summit of the mountain last season, it was fairly refreshing to see the Premier League title find a new short-term home. The billing of the last day of the season certainly lived up to the hype and excitement, and there’s a lot to expect from the current league champions heading into this season.
Roberto Mancini has done well to settle the various egos and ‘want-away’ strikers at the Etihad Stadium. The result was that of a squad who are capable of finding a fair balance between the entertaining and the attractive on the pitch. The additions of Sergio Aguero and David Silva over the past couple of summers have been impressive; at what stage over the past 10 years, or even five years, would anyone imagine that one of the golden boys of South American football would be playing for the blue half of Manchester. To compliment him with a World Cup and European Championship winner in David Silva has certainly made a case for City to be a dominant force for many years to come.
The club will clearly be looking to rid themselves of some of the deadweight, and it is unlikely they’ll have too much trouble in doing so. But their squad also needs reinforcing in one or two areas, notably the defence. Vincent Kompany is currently one of the leading centre-backs in European football, with great presence and leadership about him. But depth is needed if the club want to be successful on more than one front.
Due to their financial backing and ability to attract the very biggest names in world football, Manchester City go into next season as the 11/10 favourites in the betting with Bet365 Bookmaker for the Premier League title.
In London, however, and despite their terrible league form last season, Chelsea are looking good for a charge on the Premier League title next season. Their acquisition of star midfielder Eden Hazard and the genuine possibility of him being flanked by a few other newcomers leave Chelsea with a strong hand.
The Blues rode their defensive philosophy – and a decent amount of luck – to the Champions League final last season. But their gritty, determined and backs-to-the-wall approach will not work over a prolonged period of time. Roman Abramovich certainly won’t stand for it.
What we can expect from Chelsea is the beginnings of a very exciting brand of football on the pitch. The possible introduction of Brazilian midfielder Oscar will do a lot for the club’s attacking flair, while they also have their share of World Cup and Euro winners in Fernando Torres and Juan Mata.
You’ve got to believe that the Champions League and FA Cup triumphs for Chelsea last season would have spurred them into action this summer, allowing themselves a young and ambitious foundation to once again dominate English football. At this stage, Chelsea’s impressive business in the transfer market makes them a good bet at 5/1 with Bet365 Bookmaker for the League title next season.
It would be foolish to completely write-off Manchester United at any stage. The club have invested in one of Europe’s most exciting attackers in Shinji Kagawa and are likely to add where the squad is light.
However, United’s surrender of the league title last season was extremely uncharacteristic of any side under Sir Alex Ferguson. The 4-4 draw against Everton at home during the “business end” of the season was an indicator that perhaps the pressure was too great for the side. Their performances in Europe last season were also unimpressive and simply not good enough.
Rounding up the likely candidates for the Premier League title next season, Manchester United can be bet on at around 9/4.
A little further down the table, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are all looking for much better efforts than they produced last season. New personnel have already arrived at all three clubs, whether it be managers, assistants or new signings. But are any of these clubs likely to scare Manchester City, Chelsea or United over the course of the season? At this stage it looks like the league title may be too far out of reach.
However, with that surprising brand of entertainment the Premier League likes to pride itself on, Arsenal can be backed at 12/1, while their North London rivals Spurs are at a best price of 33/1. Liverpool’s new manager will have a great deal of work to do in order to restore the club to its place among English football’s elite. Certainly the bookies share that view with their circa 33/1 odds about an Anfield dominance.
Premier League Betting Tips verdict
The conclusion has to be that Manchester City (11/10) will be hard to knock of their new-found throne. You will not get rich backing them though and the better value in the Premier League Title betting may be resurgent Chelsea at 5/1.
Our Tip: Chelsea to win Premier League at 5/1