Premier League Preview: A Repeat of Man City Dominance?
The 27th edition of the Premier League is set to kick off on August 11, 2018. Bettors can now place their wagers on different season outrights that online bookmakers started to offer for the English football’s top-flight division.
City Number 1 Once Again?
Last year, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City dominated the league by winning the club’s third Premier League title and breaking several records along the way. Some achievements include having the most points with 100 out of 114 available, the most wins with 32 out of 38 games, and highest goal difference with +79.
The club managed to keep its core players composed of Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson, and Raheem Sterling. Furthermore, the Sky Blues reinforced its dominating squad with 2016 Premier League winner Riyad Mahrez.
With only slight changes, fans wonder if Manchester City can improve from its record-breaking season. Guardiola, the club’s manager, believes that his players are itching to show their fans a more dominating performance.
“People ask ‘can you improve on 100 points?’ and I say no because we are not here to do that. However, individually the players can improve. Of course we can improve. If I felt we could not improve the team I would call my chairman and say: ‘I leave.’ But still, we believe we can do better and dominate more. Will it happen? I don’t know but we believe we can do it.”
Should Manchester City fail in its title defense, other English football clubs will be ready to pounce and claim the top spot as their own.
Following the Sky Blues in most sportsbooks is Liverpool. The Merseyside club has reached the Champions League final last season through an impressive year from top-scoring duo Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino. However, the Reds secured only a fourth-place finish in the league and has never placed first in any of the previous 26 Premier League seasons.
Nevertheless, the team covered its weaknesses from last season with high-profile signings. Fans expect Fabinho and Naby Keita to provide quality support to the potent frontline. Keeper Alisson will replace the club’s previous mistake-prone goalie to shore up Liverpool’s defense.
The third favorite to win the league is 13-time Premier League winners Manchester United, with the odds of winning at 7/1 on most online betting sites. Last season’s second placer wants to knock its neighbor out of the top place and reclaim the club’s lost glory.
Like City, the Red Devils signed only a couple of players. With a squad headed by 2018 World Cup standout Romelu Lukaku, United hopes that its current roster can produce a better showing than last year.
Following the two favorites are three London clubs. The odds of Chelsea ending the season as winners stand at 12 and 14, according to bet365 and both William Hill and 10Bet, respectively. Tottenham Hotspurs is priced at 16 by bet365 and 10Bet, while William Hill has Spurs at 14. Meanwhile, 10Bet and William Hill have Arsenal winning the league at 22, although bet365 has the club’s odds at 20.
Kane, King of Scoring?
Bettors can also place a wager on who they think will score the most goals during the 38-game season.
The most likely to win the Premier League Golden Boot is two-time top scorer Harry Kane. After topping the goalscoring charts in 2016 and 2017, the Spurs striker finished only second last season with 30 goals. However, Kane showed his knack for goals by finishing as top scorer in the 2018 World Cup.
Challenging Kane in the scoring race will be the current Golden Boot, Liverpool’s Salah. As part of the Reds’ attacking juggernaut, Salah broke the Premier League record with 32 goals against 17 teams. Some critics might warn bettors that Salah’s scoring feats was just a one-season wonder, but bookmakers believe that the Egyptian can replicate this season his remarkable performance last year.
Kane leads the betting market with odds of 5/2 and 9/4 from bet365 and William Hill, respectively. Salah follows closely with both bet365 and William Hill offering the odds of him winning the Golden Boot at 5/1.
Betting experts suggest players place outright wagers before the English Premier League starts. The best football league in England kicks off this August 11, with 2013 winners Manchester United hosting 2016 champions Leicester City at Old Trafford.