Expect the 2016-17 Premier League season to Explode!
It has been a fascinating opening two months of the 2016-17 Premier League season. So, what has changed in our initial assessment of who will win the title? Has anything changed in terms of the odds when it comes to who we think will get relegated? Since the start of the season, Sunderland, Hull City and West Ham have all had their odds cut on them being relegated.
Last season is still reverberating around the football world, but normality is being restored. Leicester were well beaten yet again at Chelsea and were never really seriously in the game. It was always unlikely for The Foxes to repeat last season’s feat.
The Title going to Manchester?
At the start of the season, the bookies title odds predicted that the two Manchester clubs would be vying for the championship. Many people fancied United with Mourinho at the helm. The consensus was that his greater experience in the Premier League would give him the edge over his great La Liga rival, Pep Guardiola at City.
So, what have we learned? Well, if you put the league table current standings to one side for a minute, and you listen to the other Premier League managers speak, they drool when they talk about Man City.
Who Will Make the Top Four?
Competition for Champions League places is going to be immensely strong this season. Many clubs will have aspirations to make the top four and will expect to do so. Tottenham will be going for the top four again, and Arsenal are used to always being there. It is clear that both Manchester clubs didn’t appoint such high profile managers to finish outside the Champions League places.
Then there is Liverpool! They are playing very well under Jurgen Klopp and a top four place seems on the cards. We haven’t even mentioned Chelsea yet, and owner Roman Abramovich will not want two seasons outside the Champions League. So all have a case for being there, but which four will make it? My tip is City, United, Liverpool and Chelsea, but it isn’t with any great certainty that I expect these four to feature.
So what are the title odds now?
In terms of Premier League betting, the bookies are broadly 6/5 on City winning the title, with Liverpool and Arsenal seen as the most likely challengers. Priced at 4/1 you have to fancy a Liverpool title surge this season given how well they have played. Plus, Jurgen Klopp has had one thing on his side that his other title rivals haven’t, and that is time.
Chelsea just seem to have too many problems to solve from last season to be contenders. As for Arsenal and Tottenham, can we really expect them to win the league? They couldn’t even manage it last season when City, United and Chelsea were all having bad seasons.
At the other end of the table, Sunderland are the frequent drop zone inhabitants and they are still without a win this season. David Moyes, despite all his rhetoric, is clearly struggling.
Who will leave the gravy train?
Sunderland, Burnley and Hull are the three stand out favourites with the betting firms to be relegated. It’s hard to argue with that, and with the possible exception of Stoke and West Ham, the bottom of the table has a familiar look to it.
The majority of bets on which FC will be relegated will surely centre around these clubs. One would expect Mark Hughes and Slaven Bilic to drag their respective clubs back to where they belong before too long.
In fact, both Stoke City and West Ham had good wins on Saturday against Sunderland and Crystal Palace. It is tough to survive in the Premier League without huge financial input or a vastly experienced manager, which makes it all the more remarkable what Eddie Howe has achieved at Bournemouth.
Nothing has really changed though since August. We fully expected Sunderland, Burnley, Hull, Swansea and Middlesbrough to find it tough.