The biggest domestic football league in the world is back with a bang this Saturday and as ever, it’s return is hotly anticipated. After what was probably the most thrilling finish ever to a season last May, Manchester United will be keen to put last year behind them and work on getting ahead of their ‘noisy neighbours’ Man. City right out of the gate. The recent an announcement that Robin Van Persie is on his way to Old Trafford will certainly help them on their way. This news alone has seen Man. Utd. creep in from 3.5 to 3.0 and even 2.9 at some sites, while City have drifted from 2.1 to 2.3.
Most bookies are forecasting a 2 horse race between the Manchester giants but Chelsea will be hoping they can stand up for the South and several offseason acquisitions such as the Hazard brothers and Oscar from Brazil will doubtless help them, but what effect the loss of Drogba will have remains to be seen. Most bookies are offering 6.0 on Chelsea but some are going as low as 4.35 so there’s certainly some doubt out there!
In the top scorer market it’s wide open, with Aguero, Van Persie, and Rooney all priced up at between 8.0 and 9.0 with the majority of bookies, followed by Torres at 10.0. Interestingly Bet Victor has all 4 players priced at 9.0. Carlos Tevez is priced at 15.0 with Suarez at 17.0 and Mari Ballotelli between 17.0 and 19.0 depending on where you look. Outside the top 5 or 6, it’s Paddy Power and Bet Victor who are offering the best odds on the long shots. How does Andy Carroll at 41.0 sound?!
At the bottom end of the table, the favourites for relegation are Southampton and Reading, who are hotly favoured to go straight back down again at 2.25 and 2.5. Norwich and Wigan are also priced up around the same, with Swansea and West Ham a little longer at about 3.0. There are certainly plenty of candidates for relegation and it might be quite a scrap towards the end of the season.
Looking finally at the Champions League spots, the big 3 have them sewn up in the bookies eyes and it’ll be Aresnal, Tottenham, and Liverpool fighting it out for the final place with Arsenal favoured at between 1.53 and 1.75. Although Newcastle had a reasonable shot at the final spot last year they’re out at between 8 and 17, with Ladbrokes being by far the shortest of all of the bookies.
It all kicks off this Saturday with Man City at home to Southampton and then on Monday United are away to Everton.