The shambolic scenes of the European Championships are behind us. It’s time to look forward to a new season of domestic football, writes John Wozniak.
According to the bookies, the Premier League title race has three runners, but more on that later.
The COVID pandemic shows no signs of ebbing away, and there is uncertainty over matchday attendances. According to the Liverpool Echo, the Premier League is in talks over whether it will require supporters to provide proof of full coronavirus vaccination next season. There is likely to be a backlash against whatever the league decides. Back to the action, and we turn our attention to the Premier League favourites.
Manchester City 4/6
It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn most bookies are offering odds of 4/6 for City to retain their title. The rumours surrounding who Manchester City will sign are in full swing. Jack Grealish is one of many players linked with the champions. But as of today all the talk is that they have agreed a huge fee to buy Harry Kane from Spurs. Whoever City sign, or don’t, they’ll be ready to defend the title. Pep Guardiola is yet to break his Champions League duck with the club, but don’t expect him to take his eye off the Premier League title race. On Sunday August 15th, City start their campaign away to Spurs. Which of those clubs will Kane be playing for that day, if either?
It’s almost 12 months since Jürgen Klopp led Liverpool to their first league title in the Premier League era. I’m taking odds of 5/1 for the Reds to win back the league title. Jürgen Klopp’s side raised the bar in recent years, but last season was one to forget. Virgil van Dijk is back, and after the signing of centre back Ibrahima Konaté, the defensive picture looks positive.
Many of Liverpool’s top players are turning the wrong side of 30, but I expect Klopp to reignite his team, and lead them to a fantastic title challenge. Liverpool have plenty of attacking options in their squad and start the season away to newly promoted Norwich City.
I know Vernon quite fancies Chelsea should they sign a proven goalscorer in August but, as at July 24th, I believe the pre-season odds of 5/1 are short because they are light up front. Timo Werner scored one in six last season. Despite 12 assists, he must find the net more frequently. According to several media outlets, Thomas Tuchel has prioritised a striker in the summer transfer market. Half of Europe’s top clubs are tracking Dortmund’s brilliant young forward, Erling Haarland. The 21-year-old will cost well over £120 million, and that could put Chelsea out of the race for his signature.
Time is running out for Chelsea to find a new goalscorer, but Tuchel’s team should have enough to stay in the title race. Chelsea welcome Patrick Viera’s Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge on the opening game of the season.
It’s going to take a miracle for any of the other teams to break into the top three. Manchester United are at 8/1 to win the title, with Spurs and Arsenal at 50/1 and 66/1, respectively.
All odds correct at the time of writing. Check Oddschecker for constantly updated best prices.
Vernon’s own preview of the new Premier League will be along soon and, once the transfer window has closed, his season long betting tips will be mailed out to members of VG Tips. To join as a monthly or annual member, click on this link.