The thing about having a 100 point season, as City did in 17/18 is having to face questions like “yeah, but can they do it again?” Well they did. Pep Guardiola’s have both the wealth and talent behind them and to make a third 90+ point season look likely. The returning Kevin De Bruyne will be like a new signing, while actual new signing Rodrí should slot in to a midfield that looked weak at times last season, especially when Fernandinho did not feature.
Title Odds: 8/15
Best Bet: Manchester City/Liverpool Straight Forecast @ 6/5
If Man Utd certainly have all the ingredients to make a charge towards the top 4 once again. It’s too much of an ask for Solskjaer to close the gap with Man City and perennial nemesis in Liverpool. The additions of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka give a much needed injection of pace down the right hand side of attack while it is hoped Harry Maguire will provide United with much more defensive rigidity. It remains to be seen what OGS will be able to coax out of Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba.
Title Odds: 28/1
Best Bet: Top 4 Finish @ 11/10
When you replace a European Cup, multiple league winning manager in Rafa Benitez with a manager whose crowning achievement was releasing a series of not very good crime novels, then you’re going to have a problem. Their problems off the pitch are something that no fan should have to endure. Last year Newcastle overachieved their way to a 13th place finish last year. Despite breaking their transfer record in January to bring in Miguel Almiron and again to secure Joelinton from Hoffenheim this summer, the outgoing Joselu, Perez and Rondon doesn’t translate to the investment the fans are craving. Even though the fans deserve it, the prospect of Newcastle surviving this season appears remote.
Title Odds: 500/1
Best Bet: Premier League Relegation @ 7/4
Last season’s Championship winners return to the Premier League having scored an eye-watering 93 goals in the previous campaign. Early fixtures will be challenging: Norwich face last season’s top 3 in the first 5 weeks of the season. With largely the same squad as last year bar one or two additions Daniel Farke faces a tough ask ensuring Premier League survival. If they continue to play some of the excellent football they did in their Championship winning season however , they might just do enough to stay up.
Title Odds: 1000/1
It’s been a while since The Blades were in the top flight. The signings of Phil Jagielka and Ravel Morrison haven’t done much to inspire confidence. Although Billy Sharp (the top scorer in the football league this century) proved to be the main man last season, the Premier League is a different ball game. A tough season ahead for the Blades.
Title Odds: Is there any point?
Best Bet: To Finish Bottom @ 3/1
For the first time in what seems like a long time, Southampton haven’t sold their best player in the summer. But that’s it, they’ve been quiet on the transfer front apart from securing the services of Danny Ings who was already on loan from Liverpool anyway. The signing of Che Adams looks like one to add squad depth rather than directly improving the first XI. In Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first full season in charge of the Saints could see them improve on last seasons 16th place finish given that there’s plenty of talent in the squad and they don’t have Mark Hughes “managing” them for the first half of the season.
Title Odds: 1000/1
Last season’s Champions League finalists (I really enjoyed typing that) have overtunred their transfer policy. Like London buses, you wait for ages for a signing and then suddenly two appear at once. Spurs beat Premier League rivals to winger Jack Clarke, while Tanguy Ndombélé represents a signing form a team looking to shake the tag of “bottlers”. It may not be the league championship, but expect Tottenham to end up with something shiny in May.
Title Odds: 14/1
Best Bet: To Finish 3rd
Given Watford’s have managerial record in the last few years it’s a bit of a surprise they’ve managed to become a fixture of the Premier League. Current manager Javi Gracia recently signed a new deal (shock!) and looks set to be allowed to have a long term vision at the club… for now at least. If Gerard Delofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure can continue to provide Troy Deeney with crosses, hopefully they can build on an 11th placed finish. A lack of new signings could be a cause for concern though.
Title Odds: 1000/1
Often the definition of mid-table, West Ham aren’t usually far away from controversy. After shifting Marko Arnautovic off to China however, The Hammers have quietly gone about their business this summer. Another transfer window of course brings another striker to The London Stadium (seriously, how many have they bought over the years?). Record signing Sebastian Haller comes to London with 15 goals and 9 assists last year in the Bundesliga. If Manuel Pellegrini can keep his stars fit this season, I expect them to maintain their mid table status or have a decent run in either of the domestic cups. A start against defending champions Manchester City however really isn’t ideal.
Title Odds: 250/1
Last year’s surprise package took points off every team in the top 6 (except Liverpool). It was the teams below them that seemed to give them difficulties – fixing that will be the main objective for Nuno Espirito Santos this year. New signing Patrick Cutrone comes highly rated from AC Milan. Their season has technically already started so avoiding the issues that Burnley had after their European venture last year with combining league form with their continental exploits excursions will be key to replicating their great season last year.
Title Odds: 150/1
Best Bet: Premier League winner without “The Big Six” @ 3/1