Dora Hughes brings us a betting preview of the upcoming 2021/22 English Premier League season.
The English Premier League kicks off on August 13 and this season’s competition promises to be hotter than ever as Manchester City try to defend their title against strong challenges from city rivals United, a resurgent Liverpool and the reigning European Champions Chelsea.
Who Do Bettors Favor for the 2021/22 Premier League?
It is clear which team bettors are banking on for this year’s Premier League. Manchester City were worthy champions in 2020/21, landing their third title in four seasons with a 12 point gap over their nearest rivals. That’s a lot of ground to makeup and bettors are wagering accordingly.
There seems to be little love for City’s local rivals. Manchester United were the best of the rest last time round, but bettors have them fourth in the rankings, behind the 2019/20 champions Liverpool and the new Champions League holders Chelsea. Away from the top four, there’s not much between Tottenham, Arsenal and Leicester City, and none of those are expected to seriously challenge.
Which Team will win the Premier League in 2021/22?
No team can afford to stand still in the Premier League and Manchester City are expected to make significant moves in the transfer market, with Harry Kane and Jack Grealish said to be top of their shopping list. Landing either of those England stars would strengthen their chances of retaining their title, but picking them both up would make them near invincible.
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Still, with the soccer odds as they are, Liverpool have to be the sensible pick. Manager Jurgen Klopp endured a ridiculously tough season last time, losing three first-choice central defenders, yet still managed to engineer an impressive run at the end of the campaign. The arrival of Ibrahima Konate should add further solidity to the defence, and make the Reds a good wager.
Both Chelsea and Manchester United will be spending big to boost their challenge but of the two, Chelsea pose the bigger threat, if they can achieve consistency against weaker teams. Arsenal and Tottenham will also be hopeful of recovering after torrid campaigns, but both look at least 18 months away from being in a position to mount a serious challenge.
Which Team is a Good Wager for the Premier League Top Four?
The fight for a top-four spot and a place in the Champions League is almost as fierce as the Premier League title battle, and this year’s contest appears to be between three teams: Leicester City, who finished fifth last year, Arsenal and Tottenham.
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Leicester are best placed of the three, but their failure to hang on to a top-four spot in both of the last two seasons could haunt them this time around, and they lack the resources of their two London rivals, for whom a top-four finish has long been regarded as a minimum requirement.
Of the other possible Top Four contenders, Leeds United could be worth considering, although the second season after promotion can often be a tough one. It may be asking too much for West Ham to repeat last season’s heroics, and Aston Villa’s chances of staying in the top half of the table depend entirely on retaining Grealish’s services.
Everton could be a different proposition. Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is a controversial appointment for sure, but there is no arguing with his credentials and with money to spend, the Spaniard may be able to guide them towards the upper echelons.
Who will win the Premier League Golden Boot?
Two men who have topped the Premier League scoring charts five times between them dominate this season’s Golden Boot betting. Harry Kane has won it three times, including last season, while Mohammed Salah of Liverpool has picked up the prize twice.
Of the two, Salah could be the better wager, given Kane’s history of injury problems. Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus are other prominent in the betting, but if Kane moves to City, they will both be playing second fiddle to the England captain.
Neither Diogo Giota nor Bruno Fernandes appear prolific enough in front of goal to be a serious contender here, and the same goes for Timo Werner, who, like the Manchester United duo, will face significant competition from their fellow strikers. So, if you’re searching for an alternative to the big two in this market, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane could be the best option, given that he, along with Salah, are permanent fixtures in the Reds’ front line.
Which Teams will be relegated from the Premier League?
Getting promoted to the Premier League is tough, but staying there is even tougher. Every year three teams go up but in the last decade, 10 out of the 30 promoted teams have been relegated immediately. Last year, it was the turn of Fulham and West Brom to return to the second tier.
It isn’t a surprise then, to see newly-promoted Watford, Norwich and Brentford occupying the top three slots in the relegation betting. Of the three, Watford seem to have the best chance of survival, given their recent experience of Premier League life.
At bigger odds, Newcastle United regularly flirt with disaster and could be a good outside bet, while there is surely a limit on how long Graham Potter’s Brighton can continue to defy football gravity, but the best wagering option could be Wolverhampton Wanderers. Their recent success has been down to the organizational skills of Nuno Espirito Santo and his replacement Bruno Lage has much to prove to a set of fans whose expectations could be unrealistically high.
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