Pandora Hughes brings us all the latest Premier League futures picks.
Around a third of the EPL season is done and there have already been plenty of surprises. So what can we expect for the remainder of the competition and which are the best futures options?
Who do Bettors Favour?
Manchester City are three points behind the league leaders Chelsea, but a quick check of the best EPL betting sites shows that bettors are sticking with the reigning champions, who are still odds-on across the board
Chelsea are the second favourites, while Liverpool are the only other contenders still in single figures as Manchester United, West Ham United and Leicester have fallen away.
Who will win the Premier League?
Back in October, the battle for the Premier League title appeared to be more open than ever. Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool were among the leading contenders, but Manchester United, West Ham and even Leicester were also worthy of consideration, while Arsenal were starting to gain momentum.
But November has been a rough month for many contenders and the likely list of winners has been thinned out considerably by the spectacular decline of Manchester United, while Leicester have fallen away completely and West Ham have started to show signs of weakness.
At this point, it is hard to see anyone outside the top three threatening for the title. Manchester City are still dominating the betting although Chelsea and Liverpool have both looked as consistently good as Pep Guardiola’s side. Either would represent a solid bet, but the preference is for Liverpool who know how to cope with the pressure of being in contention for the title in the spring.
Which Teams Can Finish in the Top Four?
The race for the top four is often as fiercely contested as the Premier League title competition but with the top three sides looking locked in for a place, that leaves only one opportunity for the chasing pack to get into the Champions League qualification zone.
Manchester United have a superb squad and there is still time for them to turn things around, but that will depend on getting the right manager to replace the recently sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and their recent record in that department is not encouraging.
West Ham are an obvious choice, but this time around, they are likely to face stiff competition from both Tottenham and Arsenal who are closing fast. Arsenal are the shorter price of the two, but Tottenham have the better manager in Antonio Conte and more upside given that he has been at the club for less than a month. They are already looking much stronger and rate as a good top four-bet.
Who will be at the bottom of the Premier League?
Given Norwich’s appalling start to the season, this market seemed to be largely decided at the start of this month, but the removal of Daniel Farke and the arrival of former Aston Villa coach have coincided with a mini-revival at Carrow Road.
Consecutive victories have lifted the Canaries off the bottom while Newcastle United, still without a manager, have slipped to the foot of the table. Newcastle are priced as third favourites to end up last in the Premier League, but that is presumably based on the expectation that Eddie Howe will be able to spend big in January. By then, however, they could be many points adrift at the bottom.
Villa, Watford and Leeds all have enough quality to survive, while Burnley are tough relegation scrappers, so at this point, Newcastle look an excellent bet at odds of 5.99.
Which Player will Win the English Golden Boot?
Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah has already found the net 11 times and has a four-goal advantage over his nearest challenger in the Golden Boot race, which explains why the odds on Salah claiming this prestigious Award for the third time are so short.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Salah’s success has been his ability to pile up big goalscoring titles despite sharing striking duties with the equally prolific Sadio Mane
At this point in the season, it is difficult to make a case against Salah. Cristiano Ronaldo has four goals in eight appearances for Manchester United but that leaves him seven off the pace and with the identity of the new coach not yet decided, it may be wise to wait and see on his Golden Boot chances.
Leicester’s decline will damage Jamie Vardy’s chances, and Harry Kane has only one goal to his name so far, while Chelsea’s main striker Romelu Lukaku has just three. Right now, it is hard to argue with anyone backing Salah, but at much bigger odds, Mane looks like an interesting bet and is the sort of striker who can score a lot of goals in a short space of time.