After an immense summer of World Cup football to spoil football betting fans across the globe, it seemed only yesterday that the Premier League season had finished. Now with just a week to go until it starts all over again, debate is flying high and wide over how this campaign is going to pan out.
Promoted sides Fulham, Wolves and Cardiff have it all to do and prove to the league that they are good enough to remain in the division, while the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool will be hoping to end Manchester City’s dominance in the division.
Here are my Premier League predictions for 2018/19:
They called him a one-season wonder the very first time Harry Kane won the Golden Boot, but those harsh critics have eaten those words after the Englishman continually proves to be one of the most elite strikers on the planet.
Having won the award twice already, Kane will want to make it a hat-trick after narrowly losing out last season to Mohamed Salah. The Englishman is Tottenham’s focal point with everything being played through him. With Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli assisting his every move, Kane will have chances to score time and time again.
Kane is currently 9/4 to win the Golden Boot for the upcoming season with top football betting sites, while Liverpool’s Salah is priced at 5/1.
The England captain has taken his game to a new level over the course of the past three seasons, and will look to raise it once more. Kane will know the pressure that is on him to deliver for Spurs and close the gap on Salah’s prolificacy in front of goal.
Even though he played a huge part in England’s World Cup venture throughout the summer, Kane will most likely want to start Tottenham’s opening match against Newcastle United next weekend. Such is his hunger to strive for the best, Kane will be fit and raring to go should Mauricio Pochettino agree that he can start.
Critics can suggest he is going to have it tougher this season, as they do every year, but Kane’s consistency in finding the back of the net is what makes him one of the most feared players in the world.
Manchester City cantered to their third Premier League title last season under Pep Guardiola with no team in the division getting anywhere close to their level. While there are new challengers in Liverpool and Arsenal this season, among Manchester United and Chelsea, the Citizens are still red hot favourites to lift the title come May next year.
It is unlike City to have been quiet during the transfer window, but apart from the acquisition of Riyad Mahrez, Guardiola has been quieter behind the scenes than most would have expected. The Citizens missed out on Fred and Jorginho, who joined United and Chelsea respectively, and have ended their pursuit in a defensive midfield player.
City’s expansive, attractive football took the nation by storm last season, garnering plaudits up and down the country. While Guardiola has his players complete in sync with what he is portraying to them on the training field, Man City now have the all important experience of what it feels like to win a Premier League title - something that is of immense importance.
It will be difficult or any team to overthrow the confidence City currently have in the way that they play football and execute game plans. Liverpool are the best bet to go up against them - given their recent signings and ability to match City’s expansive, free-flowing football - but the Reds have not been embroiled in a title challenge for a number of years.
While Fulham and Wolves were promoted with Cardiff last season, the two former teams have invested a lot of their new Premier League money into players which should see them thwart the clutches of relegation.
For the South Wales outfit, they look the favourites to go down and are backed at 4/6 to drop back down into the Championship with Paddy Power. Their lack of quality recruitment will cause a huge disadvantage when going up against their rivals, as well as the sides further up the table week in, week out.
Neil Warnock produced a miracle to get Cardiff into England’s top flight, but without Premier League proven players or players of good credibility overseas, the team from Wales are going to struggle and could find themselves dragging behind in last.
David Wagner’s Huddersfield did exceptionally well to avoid the dreaded drop last season, but their luck might just run out and results go against them this season. The Terriers have recruited some exciting players - AS Monaco’s 22-year-old striker Adama Diakhaby for one - but they might just be lacking a couple of seasoned veterans to guide them to safety.
Unibet have Huddersfield second favourites to go down behind Cardiff, with the bookmaker offering odds of 5/4.
Bournemouth and Watford are the two more seasoned Premier League teams, yet they are the most likely to be pulled into this relegation dogfight. The Cherries have, so far, only managed to bring a left back in to compete with Charlie Daniels, while the Hornets’ main bit of business has been out of favour Barcelona winger, Gerard Deulofeu.
Cardiff might ease into the season with three ‘easier’ games against Bournemouth, Newcastle and Huddersfield, but their three after could spell trouble for the South Wales club.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City stand in their way back to back, which could quite easily cause a downturn of momentum and a shortage of confidence. Last season, when Warnock’s side ran into a bit of trouble, the mood on the pitch quickly soured. Cardiff conceded four defeats in a row to opposition that they should not have been losing to. It showed just how quickly Cardiff can self implode.
Warnock might be a seasoned veteran throughout the English football pyramid, but with the Premier League now being so competitive down the bottom end of the table, his Cardiff side are going to struggle to match their sheer quality. From day one, it is going to be an uphill struggle.
The Cardiff boss might be an outsider to leave his post, as Coral offer odds of 1/8, but management upstairs would rather sack a manager who fails to inspire his players at Christmas, rather than waiting until it’s too late and the damage is done.