English Premier League Season Preview, Tips & Analysis

English Premier League Season Preview, Tips & Analysis

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With a late Champions League final then international tournaments around the world, it feels as if football hasn’t stopped since Manchester City were crowned champions in May. But yet here we are at the start of another campaign, so where should we place our money in the big three Premier League betting markets?

Manchester City Set for Three-In-A-Row?

Based on their record, Manchester City can lay claim to being the greatest team English football has ever seen, and that has reflected in the football betting world. It’s no wonder they’re odds-on favourites to make it three Premier League titles in a row.

It’s no fluke either; the underlying expected goal statistics from FiveThirtyEight suggest they deserved to earn 101 points in 2018/19. The champions have also spent the most of any club in the division on a single player (at the time of writing), securing Rodri from Atletico Madrid for £62.6m. Can any club stop them?

Liverpool are understandably next in line, at 11/4 with 888Sport. The champions of Europe amassed 97 points last season, and can welcome back Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez from long term injuries this term too.

But they haven’t added to their squad this summer – two highly rated teenagers aside – and many of their top players were involved in the latter stages of either the Copa America or Africa Cup of Nations. Add in distractions like the FIFA Club World Cup in December, and it’s difficult to see Jürgen Klopp’s side keeping pace with City.

Aside from the Reds, every other side is at least 16/1 in the betting, illustrating what little chance they have of toppling the Citizens. Tottenham are deemed the most likely, and have actually signed a player this summer, but it’s hard to see a side which lost 13 times in the league last term improving sufficiently while still settling into a new stadium.

Manchester United and Chelsea go into the season with relatively inexperienced managers, while Arsenal haven’t addressed the defensive issues which have plagued them for longer than their supporters care to remember. Tipping City to win the league is hardly revolutionary, but it’s the only way to go.

Newcastle Set for Relegation Battle

There’s a heavy favourite at the wrong end of the table too. Championship runners up Sheffield United are 4/6 with Bethard to head straight back down. While they don’t have any recent top flight experience – their fellow promoted sides Norwich and Aston Villa were both last in the Premier League in 2015/16 – their underlying numbers were better than those of than every side in the second flight bar Leeds last season. It would be surprising if the Blades don’t get relegated, but with three spots available, there are better value picks here.

Norwich won the Championship last season but are next in the betting, at 10/11 with Karamba. As they face Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in their first five games, they could drop to the bottom early on. There’s then a pack of four teams who are all priced at around 2/1 to go down: Aston Villa, Brighton, Burnley and Newcastle.

The play-off winners have been the highest net spenders in the Premier League at the time of writing. Splashing the cash is a bold strategy, but one which didn’t pay off for Fulham last season. If the players don’t gel quickly, it could swiftly become a difficult campaign for Villa.

Brighton owner Tony Bloom made a bold move at the end of 2018/19 by firing Chris Hughton, a decision considered baffling by many. But the underlying stats showed the Seagulls were lucky to stay up, so removing Hughton looked well thought out to the analytically minded. I wouldn’t rule them out of the relegation running this year though.

Burnley’s statistics weren’t very encouraging last season, but then they never are and it rarely seems to matter. Without the distraction of Europa League football this term, the Clarets should survive comfortably.

Which brings us to Newcastle, a club permanently embroiled in turmoil. Everything points toward a season of struggle, from their managerial downgrade from Rafa Benitez to Steve Bruce, as well as their transfer business.

Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon scored 23 of Newcastle’s 42 league goals last season, but both have departed. The Magpies have at least invested £40m on Joelinton from Hoffenheim, but can a player who scored seven goals in 25 Bundesliga starts fill the void? I have my doubts, and I think this will result in another relegation on Ashley’s watch.

Aubameyang Gunner Top the Pile

The Premier League’s golden boot saw a three way tie last season, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah each bagging 22 goals. The bookies don’t think any of that trio will retain the crown, as Harry Kane is the 4/1 favourite in the league top scorer market.

A lot will depend upon his fitness. Kane missed 10 league games last season, and played the fewest league minutes he’s mustered since establishing himself in the Tottenham team. That aside, his record undoubtedly warrants his place atop the market.

Sergio Aguero is another marksman who is consistently in contention, not least as he has broken the 20 league goal marker for the last five seasons in a row. Will time catch up with the 31 year old though?

If it does, there’s an excellent value possibility here. For the last two seasons, Gabriel Jesus has topped the Premier League’s expected goals per 90 minutes chart, but hasn’t had the pitch time to make it count fully. The Brazilian is available at 25/1 with Grovesnor, and may prove to be an excellent each way bet.

However, my outright tip is Aubameyang. As Gabon didn’t qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations he had the summer off, and he actually slightly underachieved against his underlying expected goal numbers unlike the Liverpool pair with whom he shared the award last season. He might get a head start on his undercooked rivals.

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