Here we review the leading Premier League contenders, along with the best priced soccer odds available. Join us as we preview 5 of England's top flight teams.
The title race is more fascinating than ever this season as each of the main challengers have oscillated between brilliant and useless. Champions Chelsea have made their worst start to a season in 37 years, while Man City’s early-season invincibility has been replaced by their usual erratic form, leaving challengers sniffing glory.
Man City (-120)
The Citizens started the season in imperious form with five wins out of five and seemed on an unstoppable march towards the title, buoyed on by the signings of £55m Kevin de Bruyne and £49m Raheem Sterling. The new signings added pace and creativity to a Man City attack that was already arguably the strongest in the Premier League. They also looked very solid at the back, but all that changed with an injury to captain Vincent Kompany. The team fell apart and two defeats ensued, although they bounced back with a stunning 6-1 win over Newcastle last weekend. That left them top of the table on 18 points, two ahead of closest rivals Arsenal. But an injury to star striker Sergio Aguero could blow the title race wide open. Aguero, who scored five in the victory over Newcastle, suffered a hamstring injury on international duty and could be out for a month. His replacement, Wilfred Bony, is no slouch, but he lacks the pace and dynamism of Aguero, who is undoubtedly the league’s best striker. Playmaker David Silva will also miss the next game, against local rivals and title contenders Man Utd, and opponents could capitalise on City’s injury woes. Despite all this, they look to be the most complete side in the league this season and could be a smart investment, provided you are prepared to stump up the sizeable amount of cash that would make the price worthwhile.
This is an attractive price for an Arsenal side that is full of attacking vigour and that seems to finally be clicking. A stuttering start to the season featured a shock loss to West Ham, and they have struggled in the Champions League, but they have been largely convincing in the Premier League, notably in beating high-flying Crystal Palace 2-1 and comfortably dispatching the season’s surprise package, Leicester, 5-2. But the real signal of intent came from the 3-0 mauling of Man Utd in their last game. Arsenal have failed to win the Premier League in recent seasons, mainly due to a failure to beat rival contenders, instead becoming flat track bullies that annihilate lesser opposition but regularly fail against the big boys like Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City. They are now building up a reputation for beating the big teams and – with star player Alexis Sanchez finally firing on all cylinders having recovered from his exhausting exploits in helping Chile win Copa America during the summer – this could finally be their year. A great shout for the title at a strong price. If City continue to perform as erratically as they have, the title is Arsenal’s to lose.
Man Utd (+800)
Man Utd’s defensive frailties and limited options were brutally exposed when they were beaten 3-0 by Arsenal in their last game. They have some exciting attacking talent in the likes of Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay, but defensively they lack the size, strength and acumen to win the league. A first choice centre half partnership of Chris Smalling and Daley Blind will struggle over the course of the season, while an injury to left back Luke Shaw was a cruel blow. This has left them forced to play wingers out of position at full-back and their defensive shortcomings were horribly capitalised on by Arsenal. They may bring in reinforcements when the January transfer window opens, but they could be too far back by then. A long shot that is probably worth avoiding.
Chelsea won the league at a canter last season but have so far been hopeless this time around, losing to Everton, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Man City. All the titans of last season – John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa – have been limp, plodding and short of ideas this time around. They are in 16th place on just eight points, and the 10-point lead City have opened should prove insurmountable. But if anyone can pull of a miracle, it is Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed Special One. If Chelsea can make up a few points by Christmas, then make signings in January, they could spring a surprise. A better long shot than Man Utd.
Brendan Rodgers was sacked after a poor run of form dating back to the end of last season, and his replacement has set tongues wagging. Jurgen Klopp was the most coveted manager in world football and he has chosen to head to Anfield. Pundits have queued up to praise the appointment, and even former Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed how worried he is that Klopp will be a huge success at Utd’s fierce rivals. They are a much poorer side than the one that finished second two seasons ago, having been shorn of the talents of Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling and brought in replacements that have failed to set pulses racing. But Klopp will bring his inimitable brand of high-energy “rock and roll” football to Merseyside and could galvanise the troops. They are just six points behind Man City and they are another club that will be looking to January. If they can stay in contention by the start of transfer window, they could have half a chance, especially if Klopp recruits some of the players that made his time at Borussia Dortmund so fruitful.