Three weeks is a long time in Premier League betting! Chelsea and Man City were virtually inseparable at the top of the market for who won win the title this season. Now three wins later and the (dark) Blues are odds on to lift the trophy for the first time since 2010. Manchester City have already lost a game too of course, they were unable to beat a hard-working, defensively organised Stoke City.
The question is have the bookmakers overreacted? The answer isn’t so easy. At this point I think Chelsea will win the Premier League because they have a world class striker in Diego Costa and good back up in Loic Remy. They have goals from midfield and players who will provide chance after chance. Plus they have a strong defence, with Matic sat in front protecting them. What’s not to like? However experience has taught me, almost all teams have a blip and if their nearest rivals are still close enough to exert pressure, the soccer odds wil prove an overreaction again.
Only Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ didn’t have a blip and from seeing how hard Leicester made it for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, I can see someone giving dealing them a loss. Added to that the goals they conceded at Everton, they aren’t quite the total package yet.
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and famously Newcastle have all thrown away titles in the run-in, so it’s pointless getting excited about Chelsea right now.
The next question is whether Manchester City are a big enough price to back them for the title? Personally, I don’t think so, but then I tipped Chelsea pre-season and still think they will win it now. My view in opposing the (light) Blues was that they would be concentrating a little too much on the Champions League, while Jose Mourinho’s men can wait for European glory, they want domestic dominance first. A lot of those City players have tasted success in the league and while I’m sure you never tire of it, I imagine they want the next big trophy. After going out in the group stages twice and the last 16 once, a quarter final berth is surely the minimum Pellegrini wants and probably the minimum that would keep him in a job at the Etihad.
Liverpool have leapt into third spot in the list, partly because of their signings and partly because they look the same Liverpool as last season, without Suarez. I’ve said they must stop conceding so many goals if they don’t want to feel the full effect of losing Luis’ goals and so far they were lucky to only let one in against Southampton, were punished by Manchester City and then kept a clean sheet at Tottenham in a game where they looked every bit a top three contender.
Arsenal have failed to strengthen in the areas they need it most (again). A world class centre forward and a natural leader in the centre of midfield. Without them I see them finishing fourth at best. Danny Welbeck may do well with all the ammunition at his disposal, but it’s hard to bet on them based on a player who has never hit double figures in a season and has played 25 or more games in each of the last four Premier Leagues. His total tally is 28 goals in 131 Premier League matches.
His former club, Manchester United, are now fifth in the betting, but I don’t see them finishing fifth in the Premier League. They have endured a torrid start to the season, but look at the players they have bought. Angel di Maria destroyed Germany this week in a friendly, scoring one and setting the other three up in a 4-1 win for Argentina, Radamel Falcao is arguably the best finisher in world football and Rojo will offer some stability and attacking force from defence. If they strengthen again in January and without the distraction of Europe and the League Cup, they are the value bet for a top four finish and FA Cup winners.
I don’t see anything in Tottenham or Everton to suggest they can break into the top four. The Londoners are too soft in the middle, whilst the Merseysiders concede too many goals, so we will not consider them as potential soccer picks on these futures odds.