With the English Premier League set to kick off on Aug. 14, bettors all over the world are doing some research and a bit of homework to see which teams are the most likely to challenge for the title this season and which ones could end up being relegated.
Chelsea will be going into the season as reigning champions as they halted Manchester United’s attempt to win four league titles in a row last season. So where to bet on Premier League? Best odds for outright winner odds can be found at William Hill (non-US) or Sportsbook.com.
The League has been in existence since 1992-93 when it was formed after breaking away from the Football League. There are 20 teams in the Premiership and each will play a total of 38 league games as they play each other team once at home and once away. Throughout its history, 44 clubs have competed in the league, but only four teams have managed to win the title. Blackburn Rovers won it once, Arsenal, and Chelsea have won it three times each and Manchester United has won 11 championships.
While Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea all still have strong squads, Blackburn has slid down the table over the years and is no longer considered a contender to recapture the title. However, it’s generally considered that Manchester City, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, all have an outside chance of lifting the trophy at the end of the season.
Most sportsbook sites have Chelsea listed as the favourites to win the league again this year with Manchester United as runners up. European book maker William Hillhas the odds of the top six to win the league listed as Chelsea 13/8, Man Utd 5/2, Man City 9/2, Arsenal 6/1, Liverpool 14/1, and Tottenham at 25/1.
At the other end of the table, they list the six teams most likely to be relegated to the Championship League to be newly-promoted Blackpool at 1/4, West Bromwich Albion 10/11, Wigan 2/1, Wolverhampton 2/1, newly promoted Newcastle 3/1, and Bolton at 7/2.
The race for the championship seems to be pretty wide open this year, especially since the new league rules of 25-man squads and eight “home-grown” players have been introduced.
Chelsea has run into injury trouble already with goaltender Peter Cech on the shelf for the first few games of the season along with last season’s EPL top scorer Didier Drogba. They also lost Joe Cole to Liverpool and Michael Ballack returned to Germany. Man United hasn’t changed much over the summer, but Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves are injured as usual and striker Michael Owen is racing to get fit as is Anderson. They also added Mexican striker Javier Hernandez over the summer.
Arsenal hasn’t made too many changes at all, but lost Sol Campbell to Newcastle, while Liverpool replaced former manager Rafael Benitez with Roy Hodgson from Fulham and added Joe Cole from Chelsea along with Danny Wilson from Glasgow Rangers and Milan Jovanovic from Belgium’s Standard Liege. However, they lost Yossi Benayoun to Chelsea and it looks like Javier Mascherano might leave next.
Manchester City has been trying to buy everybody that moves and Brazilian Robinho has returned to the club after being loaned out to Santos in Brazil. However, they’re going to run into difficulties with their roster as they’re way over the 25-man limit for senior players.
The race for the league’s top goalscorer should also be interesting with William Hilllisting the top 10 as Wayne Rooney 5/1, Didier Drogba 5/1, Fernando Torres 13/2, Robin van Persie 10/1, Carlos Tevez 11/1, Nicolas Anelka 14/1, Jermain Defoe 16/1, Darren Bent 18/1, Cesc Fabregas 25/1, and Emmanuel Adebayor at 25/1.
It looks like Manchester United could regain the crown this year as Chelsea may be hurting on the injury front and could have lost too many regulars. And Arsenal’s Robin van Persie could surprise a few people with his goalscoring prowess this year if he stays healthy.