Chelsea could make it back-to-back title wins for the first time in over a decade and become the first team to successfully defend the Premier League crown since Manchester United in 2008/09. Determined to succeed, the Blues, who are 7/2 with Sky Bet to lift the trophy come May, have spent wisely this summer, bringing in upgrades in a number of key areas and shipping out some of the deadwood. Antonio Conte hopes the signing of Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata will help fill the void left by the Atletico Madrid-bound Diego Costa and that N’Golo Kante can reproduce the kind of form that saw the Frenchman collect a plethora of personal awards last term. Should the manager get his team ticking, they could be difficult to stop.
There may have been a lot of business at Stamford Bridge, but there has been plenty more in Manchester, with both City and United splashing tremendous amounts of cash in an effort to end the London club’s dominance. While City have strengthened their backline with the acquisition of Kyle Walker, Danilo, Benjamin Mendy and Ederson, United have been busy improving their attacking options by purchasing Romelu Lukaku from Everton for £75 million. With such ludicrous sums of money being spent, success is vital for Messrs Guardiola and Mourinho, especially given their relatively muted domestic campaigns last season. City remain the bookies’ favourites to snatch the trophy, with Bet365 offering odds of 15/8, while United are available at 4/1.
It is not impossible for the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and even Arsenal to challenge for the title, but with the extraordinary amounts of money being thrown around by Chelsea, City and United, the league’s sensible spenders could find the going tough. Tottenham and Liverpool currently look the most well equipped to mount a serious assault, with both sides able to boast tight-knit squads following a summer of bonding. Spurs, who were pipped at the post in 2016 and 2017, have kept hold of their key players, while Liverpool have added quality in the form of Mohamed Salah to partner Sadio Mane in a formidable looking frontline. The Londoners certainly look favourable at 10/1 with William Hill, but the Anfield outfit shouldn’t be written off at 12/1.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Despite a magical 2016/17 season, Huddersfield Town are the clear favourites to tumble back into the Football League at 2/3 with Sky Bet. However, David Wagner’s side are no strangers to defying the odds. The Terriers were tipped to battle against relegation to League One last term, rather than fight for a place at the top table of English football as eventually happened. With that dogged determination spurring them on, Yorkshire’s sole Premier League representatives could cause a few upsets, but might fall short when it comes to beating the drop in their first season.
Huddersfield arrive in the league alongside Newcastle and Brighton, both of whom are predicted to struggle. At 6/5 to be relegated, Sky Bet don’t fancy Brighton’s chances and, with a lack of Premier League experience on the Seagulls’ books, it is clear to see why. Veteran midfielder Steve Sidwell and the well-travelled Glenn Murray provide Chris Hughton's team with the only top flight experience of note, meaning it could be a long year for the south coast side. Meanwhile, Newcastle will be hoping to re-establish themselves as one of the top division’s best clubs, and with Champions League winner Rafa Benitez at the helm, should be more than capable of avoiding a springtime plummet.
Of course, should the promoted teams survive the dreaded drop, that would condemn one of the league’s more-established sides. Following a desperate struggle last season, Swansea (12/5 with BetVictor) could find themselves in trouble again, especially if Paul Clement fails to deliver results, while Marco Silva will be praying that he can avoid a second successive campaign at the wrong end of the table as he takes the reins at Watford (9/4). It could also be another nervy season for Burnley (11/10), however, the Clarets’ excellent record at Turf Moor might be enough to see them over the line once again.
Harry Kane starts the season as the bookmakers’ favourite to finish as the league’s top scorer, with BetVictor offering odds of 10/3. Tottenham’s star striker, who was originally dismissed as a one-season wonder, has landed the Golden Boot for the past two years and will be eyeing another goal glut in order to match Thierry Henry’s hat-trick of Premier League scoring awards. However, the 24-year-old faces competition from Manchester United new-boy Romelu Lukaku (9/2) and Chelsea’s big money man Alvaro Morata (9/1). Red and blue fans will watch with interest as the latter two stars battle it out for supremacy, especially considering how close both strikers came to signing for the other club.
However, the Golden Boot, along with the title, could be Etihad-bound if Pep Guardiola can inspire a Manchester City side moulded to his own liking. With Sergio Aguero (7/1 with William Hill) and Brazilian wonderkid Gabriel Jesus (7/1) leading the Citizens’ attack, the men in sky blue, who are 6/4 with BetVictor to finish as the division’s leading scorers, could rack up the goals with a no-mercy approach.
Sports.net’s Premier League Predictions
2. Manchester City
3. Tottenham Hotspur
5. Manchester United
9. West Bromwich Albion
10. Crystal Palace
11. West Ham United
12. Leicester City
13. Newcastle United
15. Stoke City
17. Brighton & Hove Albion
19. Huddersfield Town
20. Swansea City
Sports.net’s Top Tip
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.