We are now just one week away from the start of the 2017/18 Premiership season and fans are itching to see new signings in action. Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea are among the biggest spenders in Europe this summer and they are the favourites to win the title. Here we analyse all the leading contenders, the odds available on them and their chances of lifting the famous trophy:
City have broken the record for the biggest outlay in a single transfer window by bolstering their squad with five new players: three full-backs, a winger and a goalkeeper. Pep Guardiola’s men were third last season and the bookmakers fancy them to improve drastically this time around. They have been named outright favourites, with Bet365, Paddy Power and various others offering the best price of 15/8. City have a wealth of attacking talent but it seems risky to take such low odds on a team that struggled so badly defensively last season. Ederson is very much unproven, but City will hope he represents an improvement on Claudio Bravo in goal, while they have definitely upgraded at full-back. But they have not strengthened in central defence, which was by far their weakest area last season. If Vincent Kompany’s injury problems persist, they will leak goals without any signings, and may fall just short.
Chelsea won the title at a canter last season and have since strengthened by signing Alvaro Morata and Timoue Bakayoko. They have one of the league’s meanest defences, a top goalkeeper in Thibaut Courtois, the triple Player of the Year winner N’Golo Kante anchoring the midfield and the league’s most brilliant attacking force in Eden Hazard. It seems strange to see the Blues as third favourites behind Man City and Man Utd with some bookies and the 7/2 you can get on Chelsea with the likes of Bet365, William Hill, 10Bet and Sky Bet look very attractive. Their rivals have spent big this summer, but it is hard to see how they will have improved to the extent that they can overhaul Chelsea. None of the action is going on the Blues, but bucking that trend could pay dividends as they are a very strong side.
The Red Devils are as low as 3/1 with some bookmakers and are second favourites with many, but Bet Victor will go out to 4/1 and Black Type is offering 9/2. Utd finished sixth last season because they did not score enough goals. In Zlatan Ibrahimovic they had arguably the league’s finest centre-forward, but the problem they had was that they did not create enough chances. The Swede is now out with a long-term injury and has been released by the club, along with Wayne Rooney who left on a free transfer, and in to replace them is £75 million signing Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has a great goal scoring record in the Premiership and will guarantee goals. Man Utd will benefit from his muscular approach, but it is hard to call him an upgrade on Ibrahimovic, who is a fantastic striker. Man Utd have not signed any creative talents, and they may once again fail to create enough chances. They will be solid, having signed Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic and become the tallest and strongest team in the top six, but they lack flair and may also fall short.
You can get 10/1 on Spurs winning the title and that looks an amazing bet. They were third in 2015/16 and second last season, and if they continue that trajectory they will win the title this time around. They have arguably the best starting 11 in the league and if they can stay injury free they should win the title. Their star players are young and constantly improving. They have the league’s tightest defence, its best striker in Harry Kane and its best number 10 in Dele Alli. The only problem is that Spurs’ squad is not great. If a few key players are injured they will struggle as they have not signed anyone yet this summer and they sold right-back Kyle Walker to City. If they can bring in another striker, winger and centre-back, they will have a squad capable of going the distance. If not, they may come up short again as they have to adapt to playing at a new stadium, but they will be in the mix regardless and going each-way on them at 10/1 looks an amazing bet.
The Gunners are out at 12/1 after finishing fifth last season. They look to have won the battle to retain the services of Alexis Sanchez, which is a huge bonus, and will partner him with new signing Alexandre Lacazette in an attack that looks full of pace and danger. If they can maintain the defensive solidity they achieved towards the end of the previous campaign, they will be a force to be reckoned with, but they could do with more signings and do not quite look like title contenders. They do not have the distraction of Champions League football, however, and look a good bet at evens with William Hill and 5/4 with Black Type to finish in the top four.
Liverpool’s squad looks a little thin to really challenge for the Premiership title while also maintaining a Champions League campaign. Mohamed Salah is a great signing and will mean they are less reliant on the pace and dynamism of Sadio Mane, but they have so far missed out on their top transfer targets. Despite odds of 12/1 they do not look an attractive option right now. Chelsea outright and Spurs each-way look to be the best options as things currently stand.