It has been a long summer break, but on Friday 9 August at 8.00pm Premier League football will return to our screens as Liverpool welcome Norwich to Anfield. Not a moment too soon.
Football fanatics have struggled to fill the void left by the beautiful game’s absence over the course of pre-season. Some picked through the bones of what was an entertaining women’s World Cup while others threw themselves into the Copa America.
Clubs splash the cash
There was the usual drama surrounding the opening of the transfer window as England’s biggest clubs splashed the cash in an attempt to improve on last season’s efforts. At a time of year labelled ‘silly season’, newspaper articles were littered with gossip and hearsay in a weak effort to fill column space. Who could move where and which player was, supposedly, demanding a transfer?
Each of the 20 Premier League clubs were busy during the transfer window and the rule change that meant business had to be done before the first fixture helped speed things up a bit. That will avoid the late dash for names before midnight on 30 September. Manchester United were busy as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sought to bring in young, fresh and hungry players. It was a summer of change at Chelsea too, The Blues losing Maurizio Sarri to Juventus and star player Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in a big money move.
How will the deals done in pre-season effect the campaign to come? What can be expect from the months ahead and who will be the winners and losers of 2019/20? Knowing the answers to those questions could line your pocket and the STS Bet traders have done the hard work to allow members the chance to back their opinions in the antepost markets.
Cityzens chalked up as favourites
Manchester City have won each of the last two Premier League titles and odds-makers expect The Cityzens to complete what would be a historic treble next spring. Punters will find City chalked up on the betting board as hot favourites to retain their crown and they are a convincing jolly too. Backers have three-in-a-row trading at 33/50.
That’s a strong stance from those who hold the purse strings but the form of Pep Guardiola’s men over the course of the last two seasons makes it difficult to argue against. Man City have been dominant in recent times and they are about to get better as the team chase Champions League glory. It would come as no surprise to see them land the hat-trick, that’s for sure.
Sitting on an odds-on shot for the best part of a year in such a competitive division isn’t what many would call an exciting bet, however, and we’re sure to see the value hunters pick through the main contenders. If not Man City, then who? The further you look down the list, the more eye-catching the prices become.
Liverpool looking to go one better
Liverpool barely put a foot wrong last season and came within one game of doing the double, adding Premier League glory to their Champions League success. The Reds finished as runners up in Europe’s elite competition during the 2017/18 season and bettered that by beating Tottenham in this year’s final. Jurgen Klopp has restored the club’s reputation but they lost out on the Premier League on the last day of the season, ending a single point behind the champions.
Their stats read 30 wins and seven draws against just one defeat, Man City posting 32-2-4. Draws proved more costly than defeats and that’s something the coaching staff will want to address during the off-season. To win a Premier League title Liverpool must find a way to edge close matches, turning one point into three.
Fancy them to improve on their efforts and lift the trophy for the 19th time and first since 1990? Backing The Reds will gift players a shot at a cracking 9/4. That won’t go unnoticed.
Others worth a mention near the head of the outright betting include Tottenham at 16/1, Chelsea 25/1, Man Utd 25/1 and Arsenal at 40/1. The prices then rise dramatically, ranging from 150/1 for Everton to shock English football, through to the 2500/1 on newly promoted Sheffield United to ‘do a Leicester City’.
Take a shot at something special
For those reluctant to stick their neck on the chopping board and predict a champion before a ball has been kicked in anger, there are a number of specials markets available at STS Bet designed to capture your attention. If you rate the chances of Man City but would prefer a bit more of a price, why not have an interest play on them remaining unbeaten this season at 50/1. Liverpool lost just once last time, going close to an invincible campaign. That makes the 66/1 on an unbeaten season for Klopp’s crew worth a second look.
The top four finish betting remains one of the most competitive markets in UK football as teams spend big in an attempt to finish in the front four and land the riches that accompanies Champions League qualification. The likes of Man City and Liverpool aren’t worth considering as they are too tight in the betting, but from there things get interesting.
This will be an important year for Chelsea and the Londoners appeal at 11/10 to hold their ground and post a top four finish. Will we see improvement from Man Utd now Solskjaer has a pre-season under his belt? 11/10 says The Red Devils will return to the prize places. The real value of the market, however, looks to be in taking a chance on Arsenal and those that do will be rewarded with a useful 5/4. Remember, to be paid out on that bet you don’t need Arsenal to win the Premier League, just finish in the top four.
At the other end of the table we find Sheffield United as favourites in the relegation betting, with a 33/50 price tag attached. They lead the way, but are closely followed by Norwich at 9/10, Burnley 3/2 and Brighton 187/100.