English Premier League Outrights Ė The Favorites
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
With the English Premier League ready to kick off, many punters are looking for an inside angle on the top favorites of the EPL. After last yearís dalliance by defending champion Leicester City, the league has never seemed more wide open than it is right now. In the off-season many things have happened. There have been some key hires from a management perspective and huge acquisitions across the league. Here is a breakdown of the favorites for the 2016/17 English Premier League and where you can find the best value in these numbers:
Manchester United 3:1 - After what was characterized as a disappointing 2015/16 campaign, The Red Devils perhaps made the biggest moves of all in the transfer window and offseason. Beginning with the termination of defunct manager Louis Van Gaal, the Red Devils went ahead and hired revered boss Jose Mourinho to take the reins of Manchester United for the upcoming season. The moves would not stop there. Man United also added forwards Paul Pogba and Zatlan Ibrahimovic to the fold in what will undoubtedly be huge additions to an already star-studded cast of talent. Manchester United has a tradition of excellence and there is no doubt they can dominate this league in 2016. However, the price is not what we are looking for from a long-term angle. With a regime change and new additions to team, chemistry may take time to develop. The Red Devils may experience some growing pains in the early stages of the 2016/17 campaign and thus their price may be more friendlier a few weeks in to the season, we recommend staying off for now.
Manchester City 9:4 - Hope is high in the city of Manchester, as the blue team across town in Clayton is forecasted at the second highest price in this market. Manchester City got off to a roaring start in 2015, they climbed to the top of the table in scorching fashion only to dwindle down the backstretch. Manchester City has the talent. Aguero, De Bruyne, Kompany, Sterling are just a few of the many names on this super club. Now, Manchester City has also under gone a regime change. Manuel Pelligrini is out and Pep Guardiola is in. With the shift in leadership, Man City supporters are feeling optimistic in 2016. Just two years ago, the Citizens finished second behind Chelsea for the EPL crown and now they seem to be on a mission to take down their cross-city rivals and the entire English Premier League. This is a solid play at this price but again there may be more value in sitting on Man City if they were to undergo any form of attrition.
Chelsea 5:1 - The Blues have certainly taken a step back in 2015. The defending champions of 2014, under the captainship of current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho found themselves in unfamiliar territory. The Blues meddled in the middle of the pack for most of the 2015/16 campaign despite showcasing some world class talent in their midfield and attack. The Blues simply looked out of rhythm and besieged by extenuating circumstances. Englandís best team fell from grace and they werenít even the best team in London. Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham all finished ahead of Chelsea and given their form in 2015, 2016 seems to be a rebound year. The ceiling for Chelsea is undefined but given the price we see here, it is certainly a wager not worth taking. The name of Chelsea alone may cause many players to take a chance on the Blues. However, Chelsea has a lot of competition to thwart even if they are heading back in the right direction. The specter of the North London terms along is enough to give this outfit troubles on their best day and for that reason we recommend staying off this play.
Liverpool 8:1 - After a storied run in the Europa tournament, there is renewed faith and hope in Englandís greatest regional power, the reds of Liverpool. In May, Liverpool found themselves in the Europa Final despite fostering a mediocre performance in English Premier League play. Still there is much to be excited about and given the fact it is a new season, Liverpool will look to build off their success in international competition. At this price, Liverpool may not be worth it given the fact, Arsenal and Tottenham, two teams that finished second and third in the 2015/16 EPL Table are offered at 9/1 and seem to bode more value. Liverpool is a name brand football club and given their prestige and history, this team may in fact be a 15/1 club on paper but their name alone raises the price.
Arsenal 9:1 - The Gunners are an interesting bunch. In 2015/16 the Gunners had a clear path to secure an English Premier League title but they stumbled. The Gunners have the talent yet the results never materialize on the pitch. Nevertheless, Arsenal was the 2015/16 runner-up and given the fact they were hanging around the top of the table all season long, the price dictates the play here and there is a fair amount of value in taking this team out of the gate. Arsenal has the greatest combination of continuity, chemistry and recent results of the five teams listed and thus they may get off to a great start and offer hedge opportunities fairly quickly.
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