by Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com
Chelsea won the EPL last year and they have the best odds this season even though they will be in the mix with the usual suspects of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and an up and coming Manchester City squad.
Chelsea (+150) did not go out and spend big in the summer, which is a little strange since they lost some key players such as Joe Cole, Michael Ballack, and Deco. However, the Blues are still stacked with stars Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and John Terry. Chelsea is off to a fast start to the season scoring 12 goals in their first 2 matches.
Manchester United (+200), much like Chelsea, did not open up their pocketbooks to sign big name players in the off-season like years’ past. However, they did sign young Mexican striker Javier Hernandez and he and Wayne Rooney will be a formidable goal-scoring duo. The defense should be solid again with the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Edwin van der Sar in G, but there are some concerns in the midfield.
Arsenal (+600) still has star Cesc Fabregas, as it looks as he will stay with the club. The Gunners have not won a big trophy in 5 years and there is pressure this season on coach Arsene Wenger to bring one home. The offense of Arsenal should be better this season with the addition of ex Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh, but there are still many holes on the club, especially on defense.
Manchester City (+700) spent a ton of cash, for the second summer in a row, to nab stars Yaya Toure, Jerome Boating, and David Silva. However, they keep spending, but there are still major issues in the defense. Their offense, which is one of the best in the EPL, will have to score to make up for the shortcomings in the backfield. Man City may not win the EPL, but they have a legit chance to get in the top 4 so they can secure an automatic Champions League berth.
Liverpool (+1200) still has the same problem they have had the last couple season, as staying healthy is key for the Reds. They have the talent to compete with the top teams in the league and picking up Joe Cole in the off-season was a great move, but the squad will need Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard to stay healthy to have any chance to win the Premier League title. The Reds have major issues with the defense and they may battle it out with Manchester City to stay in the top 4 of the league.
Tottenham (+3300) finished fourth last season in the EPL and secured a spot in the Champions League this season and even though they were linked to several big signings none happened. They will have a good offense led by the striker duo of Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe, but with their lack of other world class players, especially in the midfield, it will be very hard for Tottenham to stay in the top 4 of the Premier League much less win it.
Manchester United +200
Manchester City +700
Aston Villa +20000
West Ham Utd +250000
West Bromwich +1000000