Manchester City are the odds-on favourites to regain their Premier League title from Liverpool.
The two North-West rivals are expected to be the main contenders for the league title again. With Chelsea, a distant third in the title. The other three of the other big six – Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham – are rank outsiders.
Manchester City (-131)
Pep Guardiola is not used to settling for second place, but that is what he had to do with Liverpool last season. That will make him doubly determined not to suffer a repeat, although a home defeat to Leicester was not in his early season plans.
Money has been spent to improve the centre of defence, which lacked a leader since the retirement of Vincent company, whilst Phil Foden should get his chance to shine more regularly this season alongside last year’s Player of the Year, Kevin de Bruyne.
The defending champions have yet again strengthened well in the summer adding Thiago Álcantara from Bayern Munich and Diego Jota from Wolves. They will again be right up there, but it is notoriously difficult to defend the league title – only City have managed it in recent years – and with Liverpool keen to mount a serious challenge in the Champions League, it may be that they have to settle for second place this time.
Chelsea have really pushed the boat out, spending over £200 million in the transfer market this summer, with the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell al joining the club.
The new signings will need time to bed-in though, and Frank Lampard has a tough job integrating them with some of the new talent coming through from the academy.
There Achilles heel remains their defence – they conceded 54 goals in the league last season, and they will need to tighten up considerably if they are to mount a serious title challenge.
Manchester United (+1467)
Although United finished third last season, they lost in three Cup semi-finals, and it is hard to escape the conclusion that the side lacks ambition on the field. They have only added Donny van de Beek to their squad this summer, having spent months in pointless pursuit of Jadon Sancho.
Many critics feel that investment is more needed in defence, where the side is vulnerable to pace on the counterattack.
They will do to match last season’s finish, especially now they are playing Champions League football again.
Arsenal are still rebuilding under new manager Mikel Arteta, and the Spaniard is honest enough to admit that the club have a long way to go before they are ready to challenge for top honours. They ended eighth last season, their worst finish to a league campaign for 25 years, although the FA Cup win did secure European progress.
Arteta and the club’s fans will settle for a higher-placed finish and evidence of continuing progress.
Tottenham Hotspur (+5000)
Jose Mourinho is in his first full season in charge of Spurs, many of whose fans have yet to be convinced by him. He did steer the side to sixth place last season, but, due to Arsenal winning the FA Cup, that brought the poisoned chalice of having to qualify for the Europa League.
The extra games may kill-off any title challenge before it has begun.
The Spur remain heavily reliant is Harry Kane and need to recruit a back-up striker urgently, as the club may struggle for goals if he is suspended or injured for any length of time.
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