The Premier League kicks off this week with games throughout the weekend and continues for the next nine months.
So which team will come out on top? Manchester City is the team to beat? Will another squad come along? We are looking for answers to these and other questions as the game progresses.
Odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
Manchester City (-165)
City are favorites to win a third consecutive Premier League title. Liverpool are next (+200). These teams also finished 1-2 last year. Which team do you support to take the trophy?
Dan Thomas: It should be Manchester City again. During the summer, they brought in reinforcements that took their already strong team to a new unrivaled level.
Chris “Bear” Fallica: I don’t think that Manchester City is as closed as many people think. Liverpool and City drew twice last year and despite the pressure to win all four trophies, the Reds were able to do so on the last day of the year. Sadio Mane is gone but Liverpool’s attack should be exciting with a full season of Luis Diaz, rookie Darwin Nunez and of course Mo Salah. Klopp’s team looks refreshed and poised to win at least one of the two big trophies that eluded them last year.
Paul Carr: Like last season, I think Manchester City are a little better. But like last season, when the title reached the final day, the gap between City and Liverpool is not very wide, as seen in last weekend’s Community Shield. The Reds have reset and even if it only takes City a few games to fully adjust to Erling Haaland’s style, any points lost could be enough for Liverpool to slip past. I’ll take Liverpool for the title at +200.
Dalene Cuff: I think it’s a two horse race that’s much closer than the odds show. City is a well-deserved favorite. Haaland is a huge addition and Calvin Phillips could replace Fernandinho well. However, City have lost players this year who are not as bad as in years past but want to play elsewhere, such as Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Liverpool have done well in the transfer business and Darwin Nunes could be a great addition to bounce back from the loss of Sadio Mane. The Reds showed they were more than capable in a Community Shield battle against City that was shockingly competitive and full of effort. At +200 I’ll throw some money at Liverpool; the price of -165 per city is too high for what I think is closer to a coin toss.
These are the only two teams with a clear chance of winning this season. Is there another team you’re eyeing that has a chance to cash in a long futures ticket?
Thomas: No. This is a two horse race. Any argument to the contrary is a stretch and a win for the bookmakers.
phallic: No. If it wasn’t for City or Liverpool, I would be stunned.
Carr: I believe Tottenham can be cleared 14-1 but even though Spurs were much better under Antonio Conte last season, they were still trailing City and Liverpool by a one or two steps. So for an amazing champion, three things had to happen: Tottenham had to get even better, and City and Liverpool had to struggle hard. Not happening.
Cuff: As noted above, these are races of two horses. Every other game feels like wasted money.
Man City (-5,000), Liverpool (-1,600), Tottenham (-150) and Chelsea (-140) have a chance to finish in the top 4 and secure places in the Champions League. Who do you think takes the last two places?
Thomas: Four teams are fighting for the remaining two places in the Champions League. Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and United. All of them have a fighter chance. I think the first stages of the season will really set the tone. Overall, I think Chelsea have the deepest squad and despite not having the perfect striker, I think overall they have enough quality to get through the line. Another place is stupid talk. Spurs have the Conte effect with Kane and son, Arsenal now have a decent striker in Gabriel Jesus and United have a manager who you think can finally handle the dressing room. I’m going to move to Arsenal but damn it’s close.
phallic: Spurs have two top scorers in the league and managed to score points against both City and Liverpool last year. Conte seems to be getting the most out of his team and they should take one of what appears to be two spots. I would say Arsenal are in last place. After scoring 11 points in their first eight matches and people yelling “Arteta out”, no one scored more points the rest of the way except City and Liverpool. Gabriel Jesus gives the Gunners a real striker, and Oleksandr Zinchenko will be a huge addition at left-back or where he will eventually line up.
Carr: Tottenham and Arsenal. As mentioned, Tottenham have been very good since Conte took over last November, finishing third in the league in points, goal difference and expected goal difference. Another year in Conte’s system will only help, as will Richarlison on the flank and Yves Bissouma in midfield. Chelsea (-140) and Arsenal (+165) are very close to last place and given the prices, I will go with Arsenal. Gabriel Jesus should jump right in and start scoring goals, while William Saliba should bolster a defense that has struggled at times in the past season. Chelsea certainly have talent on the pitch and on the touchline, but there are too many questions around the Blues for me to pay that much juice.
Cuff: I think self-awareness is critical and sorely lacking in our society. However, this is a biased game. I’ve been an Arsenal fan for two decades, I’m really enjoying their transfer business this off-season and I think these moves combined with the continued emergence of young talent and Arteta coming into his own at +165 is a good value to finally get back to the top four. Despite Chelsea’s poor pre-season and the turnover at the club and team, I still think they have the most depth and Tuchel will eventually find the best system for them. Spurs will also be right there. The difference in Conte is already being felt and their summer transfers seem to be critical. I think it’s a really tight three-horse race and I love it when the Gunners and the Blues win against the Spurs.
City’s Erling Haaland (+275), Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (+450) and Tottenham’s Harry Kane (+600) top the list of top scorers. Which one do you like or should you play the longer shot?
Thomas: After what we saw in the Community Shield, Darwin Nunes (12-1) is very much in this conversation, a constant threat and adds another dimension to Liverpool’s attack. I don’t think Haaland is of great value as he will score a lot of goals. I think injuries and rotation will mean he won’t play every game. I would say Salah vs Kane where Kane offers the best value for money.
phallic: Every time Luis Diaz touched the ball last season, it seemed like he had to hold his breath. His speed and ability are exceptional, and although he only scored four goals in 13 games last year, he will most likely not take penalties. And while he has other prolific scorers on his side, Diaz can be considered the top scorer at 50-1. This is the bet I’m willing to make. I would also like to take a look at Gabriel Jesus that I mentioned earlier. He should be involved in a lot of Arsenal’s goals this year and won’t fight for minutes like he did in Manchester. He’s about 12-1 or so.
Carr: I will skip Haaland because no player brought in from abroad has ever won the Golden Boot in his debut season. Also, the best variants of the Golden Boot usually do two things: play for a Big Six club (like all but one winner in the last 20 seasons) and score penalties (three to six goals for free!). Salah and Kane fit both criteria and I will take Kane for the best price. He has scored at least 17 goals in eight consecutive Premier League seasons, and his 17 goals last season were three short of his expected goals total. He fits well into Conte’s attacking system and will be involved in it. If you can get Gabriel Jesus 12-1 or better, he’s worth trying too. After seven goals in five pre-season games, the potential is clear and if he can finish better than at City, 20-odd goals are within reach.
Cuff: I think it will take some time for Haaland to pick up speed with City in a system that is different from what it has been in recent years. Kane and Salah will be in the mix, but I like Gabriel Jesus at 10-1 and Son Heung-Min (who won the award with Salah last year) at 14-1. It’s not just Jesus’ performance in pre-season, he’ll lead the Gunners. I think with the minutes and opportunities that a lot of attacking talent around him has created, he’s been in that race all year. Son may be the most underrated player in world football. Kane is critical to this team’s success, but Son is a clinical finisher who has already proven he can win this award and makes a big difference at 14-1.
This off-season, we have seen many Americans signed all over Europe. Which US players can lead their team to the championship?
Thomas: It will be difficult for the American contingent in Europe to win a championship, but if you move up to the championship division, Zach Steffen, who is now Middlesborough’s first choice, could be a key piece of the puzzle for them to finally return to the Premier League.
Carr: The best odds are in Scotland, where the US is almost guaranteed the title. Cameron Carter-Vickers returns to reigning champions Celtic (-165), earning Scotland PFA Team of the Season honors, while James Sands and Malik Tillman return to runners-up Rangers (+125). These clubs have combined to win 36 Scottish titles in a row. Aside from them, the best shot is probably Juventus’ (now injured) Weston McKenny, who is currently one of the +175 favorites to win Serie A with Inter Milan.
Cuff: If Sergino Dest is not transferred by the deadline, Barcelona with +140 to win La Liga is a good bet. Given the financial rules, I also assume that Barça…