The countdown is on to August 9th and a new Premier League season with a renewed sense of optimism that several teams are capable of contending for the title. A year ago, Manchester City and Liverpool were so far ahead of their competition that it spoiled some of the drama that was expected around the league. Fast-forward to this season and Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester United will do their best to make it a five-team race at the top of the table.
Best Bet To Win The League: Manchester City
Manchester City might not be able to improve on what it has done over the past two seasons after recording the two highest point totals in Premier League history. However, the reality is that they might not need to in order to win another title. After all, City will once again field a relatively young squad that still has room for improvement under manager Pep Guardiola. While Vincent Kompany’s departure is a significant loss, Kevin De Bruyne is back to lead the way with Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling up front. While the soccer world was thrilled with the movements of Neymar, Paul Pogba, and Gareth Bale, City’s addition of the former Atletico Madrid man Rodri could be one of the better moves that have flown under the radar this offseason. City is the sports betting favorite to win the league for a reason. Guardiola’s men are clearly the best bet to win a Premier League title this season.
Best Point Total Over/Under
Despite a transfer embargo that has somewhat obstructed manager Frank Lampard’s ability to build a winning club, there is a sense of optimism surrounding the Blues. Chelsea’s season points total has been set at 68.5. Can Lampard create enough magic to push his team over that mark?
The smart money is on the under because the Blues lost Eden Hazard and failed to even come close to adding a capable replacement. Mateo Kovacic was a necessity acquisition, but he won’t be nearly as creative at the offensive end of the pitch, and he isn’t a stout defender either. Chelsea fans are optimistic that N’Golo Kante can step up and provide some world-class skill for a club that wants to contend for a championship. However, the more likely scenario has the Blues taking a small step back with the long-term future in mind as Lampard attempts to put his stamp on this club as a manager.
Best Bet To Win The Goal Scoring Title: Sergio Aguero
Despite being left off a list of the top five best goal scorers in the Premier League by one pundit, Sergio Aguero is certainly among the most lethal scorers in England’s top flight. The Argentine striker is coming off a year in which he placed fourth in the Premier League with 21 goals. However, he was actually only one off the league lead after Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Mo Salah matched Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang total with 22 goals each. Aguero is now sixth on the all-time Premier League scoring chart with 164 goals. While he is still 96 short of Alan Shearer’s record of 260 goals, Aguero could put a significant dent in that deficit this season playing a central scoring role up front for one of the highest-scoring teams in the table.
First Coach To Get Fired: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
While Lampard is one of the favorites to be the first manager to get sacked, a good bet is on the co-favorite in that category, Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He is listed right there with Lampard as the manager considered most likely to get the ax first.
United is one of the most unpredictable clubs on paper. While there is a strong youth push within the club, patience could run thin if United underachieves early on. The Red Devils responded to Solskjaer’s appointment early last season before fading late. Can they wind it back up again? Or will they continue to stumble to start a new season? It makes sense that Lampard is front and center in this conversation. However, the smart money is on Solskjaer to be the first manager fired.