Could this turn out to be a pivotal weekend in the race for the Premier League title? Chelsea’s win away at the Stadium of Light over Sunderland, coupled with Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat away at Everton, sees the Blues open up a 6 point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
The significance of this week’s results are hard to quantify with over half of the season still to go, but the momentum and self belief obtained by Chelsea, must surely put them in with a great shout of reclaiming the league title they last held at the end of the 2014/15 season.
The Blues also have no European competitions to distract them, giving them another advantage over two of their rivals who currently sit in the top 4 (Arsenal and Manchester City). To further add to Chelsea’s current good fortune, Man City and Arsenal play each other this Sunday (kick-off at 4pm), meaning one or both of their rivals will drop points this weekend.
Given all that, it’s no surprise to see Chelsea as the current favourites with the bookies to win the Premier League, currently at a best price of 10/11 with most layers. Antonio Conte’s men are as short as 4/5 with some of the less generous ones.
These days, the Premier League is not only a global viewing event; it is also a global betting event. This website now has readers from as far and wide as India, Israel, Australia and Canada, all looking for advice on betting offers, and on betting systems such as the over 1.5 goals strategy, etc.
It is now easy if you are betting in Canada, or India, or wherever, on the Premier League, as there are numerous bookmakers accepting new accounts from residents of these countries. There are now also the resources to open accounts in different currencies without the need for getting money changed in bank accounts, using e-wallet systems.
The three main rivals to Chelsea in the Premier League betting are Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal. Here we take a brief look at their credentials.
Pep’s Manchester City side started the season as favourites with the bookmakers. After a string of recent indifferent (shall we say) results, they are now out to second favourites at a best price of 9/2.
City seem to be struggling to keep clean sheets, and this has led to elements of the media to question Guardiola tactically, and to also suggest he is being found out by the Premier League – not beliefs I hold.
Guardiola and City could still well win the Premier League, and this would arguably be the Spaniards greatest achievement. The City squad is nothing compared to the class of players Guardiola worked with in Spain at Barcelona, and in Germany with Bayern.
When all is said and done, with the exception of a handful of new signings, these are still the same rabble who performed so shambolically last season under previous manager, Manuel Pellegrini.
Another team without the distraction of European football, Liverpool are currently third in the betting, at a best price of 13/2.
The Reds are currently enjoying their best season since Brendan Rodger’s took them so close in the 2013/14 season. They had an explosive start to the season, blowing teams away with Jurgen Klopp’s exciting brand of high tempo football, before a recent blip that seen them lose away at Bournemouth, and draw at home to West Ham.
Going in Liverpool’s favour is the fact – as I mentioned above – that they have no European football to distract them. They also have a manager who has won league titles, albeit in another country. Those titles where in Germany though, and that has some clout, as he had to compete against Bayern Munich to win them.
As Liverpool fans know only too well though with Rafa Benitez, winning titles in another country doesn’t guarantee winning them in England.
Liverpool also seem to have defensive issues. The left side position of Liverpool’s defence has been a problem all season, with midfielder James Milner doing a stop gap job. As good as Milner is doing in his alien role, he is not an accomplished left sided defender, and it could be an area of weakness to be exploited by Liverpool’s title rivals.
Another area of concern at the back is Liverpool’s goalkeepers. Previous first choice Simon Mignolet has been replaced by Klopp signing, Loris Karius, who has come in for a lot of recent criticism after a couple of high profile blunders.
All this has seen Mignolet return to the starting line up for the midweek fixture against Middlesbrough, but all of this uncertainty at the back is the last thing you need to win an English Premier League title.
Liverpool will create a lot of chances, and will also score a lot of goals. The question mark against them, is can they keep scoring more than they will let in?
The Gunners are arguably the strongest looking of Chelsea’s main rivals. At least, that’s what we all though until they lost 2-1 away at struggling Everton last Tuesday night.
The Gunners were at the 9/2 mark this time last week, but the events of this week have seen them drift out to a rather long looking 7/1 (which looks good value, in my opinion).
Arsenal look that bit different this season. There seems to be a bit more sturdiness and belief about the Gunners this season. They look to be more compact and better organised at the back. This is what makes the reversal at Everton this week all the harder to understand, as the goals the Gunners conceded were a bit of a throw back to the Arsenal of old.
Another massive weekend for Arsenal lies ahead on Sunday, when they travel to the Etihad to face Manchester City. Defeat here, along with a win for Cheslea, would see Arsene Wenger’s team a massive 9 points off first place, which would represent a huge gap with just over half the season left.
The best of the rest have to be Manchester United and Tottenham. Both have left themselves a hell of a lot of work to do, but with Manchester United’s resources, and the return to form of Christian Eriksen for Spurs, maybe both teams do have a slight outside chance.
That said, it would take one hell of a run of form to get back into the title race, and realistically, both teams are more looking to get a top 4 finish.
Feel free to add your view on who you think will win this season’s Premier League in the comments section below. As well as fans of the main four contenders, Manchester United and Tottenham fans’ views are also welcome.