The Premier League soccer season kicked off in England recently, and despite finishing behind Liverpool last time out, Manchester City have once again been installed as favorites for the title.
Pep Guardiola’s side were hunting their third win in a row last season, but finished second to Jürgen Klopp’s Reds in a campaign dominated by the Merseyside outfit. Having lifted the Champions League the season before, Liverpool finally ended their Premier League hoodoo by securing their first domestic title, but that has not been enough to see them listed as favorites this time out.
There is a feeling that David Silva’s departure, a sad day for a Man City legend, will open the door for young Phil Foden.
Foden was recently sent home from England’s training camp after a lockdown breach, according to the Telegraph, but he is a player both club and country could come to rely on more over the coming seasons. Another exciting young prospect, Ferran Torres, joins from Valencia and he will be hoping for the same level of success as his fellow countryman Silva. Nathan Ake also makes the move from Bournemouth and his experience in the division, as well as his undeniable talent, might help shore up the porous defense that hindered last season’ title challenge.
Meanwhile, the Reds have been rather quiet in their transfer business, with Konstantinos Tsimikas the sole arrival at Anfield. There is a feeling they are very much the complete article, but can Klopp manage to squeeze another season of success out of his side before the almost inevitable rebuild of his current legacy? Popular bookmakers in the UK think not, and what the main players in the country’s gambling market say carries weight with fans and pundits alike.
One of the prominent casino and sports betting providers featured on TuxSlots is Paddy Power, who are also one of the most popular providers in England. They cite Manchester City as their favorites and their opinion tends to resonate with supporters, given their standing within the English game. They have grown their reach into soccer via several promotional stunts, such as ‘unsponsoring’ teams which appealed to hardcore supporters. Huddersfield Town, formerly of the Premier League, and Macclesfield Town were two clubs without a sponsor on their shirt last season, but with Paddy Power money behind them.
Huddersfield were relegated with a whimper during their sole season in the top flight and the bookies feel that two of this season’s promoted clubs, Fulham and West Brom, are likely to struggle. They are listed as favorites for the drop, but Sheffield United and Aston Villa both retained their place in the top flight after promotion last season and that should give hope to Scott Parker and Slaven Bilic, managers for the Cottagers of Fulham and the Baggies of West Brom.
Sheffield United astounded everyone last season with a challenge for a Champions League spot, andthat is another exciting market the bookmakers have interesting markets for. Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League on three occasions, and his Everton side are looking likely to finally break the monopoly at the top of the table. Capturing not only James Rodriguez, a one-time World Cup Golden Boot winner, but also the Brazilian enforcer Allan from Napoli, signals their intention to make a go of it this season.
Manchester United and Chelsea are also well placed for a serious assault on the top four, if not the top two. Frank Lampard has acquired the services of German goal-machine Timo Werner as he hunts success with his beloved Blues, whilst Manchester United’s resurgence under Solskjaer also looks set to continue. Donny van de Beek brings a little quality to the backline following his arrival from Ajax, whilst Portuguese master Bruno Fernandes could be revered in the same light as Cristiano Ronaldo if he continues his excellent form in the red half of Manchester.
It certainly promises to be an interesting season, but there is a feeling Manchester City could be set to make it three titles from four years, bringing a brief end to Liverpool’s domination of the English game.