Preview : Premier League 2018-19
It doesnt seem like 5 minutes since the World Cup and yet here we are just a couple of weeks away from the start of the new EPL season. Our man Charlie Highbury has been watching the transfer news and gives his idea of how he thinks the season will unfold with some cracking value season long bets.
The Top 6
The Centurions, the Record Breakers, come into the new season with a jam packed squad of exciting young talent such as Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus and senior world class players in Sergio Aguero and David Silva. City are one of the richest clubs in the world and have already done business in the market picking up Riyaad Mahrez from Leicester, one of the most prolific players in the EPL in the last few years and certainly a world beater. City are definitely a favorite to win the league and with the tactical genius of Guardiola moulded with world class players, City could do anything this year.
Top 3 Players: De Bruyne, Aguero, Sane
Bet365 Prices: 4/6
Three words : The Chosen One – its all about him at the moment. Every day more United fans seem to lose faith in the manager as United’s pre-season goes from bad to worse. After a boring draw against the mighty San Jose Earthquakes, the Red Devils went on to lose 4 – 1 against their fierce rivals Liverpool. Yes, United are missing star players such as Pogba and Lukaku but still have quality players such as Martial, Bailly, Herrera and of course Lee Grant? However bad the start I’m sure United will pick up the pace soon and once they regain their key players will come to the fore. They are definitely a side that could challenge for the league.
Top 3 Players: Pogba, Lukaku. Sanchez
Tottenham just can’t seem to get it right can they? Surprisingly they haven’t bought anyone this window and with their new stadium set to look like a toilet seat from above, it looks like it could be a turbulent year. Not only do new signings strengthen squads but they get players to work harder so they are the first name on the team sheet. With no new members there could be complacency amongst the players that will cost them. However with players such as Kane, World cup winner Lloris and Eriksen, rest assured Tottenham will be a difficult side to play even in the toilet seat stadium. Their price of 16-1 is too tight for me. I think they should be 25’s
Top Three Players: Lloris, Kane and Eriksen
Bet365 : 16/1
Well then … I never thought I would see the day when Liverpool owned the worlds most expensive defender and goalkeeper. I just feel that Liverpool have to win something this year even if it’s the EFL cup otherwise Jurgen will be under a lot of pressure.
Undoubtedly Liverpool have a very big squad and with the dream front three they have blended with the brilliance of Keita and finally a decent defensive midfielder of Fabinho. It really could be their year to win the Premier league and for Liverpool’s sake hopefully not one of their major slip-ups of recent years – sorry Stevie, couldnt resist it!
Top 3 Players: Salah, Firmino, Mane
Bet365 Odds: 4/1
In the last ten years I don’t think I could count on both hands the number of managers Chelsea have had. Results are obviously vital at the Bridge, but even with a Premier League and FA Cup trophy in his first two seasons, Conte was shown the door and with continuous managerial changes I’m not sure the players will really be that committed this year as everytime they get used to one manager they leave.
With a chance that key players are set to leave such as Hazard, Courtois and Willian it could be a bad bad year. At least they’ve got Rob Green!
3 Key Players: Kante, Willian and Hazards – but how many will line up?
Bet365 Odds: 12/1 – awful
Arsene Wenger heads off into the new season for the first time in 20 years not at the Emirates ….. Unai Emery embarks upon the making of a new dynasty with Arsenal Football Club with new ideas and tactics for the first time in 22 years. With key additions in areas the squad has been lacking during recent years such as shot stopper Bernd Leno and players like Sokratis and Torreira in the core of the teams backline and midfield. The pairing of the exceptionaly quick and exctiting partnership of Aubameyang and Lacazette, Arsenal just might return to normal and get back to where it matters…… fourth place!!!!! In all seriousness Arsenal look to have a good strong squad with some exciting young players that broke out in Europe last season and Unai Emerys Red Army are on for some silverware this season.
3 Key Players: Aubameyang, Ozil and Lacazette
Bet 365 Odds: 20/1 – over priced
Summary – To Win The League
For me its a toss up between Manchester City and Livrpool with City being little or no value to win the league. They both have very strong squads with talented proven players and Liverpool might just surprise. I can see Arsenal challenging in this new season as all thoughts of the last era of Wenger are gone and they can start with a clean slate.
Recommendations : 4 units E/W Liverpool to win the League – 4 Units win Arsenal to finish top 4 at 2/1
The Underdogs: Who just might spring some surprises this year?
West Ham breaking the bank you’re having a laugh….oh wait they’ve just spent over 60 million in the transfer market. With the signing of experienced players such as Wilshere and Fabianski and then signing a club record fee for Felipe Anderson, it’s just absurd the revolution that is going on at West Ham. For me and Harry Rednapp it’s a side that can easily finish in a European spot and will be one that’s hard to beat, so teams better be on their metal when they face the mighty IRONS.
Also with the experienced Pellegrini in charge it really could be an interesting year for the Irons.
Top three players : Anderson, Arnautovic and Wilshere
Bet365 Odds Top 6 Finish : 12/1 2 units
Bet365 Odds West Ham finish in Top half: 5/4
Yes you have read this right, in my opinion, Wolves have a huge chance to reach the top six with signings of the Euro’s winners Joao Moutinho, Rui Patricio and with the addition of the prolific Mexican striker Raul Jimenez as well as already having Ruben Neves who tore the championship to shreads last season. For me Wolves are an exciting team to watch this season and are certainly worth watching.
With the whole side essentially becoming the Portugese National Team they should also gel, if they play like them they might just go and win the league.
Top Three Players : Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio
Bet 365 Odds Top 6 Finish: 8/1
Relegation: Going Down, Going Down, Going Down
No surprises here as everyone in the world seems to predict Cardiff to go down even with the additions of Bobby Reid, Alex Smithies and established players such as Soulymane Bamba and Junior Hoilett, but I just can’t see this side staying up for two very good reasons:
Not enough talented players for the Premier League as I just don’t think Bobby Reid will be scoring enough goals this year and the second being Neil Warnock. If Cardiff didn’t go down myself and every pundit in the land would simply be amazed. I know some Sheffied supporters might say Warnock has surprised before. Somehow this time I dont think so. This is the big boys league.
3 Best Players: Bobby Reid, Soulymane Bamba and Junior Hoilett
Bet365 Odds for Relegation: 4/6
Bournemouth is a side that’s been surviving in the past few years and not really making progress in my opinion. Sadly I think it’s just down to money and those chaps from the South Coast don’t have enough. Rico for me is not the signing that was needed for Bournemouth as he doesn’t have the quality as shown when his team narrowly avoided relegation in La Liga. I believe that because this is the only major signing of note for Bournemouth the squad isn’t good enough to survive the season. As boring as it is the club doesn’t have the money to bail themselves out in the January transfer window if things turn sour and things just might. They must be backed to go down. Eddie just cant do it again – can he?
Top 3 Players: Begovic, Wilson and Arter
Bet365 Odds for Relegation: 9/2
A surprise entry for some but I don’t see this club staying up due to the fact that again it’s a club with very little money to spend on class players and I just feel that Roy doesn’t have the ability to manage this team to survive in this young and feisty league. I just don’t think he is prepared for this new brand of football. With Zaha set to leave, a huge blow and Benteke only scoring 3 goals last year, it might be a very difficult year for a club that have only signed a goalkeeper from Getafe. Palace are another that won’t be able to buy their way out of trouble. Anyone seen Big Sam?
Top 3 Players: Zaha, Benteke and Miliojevic
Bet365 Odds for Relegation: 5/1