Find out which team we’re backing to win the 2016/17 Premier League title
Aside from a few optimistic souls clutching on to 5,000/1 coupons, nobody predicted Leicester City would achieve the unthinkable last season. Can something similar happen this time around?
In a word, probably not.
We can rule out half the field before trying to find a winner, with West Brom, Hull, Bournemouth, Burnley, Sunderland, Watford, Middlesbrough, Swansea, Crystal Palace and Stoke City out of the running.
That leaves ten teams and Ronald Koeman leaving Southampton means we’re happy to also draw a line through the Saints.
However, the remaining nine clubs will have top four aspirations at the very least. Everton are a 100/1 shot, although the arrival of Koeman and the new-found riches at Goodison Park make them an interesting prospect.
If the Dutchman kept hold of John Stones this summer, we’d be tempted to back them from an each-way angle, especially as bet365 and Sky Bet are offering 1/5 for three places.
Perhaps Koeman will need a season of reshaping the Toffees team, while Slaven Bilic’s West Ham might take a while to acclimatise to life at the Olympic Stadium, following their move from the Boleyn Ground.
That leaves seven teams; Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and champions Leicester City.
The Foxes will miss N’Golo Kante next term and will surely struggle to attain the same sort of performance levels that saw them win the title at a canter.
Tottenham Hotspur were also impressive although their Champions League participation could be a distraction from domestic matters, while neighbours Arsenal could suffer from something similar.
Then we have Manchester City who are very short at 5/2, with Pep Guardiola recruiting heavily although Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Spaniard will be looking at a long-term project rather than a one-season-fits-all approach.
That leaves us with three teams. Manchester United, Chelsea and LIVERPOOL.
None of these teams are involved in the Champions League, while only United are playing Europa League football. Jose Mourinho’s side might be something special but at 7/2, they make little to no appeal.
Chelsea are more interesting at 6/1, with Antonio Conte having achieved good things with Juventus and the Italian national team. Conte will get the best out of Eden Hazard and the squad isn’t much different to the one that won the title two seasons ago.
However, LIVERPOOL get our nomination for likeliest title winners and 9/1 is a nice juicy each-way price which will return a profit should the Reds finish in the top three places.
Jurgen Klopp has recruited well this summer and now has an elegance of attacking riches following the arrival of Sadio Mane and Gigi Wijnaldum. They join Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho as midfielders / wingers that can make a big impact.
Klopp got a tune out of Liverpool at various points last season, in particular for the cup competitions where they enjoyed a run to the Europa League and Capital One Cup finals.
No European distraction means that the German can focus hard on the 38 Premier League matches and Loris Karius should provide a safer pair of hands than Simon Mignolet.
Joel Matip should form a sturdy central defensive partnership with Dejan Lovren and we expect the famous “gegenpress” style to reap dividends.
Betway currently have 9/1 about Liverpool claiming the title and we think that represents excellent value. This team should be full of goals home and away, with Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Divock Origi all ready to take their chance.
Liverpool @ 9/1 with betway
All odds were correct at time of posting.