* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Here we go, ladies and gentlemen. That time of year where everyone is optimistic and the thoughts of what to come are generally coated in excessive positivity.
I promise you, that 20 minutes into the new season when your big-money signing hits one just wide, you’ll have thrown the nearest disposable item at your television, been in the WhatsApp group denouncing the club and explained to your disinterested partner how it’s the same thing every year. But for now? Bliss.
Manchester City might seem the obvious play on this question – but we’re here today to give you a rundown on just how you should be backing to win the Premier League in 20/21. Yes, I’m aware of the flaky nature of this and there are so many variables that can hinder a selection, but what we can do is find you some value and tell you where not to look if you’re fancying a punt.
Right now, your head is full of cliché and base level acknowledgements from a season ago. Get rid of the rubbish and banter, take some notes and size up this wonderful betting prospect. Because nothing quite satisfies like reminding your mates how adamant you were about the winners back in August.
To Back: Liverpool
I know this isn’t a popular one, and I fully understand that The Reds had a down year. Finishing five points behind Manchester United isn’t just a shame, it’s a calamity given what proceeded it – and I’d like to direct you towards exactly that right now.
The previous season, Liverpool went on a phenomenal run. They had the best centre half in the world, the best front three in football and a lot of midfielders who did the dirty work in between. But, they very much relied on the momentum of the previous campaign to carry them, even though they were talented enough to win games without that boost.
Given the hype around van Dijk coming into that season, his injury had the exact opposite effect and they were never going to find the enthusiasm in the dying moments without their true leader. The misconception starts here, though. They were still incredible in the final third. Their xG exceeded Man City’s by 0.05. If they’d been struggling to create chances, that would be a different conversation.
But, their xGA (still third-best in the league – 1.19) is most likely to take a seismic improvement. Not just because they’re getting VVD back, but also introducing Konate. If they can get by without Wijnaldum, they’re the most likely winners in Aguero’s absence for City, as Gundogan will not be repeating last year’s trick.
To Avoid: Manchester United
This side could have the best XI in world football. They could have generational star after generational star, a 10-point lead with four games to go and I still wouldn’t be suggesting a punt on them here.
Right now, Varane and Maguire might be the best centre half pairing in the world. They’ve got Bruno Fernandes creating more chances than anyone on the planet and more striking options than Floyd Mayweather.
However, they’re managed by someone who best resembles a caricature – and his lack of cutting edge will see them fail in the bigger moments. They were a managerial appointment away from being contenders and that all disappeared with Solskjaer’s extension. Their only big result last year? Beating City in March.
Dark Horse: Spurs
I know and expect an unholy amount of abuse for this, but bear with me. Spurs’ xG tally last year was 1.44pg – the 11th-highest clip in the league which constitutes an embarrassment. But, it was how Mourinho wanted to set up. Now? A bit different.
With the best striker on the planet, an extension to Son, Bryan Gil adding flair on the opposite flank and being free of their defensive shackles – are Spurs actually more along the lines of their early-season form than we give them credit for?
I think so – and with Hojbjerg looking like the best natural six at the Euros, there’s a chance they could really spring a shock.
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