Football Tips: Premier League top four best bets for new season – including 11/1 punt

Our footie tipster Andrew Cunneen fancies Leeds to hijack the private member's club.

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*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

I heard the term ‘the big four’ the other day and I was a bit thrown. It used to be so commonplace and perfectly explained the stranglehold four major brands had on English football’s top tier.

Now, some people call it ‘the big six’, but I don’t even understand that one either. All we do know is that, to turn serious dosh, you need to be in the Champions League – and until we land an implosion of the coefficient, that’s down to four places.

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But who will occupy them at season’s end? We all might look and say Man City, Liverpool and Manchester United are nailed on, but given the likely improvers behind them, it doesn’t seem far-fetched to me if two of those dropped out given the big question marks hanging over them.

So, where exactly do we turn for a bet? Well, I’m here to guide you through a punt you should have, one you shouldn’t – and even an outside bet at a big price that set you up lovely for the holiday you’ve been having to put off for 18 months.

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea Atletico Madrid February 23, 2021

Shoo-In: Chelsea

This is the easiest one. Chelsea will finish in the top four because they have the most progressive manager whose style clearly produced last year, to the point where he won a Champions League, ripped Man City to shreds and whose players will clearly have his buy-in from day one.

They’ve also got the easiest upturn in player potential. What I mean by that is just how many of their squad was less than average last year versus expectation. Hakim Ziyech has yet to find himself, Timo Werner is too bad to be true and then there’s the exponential growth of Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic.

If I’m having a bet on anyone to win this league, it’s Chelsea – whose xG per game took a notable increase when Lampard left. I’m sure it was just a coincidence.

1/14
Chelsea Top 4 Finish

One to Avoid: Liverpool

There is clearly a caveat in that The Reds are dependent on Virgil van Dijk being himself, Ibrahima Konate reproducing and fitting into the league and Bobby Firmino not being injured. If any of those things fail to happen, they could genuinely be looking at a real struggle for the season ahead.

There’s too many moving parts and if you think backing a team who you know full-well will end up bringing James Milner on to shore up games is a wise move, I’ll send you elsewhere.

MarceloBielsaJul19a

Dark Horse: Leeds

Another year under Marcelo Bielsa doesn’t mean things get stale, it means they get faster. No side in the league could compete with just how ad-hoc they became in certain situations and the fact they go against the grain is a bigger indication that they’re always liable to cause a shock.

And for many people, the idea that Patrick Bamford was their leading light in front of goal was a knock – but I’d simply turn to you and tell you that the quality of chances created for him were top-four levels. Their 1.75xG per game was the fifth-best clip in the league last year – just 0.02 behind fourth spot and now adding in Junior Firpo down the left should open things up even more as they continue to shock.

And not to mention, a full season of Raphinha. You might laugh, but I’d definitely say they have a higher ceiling than last year’s West Ham – and at that price, you’re committing to keeping an eye on the most entertaining side in England. Not a bad decision regardless.

45/1
Leeds Top 4 Finish

*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

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