Football Tips: The 5 best WhatOddsPaddy punts for the 2021/22 Premier League season

Our tipster Shane O'Brien has been rummaging through the darker corners of PP.com.

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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.

Man City win Premier League, Arsenal Top 6, Norwich relegated

No one seems capable of stopping the City juggernaut following the £100 million signing of Jack Grealish and the potential signing of Harry Kane from Tottenham. Yes, Liverpool will welcome the return of Virgil Van Dijk and the arrival of Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, but their squad is ageing and doesn’t appear as formidable as it was between 2018 and 2020.

Manchester United, on the other hand, will hope that the signings of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho will help bridge the 12-point gap between themselves and Manchester City, but it may be a season too soon for this young side to topple their neighbours. Meanwhile, Arsenal have made commendable signings over the summer and may yet make more acquisitions before the end of the month.

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They have strengthened areas that badly needed to be strengthened and had built up a head of steam in the second half of last season. In fact, the Gunners would have finished second in the table if the Premier League season had kicked off at the midway stage.

They should overtake local rivals Spurs at the very least this time around. Norwich, on the other hand, look set for another difficult campaign following their promotion to the Premier League as Championship winners last season.

The Canaries were relegated to the Championship two seasons ago and have not adequately replaced the losses of Ben Godfrey, Jamal Lewis, and Emiliano Buendia. They could suffer their third Premier League relegation since 2016 come May next year.

PepGuardiolaManCityAug21

Man Utd top 2 finish, Tottenham outside the top 6, West Ham in bottom 10

The aforementioned signings of Varane and Sancho should enable United to build on last season’s second-placed finish and close the gap on their rivals at the top of the table. If United can land a quality holding midfielder before the end of the window, they could be able to close that gap further.

While Liverpool will be bolstered by a centre-back pairing of Van Dijk and Konate, there is still a slight worry that they have not significantly strengthened since winning the title in 2020. A number of key players in Jurgen Klopp’s side are on the wrong side of 30, while several others will turn 30 before the end of the season.

There is also the issue that Klopp’s best team is still more or less the one that won him the title two seasons ago, and there is a danger that such repetition will breed sub-par performance. Chelsea, meanwhile, have been too defensive under Thomas Tuchel during his short reign as Chelsea manager.

The Blues managed to score more than two goals on just one occasion in more than 20 games since Tuchel’s appointment in January. While that defensive style is well-suited to knockout football, it is not well adapted to league campaigns and Tuchel’s side almost missed out on a top-four place due to a series of 0-0 draws.

RomeluLukakuJan21

They may add Romelu Lukaku to their attack before the end of the window, but that is not yet guaranteed. Meanwhile, Tottenham are in a state of mini-crisis having secured what appears to be their 100th-choice manager, while their captain failed to report to training for the best part of a week.

If Harry Kane leaves, there is virtually no hope of Spurs finishing in the top six, but they still appear some way off Leicester and Arsenal even if he stays. Finally, West Ham enjoyed an excellent season last year, but they were tipped to go down by many pundits and seemed to defy all expectations for them.

They have not invested well over the summer, which could take its toll when they begin their Europa League campaign. They will also have to make do without the services of Jesse Lingard, whose goals last year proved critical during the run-in.

Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool top 4, Norwich, Crystal Palace, Burnley relegated

A chasm appears to have formed between last season’s top four and the chasing pack and it is difficult to argue that any side is capable of gatecrashing the European party. Leicester have now missed too veritable open goals to secure Champions League football in the past two seasons and will probably not get such an opportunity again.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are very much in a rebuilding phase, while Tottenham are in a state of near-crisis, especially if Kane leaves. At the other end, Norwich essentially earmark themselves as relegation candidates by going up and down like a yoyo, while Crystal Palace are dealing with more than 20 departures and the appointment of an untested manager in Patrick Vieira.

Burnley flirted with relegation last season and have not truly strengthened their squad in a number of seasons. The Clarets have done remarkably well to exist in the Premier League for so long on a shoe-string budget, but their six-year stint may come to an end this season.

125 or more penalties to be taken in the EPL

A record 124 penalties were awarded in the Premier League last season and, if Euro 2020 is anything to go by, the record may tumble again during this campaign. A staggering 17 penalties were awarded in the pan-European tournament over the summer – a tournament record by a considerable distance.

In fact, more than 20% of the all-time penalties awarded at the European championships since the competition’s inception in 1960 were awarded this summer. It is hardly a coincidence that the most recent Premier League and European championship campaigns shattered their own penalty records.

The introduction of VAR has resulted in a huge spike of penalties awarded across Europe, both dubious and legitimate, and it is difficult to see this trend slowing any time soon. The Premier League penalty record may fall for a second season running, even if PGMOL does tighten up some rulings.

Norwich relegated, Aston Villa top half finish, Liverpool top 4 finish

Aston Villa appear to have conducted shrewd business to replace Jack Grealish with Emiliano Buendia, Danny Ings, and Leon Bailey, while Todd Cantwell and/or James Ward-Prowse may yet arrive at Villa Park before the end of the summer. Dean Smith’s side have essentially replaced one world-class player with three excellent recruits who can help make Villa a better team than they were with Grealish.

It is important to remember that Villa only gained promotion two seasons ago and were a malfunctioning piece of technology away from going doing last year. Smith has done an exceptional job to transform the squad into a near-certainty to avoid the drop and they will absolutely be looking to build on last season’s 11th-placed finish.

Premier League WhatOddsPaddy tips

Man City win Premier League, Arsenal Top 6 finish, Norwich relegated
Man Utd top 2 finish, Tottenham outside the top 6, West Ham in bottom 10
Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool top 4, Norwich, Crystal Palace, Burnley relegated
125 or more penalties to be taken in the EPL
Norwich relegated, Aston Villa top half finish, Liverpool 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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