We have covered League 1 and the Championship – so with less than a week to go we take a look at the Premier League. There seems to be less value in the pre-season odds, but we have done what we can. Here’s our take on each side:
Arsenal have had a good summer, replacing the outgoing Bacary Sagna with Mathieu Debuchy. With Lukazs Fabianski leaving they have also replaced him with David Ospina, Colombia’s World Cup keeper. Here’s the full business done:
Alexis Sanchez (£38m), Mathieu Debuchy (£12m), David Ospina (Undisc), Calum Chambers (£16m)
Nicklas Bendtner, Bacary Sagna, Carlos Vela, Tomas Eisfeld, Thomas Vermaelan, Park Chu-Young, Lukasz Fabianski
With Theo Walcott back, Sanchez in and Giroud still about, they have more up front. Much less reliant on a few players. Here is our Arsenal side for the season:
Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Sanchez, Ramsey, Cazorla, Giroud (4-2-3-1/4-3-3)
Top Scorer – Sanchez (12/1), Giroud (20/1), Ramsey (50/1), Campbell (66/1)
Top London Club – 7/4
Under 75.5 Points – Evens
Villa spent a lot of money last summer, and most did not fare well. Alex Tonev has been loaned out to Celtic, Antonio Luna has been loaned out, Jores Okore spent most of the season injured, Nicklas Helenius has been loaned back out to his old club. This has made Randy Lerner even more sceptical, and in turn he has barely spent a penny
Joe Cole, Aly Cissokho, Kieran Richardson, Philippe Senderos
M Albrighton, J Bowery, S Carruthers, N Delfouneso, N Helenius, A Tonev, A Luna, J Steer, Y Sylla
So – a lot of outgoing failures and ex-youth players who don’t seem to have made the grade. To add to this, Richardson is getting on a bit and no longer at his best, the same can be said for Joe Cole. Senderos is also an ex-Fulham player who was released, and Aly Cissokho was simply awful at Liverpool. Not looking promising. Here’s what their potential lineup could look like:
Guzan, Okore, Vlaar, Senderos, Richardson, El Ahmadi, Delph, Bacuna, Cole, N’Zogbia, Benteke (4-2-3-1)
On the bright side Charles N’Zogbia is looking better, Fabian Delph looked brilliant towards the end of last season, Benteke is nearing full fitness, with Andi Weimann in form and ready to step in if needed. Leandro Bacuna and Karim El Ahmadi were two of the better signings over the past season or so, and both look decent players. Okore is fit, Vlaar has had a brilliant World Cup and Brad Guzan is a safe pair of hands
Top Scorer – Benteke (80/1), Agbonlahor (150/1)
Relegation – 3/1
Burnley finished 2nd in the Championship last season, surprising all to get promoted for the first time since the 2008/09 season. They have added experience in key area’s, and look a good team who may surprise a few who think they will get a beating each weekend. Here’s the in’s and out’s:
Marvin Sordell, Lukas Jutkiewicz, Matty Taylor, Michael Kightly, Steven Reid.
Keith Treacy, Joe Mills, Junior Stanislas, David Edgar
The slight worry is the defence. Kieron Trippier looks a great prospect, but the likes of Duffy, Shackell and Lafferty worry me, and many of their fans. Further forward they are in good shape, with Danny Ings and Sam Vokes up front with Jutkiewicz in reserve. Here is a potential 11 for the new season:
Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Duffy, Lafferty, Kightly, Taylor, Wallace, Reid, Vokes, Ings (4-4-2)
In terms of odds, they are bookies’ favourites to go down @ 4/7, and are 7/4 to finish bottom. If you fancy them to stop up you can get that @ 11/8
Chelsea will be looking to get off to a flyer after disappointing last season. They ended up 3rd having changed back to Jose Mourinho – if it was not the special one in charge I will bet you the manager would have walked. JM has made some big decisions this summer, bringing back Didier Drogba on a free transfer, and getting rid of the man dubbed the ‘Baby Drogba’ in Romelu Lukaku, despite the fact he has scored 65 goals in just 130 senior games, 32 of those for Everton and West Brom. Here are the main deals:
Diego Costa (£32m), Didier Drogba, Felipe Luis (£16m), Cesc Fabregas (£25m), Mario Pasilic
Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, David Luiz, Romelu Lukaku, Patrick Van Aanholt, Samuel Eto’o, Henrique Hilario, Sam Hutchinson, Demba Ba (+10 loan deals for youngsters)
Here’s how they could lineup agaisnt Burnley on the opening day:
Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Costa (4-2-3-1/4-3-3)
An immensely strong side, with several questions – Azpilicueta or Ivanovic at Right Back, Shurrle or Willian on the Wings, Ramires or Matic, Courtois or Cech…A very strong squad that should be able to withstand four competitions throughout the season. With Drogba injured already, one injury to Costa could see Mourinho regretting the decision to sell Lukaku for £28m, as Fernando Torres is the only other striker, as Demba Ba has left too.
They are 15/8 favourites for the titles, 9/4 to be top at Christmas. Here are some Top Goalscorer prices:
- Diego Costa (7/1), Didier Drogba (40/1), Torres/Hazard (50/1), Oscar, Fabregas (66/1), Schurrle (80/1), Willian (125/1)
Tony Pulis was a revelation last season in the last 12 games, with Dwight Gayle also showing Arsenal what a mistake it was letting him go as a kid. From relegation certs to safe in midtable, it was an enthralling rollercoaster ride! They have added a couple of players in key area’s, and got rid of some of the deadwood.
Brede Hangeland, Frazier Campbell
Jose Campana, Danny Gabbidon, Dean Moxey, K Dikgacoi
And here is their potential starting 11 for the new season:
Speroni, Ward, Hangeland, Dann, Delaney, Bolasie, Jedinak, Ledley, Puncheon, Gayle, Campbell.
Hangeland adds a lot of experience to their backline, and threat from set pieces. Fulham’s loss is very much their gain! He and the likes of Gayle and Puncheon will be their key players this season.
They recovered from the relegation spots to finish 11th last season, and to go one better and finish in the top 10 is 4/1, however to struggle and get relegated is 3/1. No real value inbetween!
Everton so nearly stole a Champions League spot from Arsenal, but faltered late in the season. This time around, they have strengthened with the permanent signing of Romelu Lukaku for £28m. They have also secured Gareth Barry on a full time deal after his loan from Man City as well as a couple of other players. Here are their dealings from this summer so far:
Muhammed Besic (Undisc), Romelu Lukaku (£28m), Gareth Barry (Undisc).
A Vellios, M Gueye, J Lundstram.
The main thing for them was keeping Coleman, Baines and Barkley. They have a brilliant squad, with strength and depth. This should be close to their starting 11 this season:
Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, McGeady, Lukaku, Mirallas.
A great starting 11, with plenty to come off the bench. Besic has looked good in preseason.
They are at 150/1 to win the title, and 6/1 to break into the top 4 – can Lukaku fire them into the Champions League? He is 20/1 to be top scorer. He has managed 15 and 17 in the last 2 years. Can he break the 20 mark?
Right, that is part one of three, which will be posted over the next two days. 10am both days – keep an eye out for them!