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, Arteta, 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?
Via the FA Cup final, Hull qualified for the Europa League qualifying stages, and after defeating Trencin are in the final round before the Group stages now. In terms of the league, they ended up fairly low down but going for it in the Cups paid off for Steve Bruce’s men. This summer they have added a lot of quality, young British players, and got rid of the high earners who were not pulling their weight:
Tom Ince (Comp), Jake Livermore (£8m), Harry Maguire (£2.5m), A Robertson (£2.25m), Robert Snodgrass (£7m)
Matt Fryatt, Robert Koren, Nick Proschwitz, Cameron Stewart
So – plenty of attacking flair added – Snodgrass and Ince should be cracking signings, with young Maguire an astute signing, with the lad looking to be an international star. Here’s how we think they could lineup this season:
McGregor, Rosenior, Davies, Chester, Figueroa, Huddlestone, Livermore, Meyler, Snodgrass, Ince, Sagbo (4-2-3-1)
They have to be careful with the Europa League as the likes of Wigan and Birmingham have really struggled while in it, with Newcastle and Everton both nearly getting relegated whilst in it. If they get into the Europa group stages, it means they will be playing Thursday-Sunday every 2/3 weeks, and unless they make use of their entire squad, they will struggle. I can forsee them finishing in the bottom 5.
There is no real value I can find on sites such as William Hill. A simply bottom half finish is 1/7, and outright for the PL they are 5000/1…Shane Long to finish top scorer is 100/1, Niki Jelavic is 150/1.
Leicester won the Championship convincingly, with Nigel Pearson doing a fine job. They have a good squad, with Kasper Schmeichel between the sticks, Anthony Knockaert and Matty James in midfield and David Nugent up top. They do however need to add quality to stay up. They have signed some experienced players such as Matt Upson, and then taken a risk with Leanardo Ulloa from Brighton.
Leanardo Ulloa (£8m), Mark Albrighton, Ben Hamer, Matt Upson, Jack Barmby (Free Transfers)
Lloyd Dyer, Gallagher, Sean St Ledger, Kevin Phillips, N Danns
They really need a few more players – And Pearson is looking. However, this is how we think they will line up for the first game:
Schmiechel, De Laet, Upson, Morgan, Schlupp, Knockaert, James, Mahrez, Albrighton, Ulloa, Nugent.
It will be interesting to see how Matt James does – he was highly rated at Man Utd, and has impressed with them so far. Anthony Knockaert is another who impressed in the Championship, and Kasper Schmiechel can finally prove himself in the Premier League, where his dad made his name.
Odds wise the only decent value is for them to get relegated @ 9/4 – I believe unless they bring in a couple more players they will struggle. Cardiff spent £30m on 3/4 players, and all three have gone already since relegation! The key is buying the right player, rather than the expensive ones. Price does not guarantee quality
This summer is pivotal for the Reds in terms of if they step on and push for the title again, or slip away back into mid-table. Suarez has gone for £75m, and in a way they may be better off without him. He gave them a bad reputation, and without him there they may regain respect from referee’s after a series of poor discipline and diving from several of their players. With that money, they have replaced well in other area’s, but not up front. Here’s their deals:
Emre Can (£10m), Manquillo (Loan), Dejan Lovren (£20m), Divock Origi (£10m), Lazar Markovic (£20m), Adam Lallana (£25m), Rickie Lambert (£4m)
L Alberto, Iago Aspas, Conor Coady, Divock Origi, Pepe Reina, L Suarez, A Wisdom
Nearly £90m spent, but no true replacement for Suarez. Loic Remy was close to signing but they pulled out due to an underlying medical issue. Now they are searching for a world class star to fill the void and appease the fans. Very hard to find! Here’s how I think they will line up this weekend:
Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Sakho, Enrique (Moreno if signed), Henderson, Gerrard, Emre Can, Sterling, Sturridge, Markovic (4-3-3)
A strong squad, espcially if you consider the likes of Coutinho, Skrtel, Toure, Lallana, Allen and Lucas etc are waiting in the wings to come in, although Lallana is injured.
Liverpool are 12/1 to win the title, and Evens to get into the Top 4. Danny Sturridge is 7/1 to end up as top scorer, Sterling is 66/1 and Lambert is 50/1
Pellegrini’s men are chasing a 3rd straight title, and have started with a slight handicap. They were fined £50m for breaking FFP rules, and their squad limited for the Champions League. They can also not increase their wage bill, so players had to leave before any could arrive. Here are their dealings so far:
Willy Callabero (£4m), Eliaquim Mangala (£32m), Fernando (£12m), Frank Lampard (Loan), Bacary Sagna (Free), Bruno Zuculini (£1.5m)
Gareth Barry, Jack Rodwell, Joleon Lescott, Costel Pantilimon, Emyr Huws
A few more may follow – John Guidetti and Matija Nastasic two that may well leave. Here’s how they could lineup against NUFC this weekend:
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Clichy, Toure, Fernando, Fernandinho, Silva, Navas, Aguero (4-3-3)
They are 5/2 to retain their title, and 8/11 to get over 82.5 points. In terms of Top Scorer odds – Aguero 11/2, Edin Dzeko is 14/1, Yaya Toure is 20/1. I personally think they will win the title.
After a dreadful season, Moyes leaves and Van Gaal arrives. So far there has been little action in the transfer market, with Herrera and Shaw the only two to come in thus far. Van Gaal wants time to asses his options before making decisions, but doing it late may have an affect on their early season with players taking time to adapt.
Luke Shaw (£27m), Ander Herrera (£29m)
Ryan Giggs (Retired), Bebe, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Alex Buttner, Federico Macheda
Their lineup is still rather impressive – here is how they may well line up this weekend:
De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Smalling, Shaw, Herrera, Fletcher, Valencia, Mata, Rooney, RVP (4-2-3-1)
After such a bad season – it’s amazing they are just 9/2 for the title and 1/2 to get into the top 4. Liverpool finished 2nd and are 12/1 for the title and Evens to get into the top 4! Shows the effect of Van Gaal. Had Moyes still been in charge those odds would be the other way around! We expect them to make it into the CL, but not win the title. 3rd at best
After half a brilliant season, and half an appalling season – it’s crunch time! They needed signings badly, and have got them in abundance. They have spent over £35m on 9 players, and rid the club of players who should not be there. Siem De Jong and Remy Cabella stand out, and Emmanuel Riviere has looked good in pre-season. Here are their deals in full:
Remy Cabella (£8m), Siem de Jong (£6.5m), Emmanuel Riviere (£6m), Jack Colback (Free), Ayoze Perez (£1.6m), Karl Darlow/Jamaal Lascellas (£7m double deal), Daryl Janmaat (£5m), Facundo Ferreyra (Loan)
Shola Ameobi, Dan Gosling, Mathieu Debuchy, Sylvain Marveaux, James Tavernier
With Luuk de Jong, Loic Remy and Shola Ameobi leaving, they needed forwards badly. In Riviere, Cabella, De Jong and Ferreyra they have quality, though all are unproven – Graham Carr rarely gets it wrong though! Daryl Janmaat replaced Arsenal new-boy Debuchy, which is one of the deals of the summer. Here is how they could lineup on the weekend:
Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara, Anita, Colback, De Jong, Cabella, Sissoko, Riviere (4-2-3-1)
There are some good odds on the the North East side – To Finish top without last season’s top 7 sides is 7/2, and a Top Half finish is 5/4. Top Scorer wise you can get 150/1 on Remy Cabella, Emmanuel Riviere @ 66/1 and Papiss Cisse is also 150/1.
The big spenders from the 12/13 season are back and under the cloud of a potential fine of over £50m after breaking the Championships’ FFP rules. Had they stayed down, no doubt an embargo would have been placed on them and the fine confirmed. However, they were promoted and have made some good signings. Loic Remy looks like staying put for now, and the likes of Steven Caulker and Rio Ferdinand have come in. Here are their dealings in full:
Rio Ferdinand (Free), Steven Caulker (£7m), Mauricio Isla (Loan), Jordan Mutch (£6m)
Yossi Benayoun, Estaben Granero, Aaron Hughes, Andy Johnson, Stephane Mbia, Luke Young, Gary O’Neil
Here is how they could lineup this weekend:
Cesar, Isla, Ferdinand, Caulker, Traore, Barton, Mutch, M Phillips, S W Phillips, Austin, Remy (4-4-2)
A decent side – the issue last time out in the Premier League was having too many players who were over the hill after one last payday – this time out there are less, but still some of that team who were so bad.
Relegation is @ 2/1 at the moment, but for them to be the top promoted team is 11/10.
The Saints have been ravaged by mainly Liverpool this summer, with Lovren, Lallana and Lambert leaving for the Reds, and Shaw leaving for Man Utd, not to mention Calum Chambers joining Arsenal. Nearly £100m has come in, and over half has been spent strengthening the team. Some of the buys have been questionable and costly. Here are their deals to date:
Dusan Tadic (£10.9m), Graziano Pelle (£8m), Ryan Bertrand + Saphir Taider (Loans), Fraser Forster (£10m)
Pablo Osvaldo, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers, Rickie Lambert, Lee Barnard, Jonathon Forte, Danny Fox
One more deal is close – Hull’s Irish Striker Shane Long is closing in on a £12m deal – a wee bit too much…probably £5m max, but he can score goals and may fit in well there. Morgan Schneiderlin is looking to leave as well, although it seems James Rodriguez will stay for now. Here’s how they could lineup on Saturday:
Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand, Ramirez, Ward-Prowse, Wanyama, Rodriguez, Pelle, Tadic (4-3-3/4-4-2)
Good value on the ante-post markets are Finish Bottom Half @ 8/15…and that is it. You can get 4/1 on them being relegated – and with so many new signings it may take time for them to settle in and start to perform as a team. Top Goal Scorer wise you can get 66/1 on Pelle and 50/1 on Rodriguez.
Stoke made quite a big statement by signing Bojan from Barcelona. He had so much promise but the pressure on him seems to have taken it’s toll. A move where not a lot is expected of him could be a great move for his career. Bar that signing, Stoke have not opened the check-book, here are their dealings:
Bojan (£3m), Dionatan Teixiera (Undisc), Mame Biram Diouf (Undisc), Phil Bardsley, Steve Sidwell (Free’s)
Michael Kightly, Matthew Etherington
The key for Stoke was keeping Begovic, N’Zonzi, Shawcross and Huth. Bojan will add a new dimension up front where the lumps that are Peter Crouch and Kenwyne Jones usually barge and stumble their way through defences. Here’s how they could line up this weekend:
Begovic, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Pieters, Ireland, Palacios, N’Zonzi, Arnautovic, Bojan, Odemwingie (4-5-1/4-3-3)
Mark Hughes has them playing some nice football – Arnautovic and Bojan could be very dangerous playing together, and we fancy them to get into the top 10 @ 11/8. In terms of Top Scorer, Bojan is available @ 150/1.
Sunderland were almost certainties to go down towards the end of the season, but thanks to Gus Poyet they turned it round amazingly and survived. This summer however they have lost a few players and of all of their signings, only Jack Rodwell impresses, despite his injury prone nature. They must learn not to use the scatter-gun approach to dealings – last season over 14 came in and most have been moved on already. Here are their deals so far:
Jordi Gomez, Billy Jones, Costel Pantilimon (Free’s), Jack Rodwell (£10m), P Van Aanholt (£2m), Santiago Vergini (Loan)
Jack Colback, Phil Bardsley, Carlos Cuellar, Andrea Dossena, Craig Gardner, Louis Laing, Ignacio Scocco, Oscar Ustari, Kieron Westwood
Some decent players in, but no better than that. Pantilimon is a good signing from Man City – despite impressing there Willy Callabero has come in to replace him. Here is how they could lineup this weekend:
Pantilimon, Vergini, Brown, O’Shea, Van Aanholt, Giaccherini, Larsson, Rodwell, Bridcutt, Altidore, Fletcher (4-4-2)
They have a very shallow squad and could struggle deep into the season. Best value we can find is for them to be relegated @ 5/1
The Swans have done very well so far this summer, after a disappointing season. The Europa League had it’s effects on them, lasting until the latter rounds before going out in February. Michael Laudrup left and Gary Monk took over. Here are their dealings so far:
Marvin Emnes (Undisc), Bafetimbi Gomis (Free), Jefferson Montero (£4m), Gylfi Sigurdsson (P/X), Lukasz Fabianski (Free)
Ben Davies, Michel Vorm, A Pozuelo, David N’Gog, Leroy Lita, Michu, Chico Flores
Should Wilfried Bony stay they have a great frontline, as well as Routledge, Dyer and Montero on the wings, with Jonjo Shelvey impressing late in the season. A top 10 finish is on the cards with no Europe. Here is their potential lineup:
Fabianski, Tiendalli, Williams, Amat, Taylor, Britton, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Bony, Montero.
Top Half Finish – 9/4
W Bony Top Scorer – 25/1
Tottenham bring in Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, replacing Tim Sherwood. A few players have come and gone but the mainframe of the squad remained. He seems keen to get the best out of flops such as Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela, rather than sell on for a massive loss and end up buying more expensive risks. Here are their deals so far:
Ben Davies (£10m), Michel Vorm (P/EX), Eric Dier (£4m)
Iago Falque, Gylfi Sigurdsson, H Gomes, Jake Livermore
So, pretty much the same squad as last season plus a very good left back, and a young centre back. They are again in the Europa League so have to deal with the hectic schedule. They still need another couple of players in through the door, and possibly to drop some of their higher earners who are not in the first team picture. Here is their potential lineup this weekend:
Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Kaboul, Davies, Paulinho, Holtby, Lamela, Eriksen, Lennon, Soldado (4-2-3-1)
Again not a lot of value – they are 4/9 to make the top 6 again, and 20/1 to win the title. Soldado is 40/1 to end top scorer, Lennon 80/1 and Adebayor is 66/1.
WBA have a decent squad, and despite struggling in recent year could find themselves in trouble again this season. £10m was spent on Brown Ideye, who had decent spells in France and Ukraine, which is a little over the odds for a 25 year old forward. Alan Irvine takes over from Pepe Mel, who is a questionable choice. How long will he last? Sacked by Christmas is my bet. In terms of signings, aside from Ideye are good. Here are their dealings:
Joleon Lescott (Free), Sebastian Pocognoli (Undisc), Craig Gardner (Free), Cristian Gamboa (£2m), Chris Baird (Free), Brown Ideye (£10m), Andre Wisdom (Loan)
Zoltan Gera, Diego Lugano, Billy Jones, Liam Ridgewell, George Thorne, Steven Reid (Released)
In terms of their starting 11 – not bad. Here is their potential 11:
Foster, Gamboa, McAuley, Lescott, Pocognoli, Mulumbu, Yacob, Brunt, Morrison, Sessegnon, Ideye (4-2-3-1)
My favourite tip for them is Relegation @ 5/2
West Ham in recent history have a bad record for wasting money on English players. Carroll and Downing cost them around £30m, and both have been awful and injury prone. This summer they have gone on to overspending on foreign players. Enner Valencia had a couple of good games for Ecuador and has moved to the London club for £12m. They have made some good moves however – here are their incomings and outgoings:
Diego Poyet (Undisc), Carl Jenkinson (Loan), Aaron Cresswell (£4m), Cheikou Kouyate (Undisc), Mauro Zarate (Free), E Valencia (£12m)
Joe Cole, Jack Collison, Stephen Henderson, George McCartney, Matt Taylor
Their lineup could be pretty good – they need to work on goals, last season they were poor and despite being good at the back – scoring was the issue:
Jaaskelainen, Reid, Collins, Kouyate, Cresswell, Diame, Nolan, Jarvis, Downing, Zarate, Valencia
They are a stunning 5/1 to be relegated, and despite the other sides such as Leicester and Burnley being favourites to go down, if they are not careful and get points early then they could be there too.
That’s our gambit on the Premier League this season – do you agree? Let us know what your thoughts are on the EPL!