Today I have been going through all the leagues around Europe in search of decent value for league winners. With transfers still going on, it’s risky pickings now, but some bookies, especially online, take down the market once the league has started – so the likes of the Ukrainian, Romanian, Slovakian, Belgian and others are unavailable. Some, like the Swiss and Austrian leagues, are still up. Here are my thoughts on selected leagues:
Ones to Avoid:
Germany, France and Austria are amongst those to avoid. The favourites – Bayern, PSG and Salzburg are between 1/8 and 1/33, and with Dortmund and Monaco losing key men, it’s not even worth having in the acca – adds nothing, with the potential they could have a stinker.
Ajax have lost a couple of players, such as captain Siem de Jong, but remain strong. 11/10 is great value there as Feyenoord and Twente have lost very important players like Tadic, Pelle, Castaignos, Martins Indi and Janmaat. PSV are interesting at 4/1 – they got stronger as the season went on and have added Luuk de Jong, who did so well at Twente before poor spells with Newcastle and Monchengladbach. It will be between those two. If I were to hedge, Ajax @ 11/10
Real Madrid look the team to beat – they have added Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, with Falcao possibly going in too. Barcelona have added the likes of Luis Suarez, Jeremy Mathieu and coach Luis Enrique. Atletico Madrid, current holders, have lost three or four key players, although have added Mandzukic and Griezmann. I think Real Madrid will win it @ 5/6.
Despite losing Conte, Juventus are the ones to beat. So far they have not lost any key men, such as Vidal or Pogba and have added Alvaro Morata and Kingsley Coman – a future star who looks similar to Pogba. Roma have added a few men like Ashley Cole, Napoli have been quiet and the two Milan clubs have both been busy, but nothing worthy of them being title contenders. I would go with Juventus @ 6/5
With Boavista back, the league now has all 5 of the league winners in the top flight. Benfica are defending champs, and have lost Lazar Markovic, but no doubt will replace with quality. Porto have lost Fernando, and potentially Mangala and Quintero. They finished 3rd, and the manager was sacked. Lisbon, 2nd place finish in 13/14, have lost Eric Dier, though he is not a key first team star. They could lose William Carvalho, but it looks like he will remain. Benfica were not challenged last season, and should win it again. 11/10 is the best price I have found with Bet365.
Zenit were champions last season, and play their first game tomorrow against Arsenal Tula. With Hulk, Witsel, Criscito and have added Ezequiel Garay and Saloman Rondon in recent months, as well as the likes of Arshavin, Shatov, Kerzhakov, Fayzulin and Danny also being in the squad. Really should win the league – 6/5 is a cracking price. CSKA are the closest team, but often draw too many games. Zenit are our pick.
Galatasaray are favourites this season @ 6/5, but even with the likes of Sneijder, who could leave, we fancy Fenerbache. Sow, Merieles, Emenike, Bruno Alves are in the team, and now Diego have joined. With no European football due to their ban, they will be fresh each week. 6/4 a good pick, and our choice
Basel have won it each of the last 5 seasons, and with no real challenger, 2/5 is a banker to add to the acca. They may have lost Salah, but still have lots of quality.
League Winners Acca – Fenerbache (6/4), Benfica (11/10), Juventus (6/5), Zenit (6/5), R Madrid (5/6), Ajax (11/10), Basel (2/5)
That pays around 120/1, although take what you will from this, it’s just here as a pointer on prices and some information!
Best of luck