At the time of writing we are a mere 44 days away from the start of the 2013/14 Premier League season so now is a good time to start football betting in which is a much has changed footballing landscape.
Sir Alex Ferguson has finally stepped down at Manchester United, Mancini has been binbagged by City, Rafa has been ushered out the back door by Roman whilst welcoming José Mourinho in the front and it’s on that note that we have our first ante post selection.
With doubts surrounding the appointments of Moyes and Pellegrini in their Manchester hot seats there can be no doubt regarding the appointment of ‘the special one’. Funds will be available to bring in new players, Cavani has been mooted, and he will only improve what is an already strong squad. With messrs Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Luiz, Torres and Schürrle in their ranks they will be there or thereabouts come May. With Mourinho returning ‘home’ he won’t have the bedding in issues that the new Manchester managers may have and can capitalise on any early slip up’s. At odds of 12/5 with Coral and Skybet they are the value choice to take this year’s Premier League Trophy.
Bet One: Chelsea to win the Premier League – 12/5 with Coral
This season’s promoted teams are Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace, exciting eh? Cardiff are a solid but unspectacular outfit who have bought well over the summer and should be strong enough to stay up. From what I saw of Hull City last year they are in the ilk of Stoke and West Ham so expect some dire stuff from them this season. They would be my choice to be relegated but Crystal Palace have also been promoted and they are my second choice in the ante post market.
With the sale of their best player, Wilfred Zaha, to Manchester United, The Eagles will surely struggle this season. With a declaration that a massive amount of money will not be spent on their squad, that does not bode well for their chances. Whilst Ian Holloway has stated that ‘I am much better prepared for the Premier League than I was when I took Blackpool up in 2010’, the fact remains the squad is low on quality and Premier League experience. The odds for them to be relegated are odds on and whilst that’s to be expected we can overlook that for a slightly better bet. That bet is the 11/4 that they finish bottom and that can be found with Coral.
Bet Two: Crystal Palace to finish bottom of the table – 11/4 with Coral
I think we’ll all agree that we will miss the free flowing entertaining, exhilarating, exciting, enchanting football that Tony Pulis served up during his tenure as Stoke City’s manager. They have replaced the baseball hat wearing soccer savant with the much derided Mark Hughes. If you overlook the disaster that was QPR, and the press loving Harry Redknapp didn’t fare much better there, Hughes’ track record isn’t that bad.
In the four years he was in charge of Blackburn he managed to drag the Lancashire outfit to 6th, 10th and 7th, he took over at city and managed another top 10 spot before being given his P45 in his second year despite only losing twice in 16 matches. From there he took over at Fulham for a year and finished a respectable 8th in the process.
So in the six full seasons he’s had at his clubs he’s achieved a top 10 finish five times. With that in mind the 9/2 on offer for Stoke to finish in the top 10 stands out. Despite winning just nine games last season they were only four points away from finishing tenth. With a change in mentality that Hughes will bring a top 10 finish is more than achievable.
Bet Three: Stoke to finish in the top 10 – 9/2 with Sky Bet
Chelsea to win the Premier League @ 12/5 @ Coral
Crystal Palace to finish last @ 11/4 @ Coral
Stoke to finish in the top 10 @ 9/2 @ Sky Bet
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