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Premier League Title Race & Champions League Race Outright Tips & Predictions

Brett Curtis /
pl title top four sky bet

The Premier League's 'Big Six' teams will compete for the title and Champions League qualification places once again, and here at BettingPro.com we are providing the lowdown of each of the contenders while picking out a betting selection for each team courtesy of SkyBet.

Manchester City

Having won the title in four of the last five seasons, it’s little surprise to see Man City installed as Sky Bet’s 4/7 favourites.

With Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez signed to fill the central striker void, Pep Guardiola’s side could be scary this campaign.

However, squad depth has to be a slight concern with Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko departing. I expect them to retain the title, but it may be a closer run thing than the odds suggest.

It’s always tough to find value on a team expected to dominate like Man City, so we’ve opted for a longshot. If he stays fit, Haaland has every chance of winning the Golden Boot as City’s main goal-getter, while De Bruyne could have a field day assisting him.

Liverpool

Liverpool, of course, are the only team to break Guardiola’s stranglehold on the Premier League in recent seasons after breaking their 30-year title drought in 2020.

The Reds have also fallen short by only one point in 2019 and last season, so anyone discounting them from challenging once again is surely a fool.

However, it remains to be seen how much the departure of Sadio Mane will impact them, with new signings Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho likely to take time to adapt.

Odds of 4/1 imply only a 20% chance of Liverpool remaining unbeaten in the league at Anfield, yet they have actually achieved this in four of the last five seasons under Jurgen Klopp.

The only exception was in 2020/21 when attendances across the league were zero. There’s no way the odds should be this big in front of a packed out Anfield.

Chelsea

Many people – myself included – expected Chelsea to push Man City and Liverpool all of the way last season, but a dip in form after Christmas saw them fall significantly short.

The Blues still ended up in third place while losing both domestic cup finals to Liverpool on penalties, but they’re in a funny spot having lost Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Romelu Lukaku this summer.

However, Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly represent excellent additions, with another central defender likely to join between now and the end of the window. I’m not sure they’ve got a title challenge in them, but they’ll be there or thereabouts in the top four picture once again.

Despite suffering with injuries at times last season, marauding wing-back Reece James still hammered in five goals in 26 league appearances. If he stays fit, his shooting prowess should see him reach that tally once again.

Tottenham

Tottenham made great strides under Antonio Conte last season, with only Man City and Liverpool amassing more points after the Italian’s appointment in October 2021.

They’ve made some impressive signings this summer, too, with Richarlison adding depth to their attack, Yves Bissouma providing much-needed legs in midfield and Djed Spence and Ivan Perisic offering offensive upgrades from the wing-back positions.

By the end of last season they looked comfortably the third best team in England, dramatically beating Man City at the Etihad Stadium before holding Liverpool to a draw at Anfield. I think they’ll be the best of the rest for sure, and at 14/1 to win the title they could be worth an each-way punt.

Arsenal

Of course, Arsenal were the main victims of Spurs’ upturn in form, with Mikel Arteta’s side ultimately pipped to the fourth and final Champions League spot by their arch-rivals.

Optimism is high among Gunners fans this summer having added Jesus, Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira to their ranks. William Saliba returns from a loan spell, too, to provide more depth in defence.

I suspect there is a ceiling to this side, though, and they’ll be relying on a significant dip from Chelsea to achieve their top four aspirations. However, at worst, they should be able to get close to the 69 points they achieved last season.

Manchester United

Perhaps the hardest of the Big Six to predict this season, Man Utd are set to embark on a new era under former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

The Dutchman has surprised many by showing faith in Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in pre-season, with the attacking trio starting all four friendlies at the time of writing.

I’m pretty confident the Red Devils will comfortably surpass last season’s Premier League record-low points total of 58, but beyond that I’m not convinced the additions of Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez will prove enough to secure a top four spot, especially with the uncertain future of Cristiano Ronaldo hanging over the club.

Can anyone else challenge?

After finishing sixth in 2020/21, West Ham were the best of the rest with a seventh-placed finish last season. The Hammers have added Nayef Aguerd, Flynn Downes and Gianluca Scamacca to improve their spine, with Filip Kostic expected to sign in the coming days.

Personally, I think they look a massive price at 9/2 to be the best of the rest once again. I don’t see a more rounded team outside of the Big Six, with only a deep run in the Europa Conference League potentially holding them back. I’m not sure David Moyes will take that competition as seriously as he did the Europa League, though.

Leicester were the best of the rest in each of the previous two campaigns, narrowly missing out on Champions League football on the final day of both seasons.

However, the Foxes took a backwards step last season and are yet to sign a single player in this summer’s transfer window at the time of writing. They still ended up eighth, though, and have the most exciting set of attackers outside of the Big Six. 9/4 looks a big price for them to score 60+ goals, which they have achieved in each of Rodgers’ three full seasons in charge.

Backed by a Saudi Arabian-based ownership model, Newcastle are the bookmakers’ favourites to finish higher than any side outside of the Big Six.

Personally, though, I’m not convinced they’re as far in their development as Sky Bet appear to think they are. Nick Pope and Sven Botman will improve their defensive record, which had already come on leaps and bounds under Eddie Howe, but a top-half finish would be a solid foundation for them to build from.

Their progress was stop-start under Steven Gerrard last season, but the former Liverpool legend achieved his primary aim of guiding Aston Villa away from any real relegation danger.

Diego Carlos, Boubakar Kamara and Philippe Coutinho were all impressively signed very early in the summer. Like Newcastle, a top-half finish will be the primary aim at Villa Park this season, with an improvement on last season’s points total of 45 surely a given.

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