Burnley are 1500/1 to win the Premier League and despite events of last season a far better bet is to combine the two Manchester clubs at about even money to win the title in England this season. West Ham look overpriced at 100/1 but the general place terms are one third the odds for the first two teams so it makes more sense to back them at 9/1 for a top four finish.
Last season produced the biggest upset ever in the history of sports betting. No team in any league or sport around the world have won a competition at 5000/1. This week a horse won a race at 250/1 which is the second biggest starting price for the winner of any race in the UK and Ireland. Bookmakers lost a fortune on Leicester in the outright market but kept quiet about how they did each Saturday when coupons were busted. Every fan around the country who likes a bet will be throwing a fiver or tenner on their team at ridiculous odds.
Leicester winning the Premier League was a freak result and the established group should dominate proceedings this year and Manchester can produce the champions again. For a variety of reasons City and United and Arsenal and Chelsea were never quite at the races last season but the natural order can be restored this time. Leicester are actually a shorter price to be relegated than to win the league again.
A multitude of things fitted into place for Leicester last season and already the team spirit has been fractured by departures and five contracts yet resolved. However, the most significant exit could be Steve Walsh to Everton. He quietly went about his business identifying players for Leicester but now he has been lured away to a supposedly bigger club. Claudio Ranieri is still the manager at Leicester but in football anything is possible and if Leicester are in the bottom three at Christmas he could be asked to leave.
The top nine teams in the betting to win the Premier League all have foreign managers and owners from overseas. England’s disgraceful loss to Iceland has just about been forgotten and Sky are showing 126 live matches in the Premier League this season. The average football fan with a strong affinity to a club isn’t too bothered when England show the country up because the fixtures for the new season are always published in June just as England are coming home from another shambles.
Sam Allardyce seems to have something about him and one of those things is that he is English. He has never won the Premier League or Champions League as a manager and all the best jobs in English domestic football go to designer coaches who are not called anything like Sam or Allardyce. As the man himself succinctly said he might have got a top job if his name was Allardici. While the Premier League is dominated by players, managers and owners with no concern for England the team will fail in tournaments but it is hoped Big Sam can make a better fist of the position than Woy.
Manchester United and City are ridiculously wealthy and can afford to recruit the best talent in all departments. Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are amongst the best coaches in the world and have history having locked horns as managers of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Guardiola got the better of things in Spain but it could be different by the Manchester Ship Canal which has a slightly different ring to it than Camp Nou and the Santiago Bernabeu.
Chelsea have gone for the best coach in Italy and Arsenal are persevering with Professor Wenger. The top four again look set in stone but West Ham have the profile to be the party poopers. They like the rest of the league will get vast amounts of TV money, can boost their earnings from ticket sales at the Olympic Stadium and in Slaven Bilic have one of the maddest but best coaches in the world. He was by far the best TV pundit during Euro 2016 and but there is also substance to his style.
Last season two of the big four missed out on the Champions League but that was unique. It would be a surprise if more than one of the elite underperformed but West Ham are the team to take advantage in a season that can end with a Manchester dual forecast at the top of the table with United edging out City.