Premier League Ante-Post Tips: Danny Punter offers up his best picks for the new season
As BettingOdds.com gears up for the new Premier League season starting, expert tipster @dannygpunter provides us with his top ante-post picks for the top-flight.
The new Premier League season is just around the corner and it promises to be one of the most competitive versions in recent history.
Manchester City are rightly favourites to repeat last year's victory but quotes of around 4/6 are a little prohibitive despite them having by far the strongest squad depth and playing some of the most silky football we have ever seen in this country.
Liverpool will be hoping the return of Virgil van Dijk can catapult them back towards the dominance they showed when cantering to the title in the previous season.
Chelsea are the current Champions League holders and Thomas Tuchel seems to have taken them to another level since his arrival. He first made them very difficult to beat and then made them very difficult to get anything at all against. He seems to have the edge over Pep in head to heads as well, which not many can say.
Manchester United have been in the doldrums relatively speaking compared to their golden years but a second-placed finish last time around, coupled with the arrivals of Sancho, Varane and maybe one or two more before the window closes will give them hope of being able to close the gap.
Outside of the big 4, the likes of Leicester, West Ham, Spurs, Arsenal, Everton and even Leeds will be hoping to break the monopoly and gatecrash the party.
The top 4 being City, United, Liverpool and Chelsea in any order at around the 6/4 mark (Hills) looks a cracking bet. This has landed in the last two seasons and I haven't seen too many reasons during the close season so far to indicate that it won't hose in again.
At the other end of the table, the newly promoted teams will no doubt be up against it from the start in trying to avoid dropping through the trapdoor back to the Championship.
Norwich have a horrendous set of fixtures to start the season, starting off with games against Liverpool, Man City, Leicester and Arsenal. In order to stay up I think it's important to get off to a good start and that will prove incredibly difficult for the Canaries. They have made some nice moves in the transfer market so far but the loss of Emi Buendia to Aston Villa is huge and may well cost them in the long run.
Watford have not made any such moves in the market and time is ticking for them to upgrade to the levels required in order to be competitive this season. If they don’t, then expect the trigger to be pulled on their manager sooner rather than later and the managerial circus that seems to haunt them could be their undoing again.
Brentford look best equipped of the new boys to stay up, the addition of Frank Onyeka, on paper at least, looks like an excellent buy. On the flip side the departure of Emi Marcondes could see them lose some creativity going forward. It's important that Ivan Toney stays fit as their main source of goals.
Ultimately though, their playing style could cost them in this league. Teams who come up and try to play football tend to struggle at this level. If they can adapt and dig in when the chips are down they have a chance, if they can’t then they will drop out of the league after just one season and who knows how many more attempts it may take to get back.
Other candidates for the drop are Crystal Palace. The 9/2 available at the back end of last season for them to go down this time around is long gone. Personally I think the price has gone a bit too far the other way now at around 6/4 and Patrick Viera is actually making a good job so far of the squad overhaul that was badly needed.
Burnley and Newcastle are next favourites in the betting to go down, both are pretty well established sides nowadays and it seems a stretch to think they will be in major trouble at the end of the year. At a price, Wolves (5/1) could be candidates having lost their manager but the majority of their squad has stayed together so far and the return of Raul Jimenez will be like a new signing for them.
All told, it looks like the promoted teams could be the three to go straight back down and a price of around 19/1 makes some appeal for that to be the case. Statistically it doesn't happen as often as you might think, but there are good reasons to believe that this season it could be on the cards.
Finally, if you double up the Top 4 bet and the Relegation treble you can get a very tasty looking 33/1 with William Hill and that is my pick of the bunch.