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Premier League Winner Betting: Reds overpriced for back-to-back titles

Premier League Winner Betting: Liverpool secured the title by 18 points last season
Premier League Winner Betting: Liverpool secured the title by 18 points last season

After winning 26 of their first 27 league games in the 2019/20 season Liverpool went on to claim their first league title in 30 years. This weekend arrives a fresh new season and I’m expecting a much closer title race this time around than the 18-point margin that decided victory for the Reds last season. 

Last season saw one of the most dominant Premier League performances from Liverpool and I fully expect them to be right up there again this campaign. The way they had the title wrapped up just after Christmas was flawless and Jurgen Klopp has created a winning culture on Merseyside that has made the club one of the leading sports teams in the world. 

I do think that the way Liverpool came off the back of winning a Champions League played a big part in them starting last season so well, and the players will have to work even harder this season with the shortened break due to the coronavirus crisis. If it wasn’t for a dropped point to Burnley at home last season the Reds would have won every home game, and you have to go back to 2017 to find their last defeat at Anfield in the league which came against Crystal Palace.

What this team has that I feel Manchester City are lacking at times is a backbone. The spine of the team from Alisson, Virgil Van Dijk, Jordan Henderson through to Mo Salah is what holds them together and in VVD I believe they possess the greatest centre-half currently in world football. 

One area for concern however is the lack of signings this summer. All other top-six clubs have strengthened their squad’s however Liverpool have taken a more cautious approach due to the current financial climate. The front-three of Salah, Mane and Firmino are as good as any in the world, however, and I’m backing them to go on and claim back-to-back titles.

Manchester City are now priced at 8/11 in the Premier League Betting market, which seems incredibly short for my liking. Pep Guardiola’s side were beaten seven times on the road during last term and it’s clear they have to improve their away record if they are to clinch the title.

Yes City did score 102 goals last season, more than anyone else in the league, however there were clear defensive frailties at times, making the potential signing of Koulibaly absolutely huge. City have also improved their squad with the signings of Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake, though, so it will be interesting to see how they fare at the Etihad this season. 

Another factor that points the dial to City coming out winners this season is that their rivals Liverpool massively over-performed according to the expected goals (Xg) theory. If Liverpool do not improve this I feel over the course of a season it could see City edging ahead. Despite keeping the most clean sheets in the league last time round City suffered defeats to teams such as Norwich, Southampton and Wolves and that ability to grind out results away from home was not there last season and will need to change.

Another doubt I have for Pep’s side is Sergio Aguero. He’s still a world-class striker but his injury at the end of last season brings in some cause of concern. When Aguero plays, City are a better side and have that clinical finishing that is required, especially in games against other top-six sides. I’m a fan of Gabriel Jesus but I think he needs another few years to mature into a top-class Premier League striker. He can be wasteful at times and seems to let it impact him mentally when missing a chance. Keeping Aguero fit is paramount for Pep and they will need him firing on all cylinders in the 20/21 season.  

Chelsea achieved a top-four finish last time out, a very respectable achievement for Frank Lampard considering it was his first full season at the club and they were under transfer embargo when he joined. The Blues finished the season strongly, however I don’t see them challenging for the title this season.

The fact that Chelsea conceded 54 goals last season, the most of any team in the top-10 is a damning stat in my eyes. It’s clear that they need to improve at the back with Burnley, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United all conceding considerably less goals than Lampard’s side last season. 

It’s been no secret this summer that Roman Abramovich has been splashing the cash once again. The club has brought in no less than six players in the form of Thiago Silva, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Malang Sarr. Thiago Silva’s organisational skills and experience should help the defence but transformations in title challenging sides do not just happen overnight.

Yes Lampard is slowly gathering the appropriate pieces of the jigsaw, but Rome was not built in a day. The levels of consistency shown by both Liverpool and Manchester City over the last two seasons are mind blowing. Liverpool have collected 196 points over the last two seasons with City collecting 179, and to get anywhere near their rivals Chelsea will have to improve fourfold.

I still have doubts over whether Lampard yet possesses the pedigree to beat managers such as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp in the big games and their record against the top-six needs to improve with domestic defeats to Manchester United, City and Liverpool coming last season. 

When it comes to the best of the rest, I feel Manchester United look the most likely to finish in the top-four with the above three teams. Bruno Fernandes has given them a new lease of life and the players appeared to play with a lot more freedom in the second half of last term. 

Consistency again though is key and I feel United can be an easy puzzle to solve at times and often have no plan B as the dropped points at home to Southampton and West Ham at Old Trafford showed in the last couple of games of last season.

At 9/4 Liverpool look the most logical bet here for me. There’s no chance I would be wading on the 8/11 available on the Cityzens. Personally I think Liverpool will beat Chelsea in their second league fixture which will see them shorten considerably in the market. 

I also think after last season that if Liverpool can get a lead of around nine points or more over City then after last season it would be too much of a mental hurdle for the Sky Blues to recover from. For this reason I’d advise backing the Reds with bet365, who will pay you out as a winner if your team goes 10 or more points clear in the league this season.

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