The Premier League returns: A reminder of the odds
The news we had all been waiting for was finally released yesterday, the Premier League's return is now only three weeks away.
After a three-and-a-half month sabbatical, the English top-flight will resume behind-closed-doors on Wednesday 17 June. Manchester City v Arsenal and Aston Villa v Sheffield United will be the first two matches played, to take every club in the Premier League up to the 29 game mark.
There will then be a full round of fixtures across the weekend of June 19-21, with each game being shown live on Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime or BBC - 29 of which will be free to air.
With such a long break between the last ball being kicked and the return of the Premier League, it's easy to forget which clubs find themselves where in the division. With this in mind, BettingOdds.com have highlighted some of the key odds to look out for upon the top-flight's return.
The battle for fourth is on
With Liverpool now priced at 1/1000 to be crowned Premier League winners, and just three wins away from mathematically claiming the trophy, there is little point in talking about who will win the division this season.
Punters can get Manchester City at 40/1 (a 2.4% chance) to cause what would be the greatest comeback in top-flight history and win the league ahead of the Reds, but we all know that isn't happening.
The real value lies in which teams will finish in the top-four this term. With Liverpool and City all but cementing their position in the Champions League next season (UEFA investigation permitting for the latter), and third-placed Leicester also looking confirmed for the 2020-21 competition, the battle for fourth is mainly between Chelsea, Manchester United, Wolves, Sheffield United, Tottenham and Arsenal.
The team currently occupying fourth is Chelsea, who before the break found themselves in patchy form with two wins and three draws in their previous seven games. The Blues are 8/15 to finish in the top-four come the end of the campaign, but need to regain some consistency if they are to do so.
Manchester United trail Frank Lampard's side by just three points and are 9/5 to seal a place in next season's Champions League. The Red Devils have once again endured a turbulent campaign but were just hitting a bit of form before football's postponement in early March, beating rivals Manchester City 2-0 at Old Trafford in their last game.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side face a favourable run-in from now until the end of the season, with games against Bournemouth, Southampton, West Ham, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa all viewed as winnable fixtures; they could well be worth a bet at 9/5.
Sixth-placed Wolves will also fancy their chances of breaking into the Premier League's top-four. Nuno Espirito Santo's side face five teams from the bottom half of the division in their remaining games, starting with a trip to Midland's rivals Aston Villa who have been less than impressive this term.
Wolves are currently just five points behind Chelsea but could easily close that gap with a strong finish - if you fancy them to break into the top-four, you can get them at 8/1.
Surprise packages Sheffield United are also still in contention. Chris Wilder's side have blown many sides away with how well they've coped with the Premier League this season and currently lie seventh in the table - level on points with Wolves (43) but behind on goal difference.
The Blades are of course an outside shout for Champions League football next season, priced at 17/1, but stranger things have happened in this magnificently unpredictable league.
North London duo Tottenham (16/1) and Arsenal (20/1) will both have a huge job on their hands to close the gap on the rest of the chasing pack, with cementing a spot in next season's Europa League probably a more realistic achievement for them at this stage.
The pair sit seven and eight points behind Chelsea respectively, though Arsenal do have a game in hand - albeit away at Manchester City - and Spurs do have two of their best players returning from injury in Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. With that said, an outside punt on Jose Mourinho's side could well prove a shrewd move.
Thanks for coming
The other major market to consider with your upcoming Premier League football bets is which sides are facing the dreaded drop. The table is currently exceptionally tight at the bottom, with only six points standing between rock-bottom Norwich and 17th-place Watford.
Aston Villa occupy the second relegation spot in 19th as things stand but could climb out of that with a win over Sheffield United on June 17, which would see Nigel Pearson's Hornets sucked back into the bottom-three.
Villa are 4/11 shots for the drop, and with games against the likes of Wolves, Chelsea, Sheffield United, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool all approaching, their hopes of remaining in the top-flight do seem slim.
Norwich sit bottom of the league but could easily claw themselves away from danger with a strong end to their campaign.
With five home games left to play - three of which are against sides in and around them at the foot of the table (Brighton, West Ham, Southampton) - could we see Daniel Farke's side pull off the Great Escape? The bookies aren't confident, giving them a 92% chance of relegation (1/12).
Bournemouth currently sit 18th in the Premier League and found themselves in poor form prior to football's postponement with just one win in five.
The Cherries have been inconsistent all season long and could well find themselves relegated from the top-flight should their form not take a dramatic upturn. 8/11 shots for the drop, Eddie Howe's side are being given a 58% chance of relegation by the bookies.
Watford, who lie 17th at the moment and priced at 23/10 for the drop, are far from safe. With games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester City all on the horizon, the Hornets desperately need to pick up points against the likes of Burnley, West Ham, Southampton, Norwich and Newcastle in their remaining other fixtures.
The same can be said for both West Ham and Brighton, who sit precariously above the drop zone on 27 and 29 points respectively. A positive run of results from now until the end of the campaign could rescue both sides, though they could easily be suckered into the bottom-three with a lacklustre finale.
14th-placed Southampton look safe after flirting with relegation for large parts of the season. Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have a seven-point cushion on the bottom-three at this point in time, but are not yet mathematically clear from the drop - priced at 55/1 for Premier League relegation (that's a 1.8% chance of them going down according to the bookies).
*All odds from Paddy Power