Premier League Tips 2015/16

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
ChelseaPremier League – To Win Outright15/8Coral
Chelsea/Man CityDual Forecast9/4BetVictor, Sky Bet
Chelsea/Man C/Arsenal/Man UTop Four Exact Order20/1Sky Bet
Sergio AgueroPremier League – Top Goalscorer3/1Bet365, Paddy Power
Diego CostaPremier League – Top Goalscorer6/1Paddy Power
Saido Berahino (ew)Premier League – Top Goalscorer66/1Ladbrokes, Coral
Eden Hazard (ew)Premier League – Top Goalscorer25/1Paddy Power

Last Season’s Odds

Chelsea were the bookmakers 2/1 favourites to win the 2014/15 Premier League, followed by Manchester City (13/5), Manchester United (5/1) and Arsenal (13/2).

Of course, those pre-season odds were almost exactly right, with Chelsea winning the title and City runners-up, although Arsenal finished third ahead of United.

2015/16 Favourites

And according to the bookies, it is a four horse race again, with Chelsea favourites at best odds of 15/8 with Coral. By contrast, Betfred offer just 11/8 on Jose Mourinho’s men but offer the best price of 3/1 on the second favourites, Manchester City.

Arsenal have been cut to 4/1 (generally) following their Charity Shield win over Chelsea, while Manchester United are a stand-out 11/2 with Ladbrokes.

Next up in the betting is Liverpool, who can be backed at 28/1 with Bet365Sky Bet and Ladbrokes, while Tottenham are available at 150/1 with Ladbrokes.

Only two clubs in the last 13 seasons have won the Premier League having been bigger than 4/1 in the betting pre-season – Man City won in 2011/12 having been 9/2 at the start of the season, while for the 2006/7 season Man United were available at a hard to believe price of 13/2 (Chelsea were 4/9).

Although there are four contenders in betting terms, it would certainly be a huge surprise if the bookmakers’ favourites didn’t finish either first or second, as they have done for the last 11 seasons – on six occasions winning the title.

Chelsea

Chelsea wrapped up the title a full three games from the close of last season and we are surprised they can be backed at as big a price of 15/8 – they may not have added greatly to their squad, but they have two players capable of playing every position – and with Eden Hazard (player of the year) and Diego Costa (20 league goals from 26 appearances) they have at least two stand out performers. In fact, we would suggest they have three or even four – Cesc Fabregas (most assists with 18), and Thibaut Courtois (17 clean sheets last season) must be the best in the league too. So, it is not surprising that Chelsea led the field for 274 days last season.

Radamel Falcao is an intriguing addition to the Blues squad– we feel that Jose Mourinho will get more out of him than Louis van Gaal did. Costa’s hamstring is the only real concern we have, but Loic Remy proved at the back end of last season that he is more than capable of putting the ball in the back of the net.

We suggest having a maximum bet on Chelsea at those odds of 15/8 with Coral.

Manchester City

Manchester City have finished in the top two in each of the last four seasons, twice Champions and twice runners-up.

They were well placed to defend their title at the start of 2015, tied top of the table with Chelsea, but probably only a strong finish (winning their last 6 games) was enough to save Manuel Pellegrini’s job after 5 defeats from mid-Jan to mid-April.

That finishing burst (averaging 3 goals a game) does act as a reminder of what they are capable of – finishing the season as top goalscorers (10 more than Chelsea).

Once again they have spent big over the summer with the arrivals of Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph, while rumours abound of other big name signings that might arrive before the transfer window closes.

We recommend taking the 9/4 with BetVictor or Sky Bet on the Chelsea/Man City ‘dual forecast’ (to finish 1-2 in any order), as Manuel Pellegrini’s side still look to us the only team that could upset Chelsea.

Arsenal / Manchester United

Both Arsenal and Manchester United have made positive acquisitions, with United gaining both experience and promise in the form of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay, plus proven Premier League class in Morgan Schneiderlin, while Arsenal now have a world class goalkeeper in Petr Cech to add to an already strong side that includes Alexis Sanchez, who scored 16 goals in his first season.

The Gunners have particularly impressed in pre-season, but you can’t help feeling that both squads still lack a world class striker and defender and from a betting perspective we would rather have a speculative bet on an exact repeat of last seasons top four finishing positions at odds 20/1 with Sky Bet.

Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers went so close to securing a first Premier League title for the Reds two seasons ago. We mentioned earlier that rarely do sides win the Premier League having started the season at odds of greater than 4/1. Well, Liverpool nearly blew that stat out of the window in 2013/14 as they were available at 33/1 pre-season.

That might offer some comfort to Liverpool fans considering those odds of 28/1 with Bet365Sky Bet or Ladbrokes this time around. They have certainly spent a lot in the summer, with the likes of Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and James Milner unquestionably strengthening their squad. But the porous defence that was their Achilles heel two seasons ago and remained unsealed last season will not have been solved with the arrival of talented youngsters Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez.

Top Goalscorer

Golden BootThe top goal scorer market is an interesting affair. Both Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero will score plenty of league goals and arguably are head and shoulders above the other contenders – but both struggled with injuries last season. So, while they are rightly first and second favourites to win the Golden Boot, you are taking a slight risk that they will play enough games.

Aguero took the title last season with 26 goals in 30 games, but twice he has failed to play more than 30 league games for City. Diego Costa scored 20 goals in just 26 league games to finish third in the goal scoring lists.

With injury concerns over the two favourites, you can go one of two ways. Either back both Costa or Aguero in the belief that both of them are unlikely to get injured for long periods, or back neither. Our suggestion is to back both of them (best price coupled is around 6/4).

But who else will score more goals than them even if they do play under 30 games?

Every season one striker out performs his odds – last year it was Harry Kane who was available at 250/1 pre-season and went on to notch 21 goals to finish runner-up to Aguero. Last season only five players scored more than the 14 goals of Saido Berahino (66/1 Ladbrokes, Coral) and he looks more likely than Kane to improve on last season’s return – they might even end up as team-mates.

It’s been many years since an out and out striker didn’t take the Golden Boot (2007/8 – Ronaldo), but if there was one player to consider from midfield it would be Eden Hazard who will play most games, seems robust and takes Chelsea penalties.

He is worth a small each way interest at 25/1 with Paddy Power (1/4 odds, 4 places), especially as they are offering customers who bet £20 on this market a £2 free bet every time that player scores a goal this season – that would have been £28 of free bets in each of the last two seasons.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
ChelseaPremier League – To Win Outright15/8Coral
Chelsea/Man CityDual Forecast9/4BetVictor, Sky Bet
Chelsea/Man C/Arsenal/Man UTop Four Exact Order20/1Sky Bet
Sergio AgueroPremier League – Top Goalscorer3/1Bet365, Paddy Power
Diego CostaPremier League – Top Goalscorer6/1Paddy Power
Saido Berahino (ew)Premier League – Top Goalscorer66/1Ladbrokes, Coral
Eden Hazard (ew)Premier League – Top Goalscorer25/1Paddy Power