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Football Tips Chelsea - Goal Celebration

Published on August 13th, 2013 | by Sportingly Better Tipster

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Premier League Preview 2013/2014 – Title Predictions

With less than a week to go until the start of the Premiership season, Premier League betting expert Barrie takes a look at the best bets in the ante-post betting markets, with a stand-out bet in the outright winner market.

Football Betting Odds

Chelsea – 3.25
Manchester City – 3.25
Manchester United  – 3.50
Arsenal – 11.00
Liverpool – 26.00
Tottenham – 34.00

Heading into the 2013/2014 Premier League season, the football odds at the top of the table have not been so close for a long, long time.  What is often a two-horse race heading into the season has expanded into three teams, with Chelsea and Manchester City having been made joint favourites and Manchester United narrowly behind at 3.50.

All three favourites for the Premier League season are the same three teams who finished in the top three positions last season, with all three clubs having changed their manager over the summer.

Chelsea

The return of José Mourinho back at Chelsea (3.25) has seen the clubs odds drop from third favourites to joint favourites.

The ‘Special One’, or the ‘Happy One’ as he prefers to be called these days, won the title in two of his previous three seasons with the Blues.

Chelsea have not made any major marquee signings so far this summer, but André Schürrle lokos a good acquisition.  The German international can operate in both wide positions, but is also versatile enough to play up front if required.  Last season, full-back Ryan Bertrand and central midfielder Ramires both spent time on the wing, but having someone natural and skilled in that position in Schürrle is definitely an upgrade for the club.

Young Dutch signing Marco van Ginkel arrived from Vitesse this summer after being involved in a number of goals for the surprise title challengers in the Eredivisie last season. Van Ginkel faces plenty of competition in the centre of midfield for a starting place, but the Netherlands international has been heavily involved pre-season, which suggests he may be in line for action at the start of the season.

José Mourinho worked wonders with the Chelsea defence in his first season in the Premier League, with the Blues setting a record for the fewest goals conceded in 2004-05 (15).

Manchester City

Roberto Mancini has been replaced with Manuel Pellegrini ahead of the coming season, with the ‘Engineer’ becoming the first Chilean to manage in the Premier League.

Pellegrini inherits a bunch of talented players at Manchester City (3.25), which have been boosted by the arrivals of Fernandinho, Jesús Navas, Álvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetić. Fernandinho gives Pellegrini another option in the middle of midfield, whilst Jesús Navas adds natural width to the right wing; something Manchester City lacked under Roberto Mancini.  The Spaniard is rapid and whilst he didn’t score a single goal in La Liga last season he does create a number of opportunities.

Álvaro Negredo is yet another option up front  with the Spain international having recorded double figures in each of his last six seasons in La Liga.

Manchester City conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League last season, which should give Pellegrini a base to build from at the back.

Manchester United

The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson saw David Moyes take the hot seat at the Theatre of Dreams and the former Everton manager will be only the second manager to take charge of Manchester United during the Premier League era.

Manchester United were the favourites for the Premier League title back in June, but a week ahead of the start of the season and the Red Devils are as distant as third favourites.  A poor pre-season campaign and a lack of faith in a manager who has never won a major trophy, coupled with the two favourites strengthening their sides has seen the reigning champions fall out of favour.

The Red Devils have also failed to attract a playmaking midfielder to Old Trafford, with Thiago Alcântara choosing a reunion with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich and Cesc Fàbregas deciding to stay at Barcelona.

Wayne Rooney’s transfer saga has taken up a lot of air time this summer which can’t have made it easy on their new manager.

Verdict
I wouldn’t be surprised if the league becomes a two horse race between Chelsea and Manchester City.  David Moyes may have proven to be a sound tactician at Everton but he’s unproven managing a team full of stars and has not had a successful season in Europe, nor a campaign in the Champions League for that matter.

Manchester United were deserved champions last season, but Chelsea and Manchester City have both strengthened this summer.  Mourinho is an upgrade at manager and having not been a big fan of Mancini, I think Pellegrini will be an upgrade for City too.

Chelsea need to solve their striker issue with both Fernando Torres and Demba Ba failing to score a great deal last season.  Romelu Lukaku looks to be a solid option based on his performance at West Bromwich Albion last season though.

Manchester City have a great deal of depth and a number of strikers capable of scoring.  They have the potential to scare the league with the attacking options they have and really should not have a problem fielding a fearful strike force in every game this season.  It will ultimately depend on how the new squad blends together and what Pellegrini can get out of them.

I’m leaning towards Chelsea winning the title though, ahead of Pellegrini’s Manchester City.

Recommend Bets
Chelsea to win the Premier League @3.25
Chelsea to finish top two @1.66

The Football Betting View: Sportingly Better

Manchester United look like the side to oppose this year, with Sir Alex Ferguson having left and a lack of marquee signings at the club. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Ryan Giggs are all a year older and despite the impressive pre-season form of Wilfried Zaha and young Belgium midfielder Adnan Januzaj, the Red Devils could still lose wantaway striker Wayne Rooney.

Manchester City have heavily strengthened their ranks to the tune of almost £90 million and will be difficult to stop should Pellegrini be able to organise his new squad accordingly. The Citizens firepower remains a menacing proposition, whilst the experience and leadership of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure could prove invaluable for the north west club.

Chelsea’s forward thinking approach under Roman Abramovich has saw the Blues spend more sparingly and intelligently this season, with the Europa League holders even allowing Thibaut Courtois to spend another season at Atletico Madrid. The Stamford Bridge clubs striking options remain Chelsea’s biggest worry, but much will depend on the form of Romelu Lukaku and the possible arrival of Wayne Rooney to west London.

Recommended Bets
Dutch on Chelsea/Manchester City @6.50 and Manchester City/Chelsea @6.50 in the Straight Forecast market

Author Credit: Barrie’s View (@BarriesView)
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensutherland/

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