With the World Cup having come to a close, attention turns back to the Premier League with pre-season already in full swing. It was a dramatic term last year at both ends of the table and this year’s campaign is set to be just as enthralling.
The Easyodds.com football tipster Tom Powell has picked out his top five Premier League bets ahead of the 2014-15 Premier League season…
Harry Redknapp has made some shrewd moves already in the transfer market with the acquisitions of Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker to add to a squad that already possesses plenty of Premier League experience.
A massive 21 of QPR’s current 25 man squad have plied their trade in this division in the past and that is a bulk of experience unrivalled by the other two promoted clubs, Leicester and Burnley. Both lack quality in key areas and while they have squads that handled the Championship with ease I have doubts about whether they can step up. It’s also worth noting that unlike Redknapp, Burnley boss Sean Dyche and Leicester boss Nigel Pearson lack knowledge of the top league and how to stay in it.
Carrying on from my last selection I don’t hold out much hope for Burnley in their quest to avoid a swift return to the Championship. So far Sean Dyche has brought in Championship quality footballers and possesses a squad with little experience of playing in the top division. In fact only Matt Taylor, Steven Reid, Michael Kightly and Matt Gilks have spent significant time in the Premier League and none of them particularly stand out as Premier League quality players.
Burnley relied heavily on their defence last term as they clocked up the best defensive record in the division but they’ll do well to keep Premier League sides at bay this term. For a side that finished second they also had a modest goalscoring record with Danny Ings and Sam Vokes relied up to get the goals (they netted over half of Burnley’s goals last term) and I fancy the step up will be too much for them to handle.
According to the bookmakers the top seven in the Premier League places are wrapped up already so it’s three from 13 to make up the rest of the top half. A dreadful start put pay to West Ham’s chances of earning a top 10 finish last term but some decent summer business has put them in a good position to make a better go of it this term.
Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia should offer some extra firepower up front while Aaron Cresswell and Cheikhou Kouyate look shrewd appointments at the back. Compared to the sides that finished in and around the Hammers last term (Southampton, Palace, Swansea, Sunderland, Stoke) the East Londoners have made the better signings so should be well in with a chance of sneaking into the top half.
The top scorer market is always an intriguing market there are plenty of big names in the running to win the Golden Boot this term. RVP was in decent form at the World Cup and crucially stayed fit and if he manages a full season this term he’ll have every chance of netting enough goals to earn the top scorer award for the third time. The other two occasions he has scooped the prize are the only two occasions has played all 38 games of a campaign while no European football will also aid his chances of staying fit.
Sergio Aguero has had an injury hit year, Diego Costa is new to the division and Wayne Rooney doesn’t play as an out and out forward so the Dutchman doesn’t have too much competition in this market.
City have outscored the rest of the Premier League in two of the last three seasons and stepped up their scoring record last year as they netted 102 goals (scored 66 in the 2012/13 campaign). With the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure getting forward there’s no shortage of players that can find the net with those three alone netting 53 while the rest of the squad chipped in with 49. In fact Man City managed to find 14 different players to find the net in the league last term.
Second in the betting for this market is Chelsea though Jose Mourinho sides are built around solid defences rather than potent attacks and the Blues were 31 goals behind Man City last term. Liverpool were just a goal behind City but will now have to make do without Luis Suarez while after them Arsenal came closest to outscoring City but were still 34 goals adrift.
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