Premiership fans have been treated to a frenetic transfer window this summer as top clubs have splashed some serious cash, and it is almost time to see the new arrivals in action. We are just a couple of weeks away from the start of the 2017/18 Premiership fore and here we analyze the main contenders to seize the title, along with the odds on them doing so:
City have broken the record for the largest spend in a single transfer window after parting with more than £200 million to bolster their squad this summer. They finished third last season, which was Pep Guardiola’s first in charge at the club and his first ever trophy less campaign. To rectify matters he is turning to full-backs – yes, full-backs – and the club has spent around £130 million on three new arrivals in this department. Claudio Bravo was a disaster last season so Guardiola has also broken the world record for a goalkeeper and signed 23-year-old Ederson, an uncapped Brazilian, from Benfica. Despite the extravagant spend, Guardiola has failed to address his side’s biggest flaw, central defense, and right now odds of 15/8 look a little low on City.
City may have stolen that record by spending like it is going out of fashion, but they will not keep it for long if Roman Abramovich has his way. Chelsea have already spent more than £100 million on Alvaro Morata and Timoue Bakayoko, two very strong players that will improve the Blues in key areas, and they are set to take their summer spending to £250 million by going for four more targets. That will keep title-winning boss Antonio Conte happy. The Italian outfoxed Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and all the rest last season to claim the title in his maiden season, and Chelsea were by far the best team in the land. It is amazing to see them as second favourites, all the way out at 7/2, given their strength and their ambition in the market. They already had a phenomenal spine in Thibaut Courtois, N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard and have grown even stronger with Morata and Bakayoko. This is the team to back as Conte can become just the third manager in Premiership history to win back-to-back titles. He has the tactical nous and the man management skills to make it happen. It is a competitive league with lots of contenders, so take a moment to examine Sports Interaction and get ready to manage your money wisely, but Chelsea stand out as the ones to beat.
Mourinho’s men are third favourites at 4/1 but that seems hard to justify after they finished sixth last season. They have spent £75 million on Romelu Lukaku but lost top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and parted with Wayne Rooney. They have also signed Victor Lindelof, but they were already strong defensively. Where they struggled last season was creating chances and sticking the ball in the back of the net, causing them to draw far too many games, so until they sign some creative geniuses they must be ruled out.
Spurs look a fantastic each-way option at 10/1 after finishing third in 2015/16 and second last season. They have not spent a penny and have lost Kyle Walker as part of Guardiola’s full-back frenzy, but they have a young and improving squad full of many of the league’s best players. Harry Kane and Dele Alli are worth £300 million between them in this current market, while Spurs have great strength in central midfield and in defence, with a great coach in Mauricio Pocchetino.
The Gunners are another interesting long-shot at 12/1 as they will not be lumbered with the burden of Champions League football and can focus solely on improving their performances in the league. A lot will depend on their ability to retain the services of in-demand Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez, but if they keep hold of him and team him up with Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and maybe Thomas Lemar they will have a frightening attack. Still, defensive and mental frailties will be a worry and a better option would be the even money on them getting back into the top four.
The Reds have gone out to 14/1 after a relatively quiet summer in the transfer market. Mohamed Salah is a shrewd acquisition as Liverpool struggled badly whenever Sadio Mane missed out last season and were clearly in need of another pacey wide man, but there is a fear that their squad is not big or strong enough to handle the rigours of the Champions League and mount a serious title challenge, so it might be advisable to hold off on them unless they dip into the transfer market more. Everton are also ambitious but they are not quite at the level of challenging for the title yet. Right now the best bets look to be Chelsea outright and Tottenham each-way.