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Odds and Value: Premier League Title Contenders

Judging by the start of the season, we are in for one of the most exciting Premier League campaigns in this decade. While Manchester City and Liverpool have been miles away from the rest of the field in the last couple of years, it seems we are finally going to get multi-outfit combat until the very final stages. The Reds and the Citizens remain the two major forces in the championship, but they have shown signs of vulnerability so far and we wouldn't be surprised to see the likes of Tottenham or Chelsea outscoring them at the end of the season. Is this what the bookies predict, though?

British bookmakers fancy Man City and Liv’pool

Despite a shaky start to the campaign for the main two contenders, bookmakers still see them as massive favorites to lift the trophy. Pep Guardiola’s troops are thus 6/4 (2.50) to regain the title as reported by BettingTips4You.com, being just slightly ahead of the reigning champions who are 13/8 (2.62) to defend the crown. The mere look at the standings and the overall circumstances in the division does little to back up such expectations, though.

Pep Guardiola’s attacking woes

The main favorites, Man City, won just two of their five opening affairs conceding as many as eight goals in the process. In Pep’s defense, he had a lot of injury woes to deal with, namely with his attacking line-up. Sergio Aguero has only featured two of these games without producing any returns up front. Kevin De Bruyne also struggled with fitness, while Gabriel Jesus should not be back before Matchday No 8 or 9. Raheem Sterling is far from his best at the start of the season, much like the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva who have both failed to provide in such circumstances. The only bright figure is Phil Foden who took advantage of the situation to shine whenever he got an opportunity to feature. You can obviously never underestimate such a star-studded line-up and there are no doubts the likes of De Bruyne, Aguero, and Sterling will eventually find the right shape at some point. However, for now, we don’t quite understand such low odds offered for the Citizens to go all the way.

Jurgen Klopp’s defensive troubles

Liverpool have finally managed to win the league last season. It was their maiden title since the competition is called the Premier League. However, they will face hard times in an attempt to defend it, much harder than people thought a month ago. The Reds are joint-leaders with Everton after six weeks, but they have major issues to think about ahead of the remaining part of the season. Unlike his Spanish colleague Pep, Jurgen Klopp has massive problems at the opposite end of the pitch. The heart of Liverpool’s defense, Virgil Van Dijk, suffered a tough injury in the fifth round’s Merseyside Derby against Everton following a brutal challenge from Pickford. The Dutchman will be sidelined for at least half a year, leaving the back line with the likes of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, and Fabinho (who is a defensive midfielder forced to play as centre-back). Moving forward, the Reds have leaked as many as 14 goals in 6 outings and they have suffered a demolishing 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa in the fourth round. The Reds kept just one clean sheet in six matches. Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are getting the job done on the other end, but can such a team with such a defensive line be a huge favorite to win the league? With all due respect to the club and Klopp, we don’t think so. There is zero value in the 13/8 odds offered for them to clinch the title.

Spurs, Chelsea, Someone Else?

Tottenham and Chelsea might profit heavily from everything written above. Jose Mourinho’s squad are flying high in the final third at the beginning of the season, led by the league’s best duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. Although their defense is troublesome and although they lack a champions pedigree, the Spurs seem well worth backing to win the competition at massive 8/1 (9.00) odds.

Chelsea’s transfer ban is finally over and they took advantage by rocking some superb transfers this summer. The Blues have strengthened their attacking line-up by adding the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech. The attacking line with the former Leipzig talisman up front and a super-talented trio Havertz, Ziyech, and Pulisic looks lethal. Believe it or not, this team is 14/1 (15.00) to win the league. The value is just too good to be ignored.

Finally, we will complete the list of potential underdog contenders by mentioning the likes of Manchester United (20/1) and Everton (40/1). Arsenal are also 40/1, but we can hardly imagine them in the Top 4 with limited quality. Anyways, the battle for the crown should be much more exciting than the bookies predict.