StevieDay1983

2018/19 Premier League Ante-Post Betting

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The ante-post odds are up for the 2018/19 Premier League season. I am delighted to see that Cardiff are ranked as 2001.00 underdogs to win the title. Better odds than Leicester were the season they won it! It seems crazy to look beyond Manchester City but with the summer transfer window still to play out right now could be the time to take a punt on a rival at those prices.

@Mindfulness, @Pep004, @MaliMisko12, @betcatalog, @sajtion, @godofhorses, @Tiffy, @waynecoyne, @The Sexless Innkeeper, @Magic0024, @malabgd, @Duke_Tm, @dogmeister, @Arkadi Manucharov, @derbent, @fat, @allyhibs, @6avin24, @discipline, @the bastardian, @Bronxie, @Bett@KikoCy, @teddybear3011, @markus808, @allthethings, @Kenton Schweppes, @vasilli07, @Dylan Lynch, @neilovan, @JKos, @zemo91, @jamiedavies02, @kulikTS, @mrclubbie, @Judeksi, @Henind666, @Teodore, @kilkenny1, @PokerWolf1, @Dave1X2, and @AndreBR, what do you guys think of these odds?

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1 hour ago, StevieDay1983 said:

The ante-post odds are up for the 2018/19 Premier League season. I am delighted to see that Cardiff are ranked as 2001.00 underdogs to win the title. Better odds than Leicester were the season they won it! It seems crazy to look beyond Manchester City but with the summer transfer window still to play out right now could be the time to take a punt on a rival at those prices.

@Mindfulness, @Pep004, @MaliMisko12, @betcatalog, @sajtion, @godofhorses, @Tiffy, @The Sexless Innkeeper@Magic0024@malabgd@Duke_Tm@dogmeister@Arkadi Manucharov@derbent@fat@allyhibs@6avin24@discipline@the bastardian@Bronxie@Bett@KikoCy@teddybear3011@markus808@allthethings@Kenton Schweppes@vasilli07@Dylan Lynch@neilovan@JKos@zemo91@jamiedavies02@kulikTS@mrclubbie@Judeksi@Henind666@Teodore@kilkenny1@PokerWolf1@Dave1X2@AndreBR

Congrats @StevieDay1983 on returning to the big time! Can't wait to see what fresh and bizarre litigation Vincent Tan will try and bring against the mighty Palace this season. Be good to have your insights on Cardiff over the course of the season + 'month of Warnock being handed his P45' betting market will hopefully be available soon.

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As for the EPL winners market, I have compiled a list of players from last season's top 4 who are at the world cup this summer. Generally a good idea to anticipate potential mental and physical fatigue following a world cup. I'm not tracking Chelsea or Arsenal because realistically I do not think they will have the budgets to compete for the title + they have to deal with Europa League football.

Obviously the lists are subject to change due to the transfer window, I will try and update when I can. Take note of players that go deep in the tournament.

Manchester City (16 players): GK Ederson, CB Kompany, CB Otamendi, CB Stones, RB Walker, LB Mendy, LB Danilo, DM Fernandinho, DM Gundogan, DM Delph, CM D.Silva, CM De Bruyne, RM B.Silva, FW Sterling, FW Aguero, FW Jesus

Mendy in italics because he should be aided rather than hindered by competitive game time after a long injury.

Liverpool (9 players): GK Alisson, GK Mignolet, CB Lovren, RB Alexander-Arnold, CM Henderson, FW Salah, FW Mane, FW Firmino, FW Shaqiri

Manchester Utd (12 players): GK de Gea, CB Jones, CB Rojo, CB Lindelof, DM Matic, DM Fellaini, CM Fred, CM Pogba, LM Young, FW Lingard FW Rashford, FW Lukaku

Tottenham (12 players): GK Loris, CB Alderweireld, CB Vertonghen, CB Sanchez, RB Trippier, LB Rose, DM Dier, DM Dembele, CM Eriksen, CM Alli, FW Son Heung-min, FW Kane

City have the most players with 16 and it's pretty much the first team. Liverpool have 9 with their defence and midfield getting a nice summers rest. Their front 3 have to stay at the office and don't forget they got to the final stage of the champions league aswell. Liverpool's attack maybe relatively languid in the opening rounds of EPL. Man Utd is a mixed bag with 12, some very important players, some not - Mourinho's summer transfer dealings will be critical to their fortunes next year. Almost all of Tottenham's first team is at the world cup, their squad is not that deep anyway and question marks remain over their transfer budget. They're a very good team but I feel conditions make it difficult for a title win this season.

 

Edited by Mindfulness

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2 hours ago, Mindfulness said:

Congrats @StevieDay1983 on returning to the big time! Can't wait to see what fresh and bizarre litigation Vincent Tan will try and bring against the mighty Palace this season. Be good to have your insights on Cardiff over the course of the season + 'month of Warnock being handed his P45' betting market will hopefully be available soon.

:lol Yeah, it was a bit of a farce last time. I think Vincent has learned a lot over the past few years. He's certainly settled peace with the Cardiff fans but will he be able to stay out of the limelight in the Premier League? When he leaves the PR work to Mehmet Dalman and Ken Choo things work smoothly. Let's hope that continues.

@Mindfulness, that's a good call about the World Cup. I think, with the right signings, Liverpool might be ones to watch. I can definitely see them finishing runners up now they've got Keita and if they can add 1-2 more world class signings then they'll be looking very good.

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On 6/12/2018 at 12:53 PM, Tiffy said:

A bit more consistency from Liverpool, which I think they will have now Van Dyke has signed, and they could be the ones to watch

Yeah, I'd have to agree with that. I'm not convinced that Manchester United or Chelsea will do as well as they did last season. Arsenal should improve under a new manager but it might take time. I think the title should be Manchester City's to lose but Liverpool are not far off. I think Keita is a hell of a signing and exactly what they need. Just need to sort the keeper issue out and they have a quality squad. Still lacking a bit in terms of depth but if I was them I'd keep the likes of Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn and start to introduce them more.

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Manchester City's odds looked a bit too low for me actually. Wouldn't bet on them with that kind of odds. With the odds shown, I'd go for Liverpool and Arsenal.

We've all see last season when Liverpool played well, they are unbeatable. If they can keep their front three fit throughout the season and have a bit more consistency, I think they have a real shout at the title.

Arsenal at odds of 29 is crazy. They are genuine outsiders, but I think with a new manager and new signings coming in, they could have a chance of challenging for the title. Now that they have signed Leno, Sokratis, Lichsteiner and Torreira, I think there is a chance that they can solve last season's shortcomings which is an error prone keeper, leaky defence and a soft midfield. 

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On 7/6/2018 at 6:24 AM, real55555 said:

Manchester City's odds looked a bit too low for me actually. Wouldn't bet on them with that kind of odds. With the odds shown, I'd go for Liverpool and Arsenal.

We've all see last season when Liverpool played well, they are unbeatable. If they can keep their front three fit throughout the season and have a bit more consistency, I think they have a real shout at the title.

Arsenal at odds of 29 is crazy. They are genuine outsiders, but I think with a new manager and new signings coming in, they could have a chance of challenging for the title. Now that they have signed Leno, Sokratis, Lichsteiner and Torreira, I think there is a chance that they can solve last season's shortcomings which is an error prone keeper, leaky defence and a soft midfield. 

I agree about Arsenal. I really rate Unai Emery as a manager and I think he's making all the right moves so far. He's creating more of a team unit than they had previously and that is a good move. Chelsea sacking Antonio Conte and replacing him with one club wonder Maurizio Sarri is a bold move that I think will fail. I also think Jurgen Klopp's loyalty to Loris Karius will hamper their chances. So it's a season when Arsenal could bounce back.

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7 hours ago, Tiffy said:

Liverpool apparently interested in Matt Ryan, Brighton's Aussie GK,

If they are going to replace Karius then they surely want better than that? I mean, I couldn't believe when I read that Arsenal had signed Bernd Leno so cheaply. I know world class keepers are at a premium but I think even an above average keeper is an improvement on Karius. This isn't a judgement purely based on his errors in the Champions League Final. He's long been regarded as not good enough.

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4 hours ago, StevieDay1983 said:

If they are going to replace Karius then they surely want better than that? I mean, I couldn't believe when I read that Arsenal had signed Bernd Leno so cheaply. I know world class keepers are at a premium but I think even an above average keeper is an improvement on Karius. This isn't a judgement purely based on his errors in the Champions League Final. He's long been regarded as not good enough.

Well yeah, Karius is just not good enough for the likes of Liverpool

But MR. is a great shot stopper and also has great distribution. He's not the tallest, and I doubt if he would be first choice, but it's only a rumour & I don't think any Brighton fan that has watched him this season would be surprised if he went to a bigger club.

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14 hours ago, Tiffy said:

Well yeah, Karius is just not good enough for the likes of Liverpool

But MR. is a great shot stopper and also has great distribution. He's not the tallest, and I doubt if he would be first choice, but it's only a rumour & I don't think any Brighton fan that has watched him this season would be surprised if he went to a bigger club.

There were suggestions that Klopp was going to give Danny Ward a go. Now, my limited knowledge of Ward comes from Wales games but I've always been impressed by him. The way he performed in our opening game of Euro 2016 when he was called up last minute to replace an injured Wayne Hennessey knowing how big that game was in our history, how young he was, and how little experience he had at international level. He's seen as the natural future number one for Wales. It's easily forgotten that he was vital in Huddersfield's promotion to the Premier League playing over 40 games for them that season and earning plaudits. I think given time he could be a really good keeper worthy of being Liverpool's number one. He needs time out on loan with a Premier League rival first though in my opinion. Amazed Liverpool haven't loaned him out more.

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On 7/17/2018 at 8:24 PM, StevieDay1983 said:

There were suggestions that Klopp was going to give Danny Ward a go. Now, my limited knowledge of Ward comes from Wales games but I've always been impressed by him. The way he performed in our opening game of Euro 2016 when he was called up last minute to replace an injured Wayne Hennessey knowing how big that game was in our history, how young he was, and how little experience he had at international level. He's seen as the natural future number one for Wales. It's easily forgotten that he was vital in Huddersfield's promotion to the Premier League playing over 40 games for them that season and earning plaudits. I think given time he could be a really good keeper worthy of being Liverpool's number one. He needs time out on loan with a Premier League rival first though in my opinion. Amazed Liverpool haven't loaned him out more.

So latest news is that Liverpool will sign Alisson from AS Roma very soon, terms have been agreed. With Alisson I think they have to regarded as serious contender for the title next season. Van Dijk looks solid, Lovren on a high after the world cup run, Keita in the middle of the park with Henderson and Wijnaldum, and nothing more need to be said about their wingers and striker. If they can keep their first 11 fit, they will give Man City a run for their money. 

However their squad depth looks a bit thin to be honest. This will probably be their undoing if they fail to win the title again.

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23 hours ago, real55555 said:

So latest news is that Liverpool will sign Alisson from AS Roma very soon, terms have been agreed. With Alisson I think they have to regarded as serious contender for the title next season. Van Dijk looks solid, Lovren on a high after the world cup run, Keita in the middle of the park with Henderson and Wijnaldum, and nothing more need to be said about their wingers and striker. If they can keep their first 11 fit, they will give Man City a run for their money. 

However their squad depth looks a bit thin to be honest. This will probably be their undoing if they fail to win the title again.

Yeah, that's the issue. It's the same for Tottenham. Outside of the starting XI, they're still a fairly average team. They are heading in the right direction though. Looks like Ward is off to Leicester with rumours suggesting Schmeichel could be on the way out at the King Power Stadium. I can honestly see Leicester being in trouble either this year or next.

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Pre-Season Projections/ Ratings

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Notes

Obvisouly all stats/ data based and DOES NOT take into any changes to the management/ squad made during the off season, intended to be a starting point before more indepth research. Points projections based on Pythagorean theorom taken over the final 32 matches of last season, newly promoted teams projected points calculated taking into account the performance of past promotoed teams. Margin of victory, goals for and goals against stats are again taken from a teams final 32 matches of last season. All stats and ratings promoted/ relegated sides are their final 2017/18 ratings.

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Liverpool look the bet to me. City only bought mahrez. keita aliisson fabinho shakiri into Liverpool. Dodgy goalie ditched . that's a shock dodgy keepers are liverpools trademark.

midfield reinforcements look good . shakiri x factor from the bench. Obviously city have big chance but at odds on too short.

Man utd not spent a lot . could never side with that boring bastards blend of coma inducing football.

Tottenham squad not big enough. arsenal too big a leap but would expect improvement.

Chelsea not this time.

Edited by waynecoyne

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On 7/29/2018 at 4:44 PM, waynecoyne said:

Liverpool look the bet to me. City only bought mahrez. keita aliisson fabinho shakiri into Liverpool. Dodgy goalie ditched . that's a shock dodgy keepers are liverpools trademark.

midfield reinforcemants look good . shakiri x factor from the bench. Obviously city have big chance but at odds on too short.

Man utd not spent a lot . could never side with that boring bastards blend of coma inducing football.

Tottenham squad not big enough. arsenal too big a leap but would expect improvement.

Chelsea not this time.

Tottenham's lack of transfer activity is worrying. Especially considering they are in the Champions League and moving to a new stadium. How have they not bought anyone yet?

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Hi All,

Have not posted for a while. Been learning/working/bashing/smashing my way through multiple machine learning courses, in the quest to become a top Data Scientist. Up to my eyeballs in data.  A few things pop out from last years English premier league season.

1) Man United did not do the business against the bottom teams at home. They won 5 of 7 played against the bottom 7, but only scored 9 goals. Against the same opponents Liverpool /Arsenal scored 20 and Man City scored 23. LIverpool did not concede a goal against these teams at home.  Mourinho has to be less cautious against these teams at home. You cannot play 2 holding midfielders against WBA and Stoke etcetc

2) Arsenal managed just 1 win against the top 6 at home last season (2-0 SPurs). Against the middle 7 teams they were deadly, winning 7 or 7 (goal diff of 20, best in the league). FIx the away form and they could surprise,  I could see them 3rd or 4th, because they will score goals.

I can't see beyond Man CIty and Liverpool this season (and I am a life long Man United fan , prior to 1976). They have the two best managers, and are playing the best football. I think United will be no better than 3rd, and Mourinho prob on his way by Feb. The man is a cantakerous prickly pear, with the charm of rottweiler. Seems like he is burning bridges pretty fast. For me United have no pattern of play, and everything just happens too slowly. His man management skills have deserted him, and he is gunning for confrontation with everyone. Maybe the modern game/player has left him behind ?

In today's game, player power is king. It seems to me that Mourinho has not learned his lesson from his last experience at Chelsea, and it will probably be repeated at Man United. Personally , I would love to see Potchetino (spelling) as the next Man U manager. He would be brilliant. Dignified, calm (but still in control), and somehow far more in touch with his players and his team context. 

As good as his record is, I am not sure Zidane would fit at an Man U. He could be prime candidate in Feb (if Mourinho is floundering Zidane would be a floating free agent), but I think a lot of his success was because of Christiano Ronaldo. 

Tottenham are going backwards in my opinion. They are probably treading water, but Liverpool and City have definitely stepped forward. So maybe going backwards is harsh, but definitely not advancing.  I feel that they will be a little stale after the world cup, and with no new signings. Can't see better than 5th for them...

I think out of the top 6, Chelsea will have a poor season. Conte was brilliant in his first season, and did not receive enough credit. Now Courtois wants out, and Hazard is probably in limbo. They lose a guy like Marcus Alonso (best left back in Premier league) and the s_t could hit the fan there. I think the wheels may come off the buggie ! 

Watford could be going down this season. They have sold some good players and a lot of what they had was created by Silva. Everton will be an interesting team, and I expect them to be 7th. Can they pick up the home form against the top 6? Their goal difference (at home) against the top 6 was For 3 Against 13, which was the worst in the league (Huddersfield, Bournemouth also had -10 goal diff against top 6 at home). They need to improve performances, and get the fans onside, at home against the leagues best.

Newcastle surprised me last season, especially at home. They had 3 wins against the top 6 (United, Arsenal and Chelsea), and finished with an excellent +2 goal difference.  Only Man U, Man CIty and Liverpool did better. So they are a deceptive team at home, and are more than capable of an upset or two.

                                                             

 

 

Edited by neilovan

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Great to have you back in the mix @neilovan! I've heard a few people backing Watford for relegation. I agree. Swapping managers so frequently is a proven formula... for failure. They've got lucky so far but they've sold Richarlison and not re-invested the money as they should have. The only thing that could save them is half a dozen teams being in a worse predicament. If there is a season to stay up in the Premier League then this is that season.

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On 01/08/2018 at 4:14 PM, StevieDay1983 said:

Great to have you back in the mix @neilovan! I've heard a few people backing Watford for relegation. I agree. Swapping managers so frequently is a proven formula... for failure. They've got lucky so far but they've sold Richarlison and not re-invested the money as they should have. The only thing that could save them is half a dozen teams being in a worse predicament. If there is a season to stay up in the Premier League then this is that season.

Glad you have joined us up in the Premier League but I'm struggling to see 3 teams worse than both ourselves Stevie mate? It's bloody tough, we did well and only spent 1 day in the bottom 3 last season but towards the end I thought we were gonners. I hope we're both ok and we have an early season meeting that we both could do with winning.

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10 hours ago, Kenton Schweppes said:

Glad you have joined us up in the Premier League but I'm struggling to see 3 teams worse than both ourselves Stevie mate? It's bloody tough, we did well and only spent 1 day in the bottom 3 last season but towards the end I thought we were gonners. I hope we're both ok and we have an early season meeting that we both could do with winning.

Thanks, Kenton! It's great to be back with a far more united club than last time. The difference for us between this season and last time around is the lack of expectation. Don't get me wrong, there are half a dozen clubs that I feel are running out of time and luck. The likes of Watford, Newcastle, Brighton, Bournemouth, Leicester, Crystal Palace, and Southampton could all find themselves going down if a manager or big name player leaves.

You're right, I think we have the weakest sides in the division. Probably along with Watford the bookies have got it right with the relegation odds. Still, once again, everyone is writing us off. You know how that feels. I see us as very similar to you and Brighton when you both went up so see no reason why we can't.

I still think we need some additional Premier League experience but I like the fact Warnock has gone for young and hungry players in the form of Josh Murphy and Bobby Reid. I think he's a manager that is keen to prove people wrong about his ability as a Premier League manager too.

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EPL 2018/2019 – The Mindfulness Preview

Manchester City

Prediction: 1st

Synopsis:

No team has successfully defended the EPL title since Manchester Utd back in 2008, so needless to say it’s a big ask. Despite this I feel City are well positioned to win consecutive league titles as their team is just so strong. Everyone talks about the amount of goals they score but lets not forget they also had the strongest defence in the division last season, they’re a complete unit on and off the ball.

The biggest concern for City will be the potential for Fernandinho to run out of gas. The Brazilian defensive midfielder is 33 now and the world cup did him no favours in terms of getting a nice summers rest. Guardiola missed out on the signing of Jorginho during the summer transfer window, the Catalan coach will hope it doesn’t come back to haunt him.

In terms of ante-post betting, I backed City to win the title @ 1.80 a couple of weeks ago. There’s no significant juice in the price as their actual valuation should be 1.67 – 1.54 in my view. However I have hedged the selection with a smaller bet on Liverpool @ 5.4, I find it hard to believe that there will be a team that finishes above both City and Liverpool this season.    

 

Liverpool

Prediction: 2nd

Synopsis:

Liverpool are like a fine dish that Jurgen Klopp has been preparing for years, a delicious dish, full of flavour, with the caveat that everyone chokes at the end. The question is can they finally turn that quality into trophies this season? The summer transfer window has been a good one with the arrival of GK Alisson and CM Keita in particular. Fabinho replaces Can in the DM/utility role while Shaqiri can emulate Coutinho’s ability to score out of nowhere but that is perhaps where the comparison should end.

Essentially Liverpool have all the ingredients to win the EPL but I am always slightly concerned about Klopp’s propensity for style over substance. You don’t play heavy metal on full-blast for every given occasion, sometimes you’ll get a headache, or even worse, concussion. Backing them for the EPL title @ 5.0 isn’t the worst bet you could make but you are quite exposed if you don’t have City on side in some form.

 

Manchester Utd

Prediction: 3rd

Synopsis:

Mourinho’s ability to out-fox opposition managers in individual games is offset by the clubs faltering acquisitions in the transfer market. Brexit has recently been described by Danny Dyer as a ‘mad riddle’ but Mourinho could be forgiven for thinking the same of his disjointed Man Utd side. 

The signing of defensive midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk should prove helpful with his bravery and vision while in possession. The hallmark of previously successful Utd teams was to play the ball forward incisively while under pressure and Fred typifies this. But the team needs more as Utd are still lacking in the full-back positions, while the balance in the wide forward positions is still a concern. Their attempts to sign a centre-back during the window are well documented but the fact that this failed to materialise is all a bit Keystone Cops. Pre-season has been poor from Utd with Mournho’s whining perhaps at an all time high in an attempt to lower expectations and manage psychology.

Despite this you can never completely discount the Portuguese tactician, they did finish 2nd last season, albeit 19 pts behind City. The concern is that rivals Liverpool have made advances in the summer window while Utd have floundered. The Red Devils are more like Frankenstein’s monster at present, the fans will be hoping this season doesn’t turn into a complete horror show. I think Utd and Liverpool can both run closer to City this season but it will still be difficult for them.

 

Chelsea    

Prediction: 4th

Synopsis:

Maurizio Sarri replaces Antonio Conte at the helm and it will be interesting to see how the change in manager works out for the team. As abrasive as Conte was, there is no doubting that he is a winner. The same cannot yet be said of Sarri who despite his best efforts, could not break the stranglehold of Juventus in Serie A.

Sarri has always been a coach I’ve admired but to come to England and win the title in his first season will be a big ask. Yes, other managers have done it, but Sarri will prioritise implementing his preferred playing style above other concerns. Expect to see a 4-3-3 module with high octane players such as Kante and Kovacic either side of Jorginho in the midfield 3.

Chelsea’s weakness is in the centre-forward position. I like Alvaro Morata, but at 25 years of age he still lacks the qualities of a complete centre-forward. I don’t think his journeyman career has helped in that regard. I’m sure he will improve with age as most classic centre-forwards usually produce their best work in their early thirties. Ultimately Chelsea have been unable to find an immediate replacement for Diego Costa and it’s a problem for them, they were the lowest scorers in the top 6 last season.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

Prediction: 5th

Synopsis:

No such issues for Tottenham as Harry Kane is one of the best centre-forwards in world football today. Tottenham’s first eleven is very strong and a match for any team in the division but they lack squad depth compared to their EPL rivals. While the imminent move to New White Hart Lane is unlikely to drastically affect the team on the pitch, it may hinder their progress off it in the short term. The summer window has been devoid of reinforcements and frankly Tottenham could become exposed if they sustain injuries to key players.

Mauricio Pochettino is one of the best coaches in the world for developing young players and managing a side with limited resources. The problem for him is that the odds are against Tottenham going the extra hurdle and actually winning silverware as the club is pretty much operating at it’s peak relative to it’s current resources. Perhaps this will change in the mid to long term when New White Hart Lane starts to pay dividends. Until then expect Pochettino to compete strongly but ultimately fall short at the business end of the campaign when that relentless schedule starts to bite.

 

Arsenal 

Prediction: 6th

Synopsis:

A change in tack for Arsenal under new coach Unai Emery maybe welcomed by many Arsenal fans but I do not see a radical shift towards being title contenders as things stand. The team will be grittier and meaner on the pitch with the signings of Lichtsteiner, Sokratis and impressive defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira. Aubameyang is an excellent centre-forward and should continue to shine in the EPL.

The main concern for Arsenal will be a lack of creativity from midfield. Wilshere and Cazorla have not been replaced as Torreira doesn’t construct play in the same way. I think we will see an Arsenal side that is hard to break down, hard to beat and very dangerous on the counter-attack but they will not make the game as they did during the Wenger era.

So a new coach and a new era for Arsenal but they remain an incomplete team with one key weakness simply being exchanged for another. I do expect them to make a better fist of challenging for the top 4 this season and I also think they are better value than Chelsea to win the Europa League as Emery is a proven winner in that competition.

 

Everton

Prediction: 7th

Synopsis:

Sam Allardyce did a pretty good with an unbalanced and disjointed Everton squad last season. The club finished 8th and had the 7th best home record in the division. This was not enough for the Goodison unfaithful however and now it is the turn of the enigmatic Marco Silva to carry the weight of the clubs lofty ambitions. In my view Silva is a coach with potential but nothing beyond that as he simply hasn’t stayed at an EPL club long enough for his class to be proven.

The club itself has been fairly busy in the summer transfer window with a slew of redundant no. 10’s being sold off and a slew of left-wing forwards being bought in. Some decent players have been acquired to address the problem areas although Everton still look light in those central midfield positions. Morgan Schneiderlin’s performances in particular have dipped in recent seasons so Idrissa Gueye is left to carry the team on too many occasions. I like the energy of Tom Davies but he is still only 20 and needs to be given time to hone his craft. Maybe Besic or new signing Andre Gomes will step up to the plate, time will tell.

Overall Everton have plenty of quality but the squad is still slightly unbalanced in my view. Richarlison, Bernard and Lookman all play in the same position which may create tensions in the dressing room. Perhaps more strikingly, they still lack a classic no.9 who can hold the ball up and bully defenders. They certainly have players who can come off the bench and exploit tired opponents at the tail end of games. Unfortunately no target man may mean plan b proves elusive when plan a fails.

The good news for Everton is that the signings they’ve made should help improve their away form, they only won 3 away from home last season. Better results on the road will help them to pressurise Arsenal for that last European place.

Big things are expected by the fans and board alike, Silva must deliver.

 

Leicester City

Prediction: 8th

Synopsis:

Leicester will have to carry on without star man Riyad Mahrez after his transfer to ManCity. The good news for Leicester fans is that they made a swift replacement in the form of James Maddison. The midfield prodigy signs from Norwich and it will be interesting to see how his career progresses in the EPL. Rachid Ghezzal also signs from Monaco to help cover the departure of Mahrez. Jonny Evans is a solid acquisition at centre-back and should speed along the quiet and dignified retirement of Wes Morgan. The signing of right-back Ricardo Pereira from Porto is somewhat of a coup and should be an excellent addition to the team in my view.

Generally speaking I don’t see much difference in Leicester this season, Maddison may not be equal to Mahrez in the short term but Claude Puel’s side are capable of another top half finish. I do not agree with the view that they are a team in decline, their squad is strong and still contains winners.

 

Crystal Palace

Prediction: 9th

Synopsis:

We backed Palace top half finish at a massive 7.0 last season but the selection was scuppered on the last day with Newcastle beating Chelsea by a 3 goal margin. Palace have arguably underperformed in recent seasons given the size of their wage bill but at least the team is looking strong under Hodgson.

The biggest concern for Palace will be the absence of Ruben Loftus-Cheek who returns to Chelsea. The England international was adept at linking play for Palace’s attacking combinations last season. Perhaps German prodigy Max Meyer can step up to the plate, his vision, technique and agility will add quality to the Palace midfield. AM/FW Jordan Ayew joins on-loan from Swansea and his attributes will also prove useful in covering the departure of RLC.

After a few seasons assembling a squad of decent players, Palace can now be viewed as a complete team. Defensively strong with the centre-back partnership of Tomkins & Sakho, but also dangerous going forward under the coaching of Hodgson and Lewington. I don’t envisage any problems for the red & blue army this year. I have them finishing above West Ham due to greater team integration while also facing less pressure from fans. That being said; Everton, Leicester, Palace and West Ham are in a kind of mini-league and I don’t see much between them.

Palace’s top half finish odds of 3.25 are not worth taking in my view due to fierce competition. However, if Palace have a slow start and we get a drift to 5.0 or longer in said market then it’s worth a punt. Palace are the value play in w/o big 6 market @ 15.0 (Betvictor).

 

West Ham Utd

Prediction: 10th

Synopsis:

Manuel Pellegrini replaces David Moyes at the helm of West Ham in a move which suits their ‘glamorous’ ambitions. The signing of Felipe Anderson is an interesting one, he was wanted by all of the big European clubs a few years ago but his career has gone off the boil since then. There’s no doubting his ability, if he performs to his potential he will be a great signing for the Hammers, if not, another dim memory in the dustbin of history. Yarmolenko also has quality and perhaps will prove more reliable in the wing-forward positions. Jack Wilshere will look to resurrect his career at his boyhood club, the complete midfielder is now only excellent on the ball, poor without it.

Expect West Ham to score a lot of goals but also expect them to concede a lot. Manuel Lanzini is out of action for the foreseeable future and the remaining attack minded players make little in the way of defensive contribution. Their games will probably see-saw wildly and should provide great entertainment. The fans and owners will be expecting a top-half finish, maybe even pressuring Arsenal.

Like Marco Silva, Pellegrini must deliver.

 

Wolves

Prediction: 11th

Synopsis:

Nuno Espirito Santo crushed the English Championship like a grape last season, no mean feat. The team boasts Portuguese internationals such as GK Rui Patricio, DM Joao Moutinho and CM Ruben Neves. Going forward, Diogo Jota and Adama Traore are burgeoning talents and can be a menace at EPL level.

Expect Wolves to be well-drilled and hard to beat this season, they are capable of taking points off the big boys and should have no trouble consolidating in the prem. The only potential vulnerability that I can see is in the centre-forward position. Mexico international Raul Jimenez will probably be the man on point, he has good quality and ability but will need to settle into the league quickly otherwise Wolves may find scoring goals a bit more tricky at this level. Goal tallies from their crucial wing forwards are also likely to drop in the EPL.

The markets seem to have them priced correctly with a bottom half finish slightly odds on. Some might be tempted to get involved with their juicy relegation odds at 9.0 but not me as I believe there are worse teams in this division at a similar price. Wolves should cruise to a lower mid-table finish this season.

 

Fulham

Prediction: 12th

Synopsis:

Slavisa Jokanovic finally gets his chance in the EPL and his Fulham side were certainly impressive at the business end of last season. The core of Fulham’s team is pretty decent and shouldn’t have too much trouble retaining their EPL status this year.

Fulham have more quality in the final 3rd than a lot of their supposed relegation rivals. Sessegnon and Schurrle in particular should be a menace at this level. The jury is still out on CF Mitrovic mind, he really needs to step up to the plate if Fulham want to avoid a dogfight. I feel there is some momentum at the club right now so a lower mid-table finish is possible for them. Relegation odds of around 3.0 seem to be in the right ball park, anything longer than that starts to become slightly generous imo.  

 

Brighton & Hove Albion

Prediction: 13th

Synopsis:

It was a textbook season for Brighton in 2017/2018. Chris Hughton made some shrewd acquisitions, The Amex was made a fortress and Glenn Murray made double figures… I am of course talking about the amount of goals he scored.

The key question is; will it be second season syndrome for the seaweeds? In my view probably not. Hughton continues to make decent additions under the radar, Yves Bissouma beefs up the midfield, Leon Balogun provides good backup for the Dunk / Duffy partnership while Alireza Jahanbakhsh looks to have some great attributes in the wing forward positions. The signing of Martin Montoya at right-back is also impressive.

Brighton should be a tough team to face once again with the Amex being a difficult place to visit. Back in the day they used to shit in the away dressing rooms, now they actually pickup points at home, now that’s what I call progress!!!

The only caveat for Hughton is that his team were rock bottom of the EPL away table in 2017/2018, Brighton may want to address that to avoid putting all their eggs in the Amex basket.

 

Newcastle Utd

Prediction: 14th

Synopsis:

Ah Newcastle Utd, vomiting in a fireplace never felt so profitable. Perennial skinflint Mike Ashley knows how to rake in the quids and so Newcastle fans should not be surprised that the summer window has been quiet for them. Ashley has one job at Newcastle, gauging how far he can squeeze the personnel budget without Benitez leaving. 

I never felt Newcastle were in danger of going down last season with Benitez in charge, even with a shoestring budget and underwhelming squad. The fact he got them a 10th place finish was a job very well done.

If Rafa stays, we can expect a lower mid-table finish for the magpies. If at any point in the near future he leaves then Newcastle’s relegation odds of 6.0 must be backed without hesitation.

 

Burnley

Prediction: 15th

Synopsis:

Burnley have Europa League football to contend with this season largely due to the success of their innovative Pope Funnel tactics. Manager Sean Dyche must again receive credit but I don’t think he has been all that pleased with the clubs transfer activity this summer.

Their defence is extremely robust which makes relegation unlikely, particularly with Dyche at the helm. However, underinvestment in the playing squad and European football means they are unlikely to replicate a top half finish this time around.

Burnley nicked a lot of 1-0’s last season, being on the right side of fine margins in 2018/2019 will be more difficult for them in my view. Will they be looking over their shoulders this time around? Dyche will surely prioritise the league if the schedule starts to bite.

 

Southampton

Prediction: 16th

Synopsis:

For me this is the most glaringly obvious pricing error for EPL ante-post this season. We’re getting 8.0 for a Southampton relegation this year, markets are telling us there is just an 12.5% chance of them going down. What’s more, their top half finish odds are shorter than Palace’s and this is simply laughable.

Southampton have been shedding quality players for a while now and it’s starting to hurt them. Attacking midfielder Dusan Tadic has left in the summer window and frankly the club has done very little to address the ongoing issues it has in the centre-forward position. Gabbiadini will never be a prolific goal scorer at this level and Charlie Austin is injury prone. Yes Vestergaard is an important signing at centre-back and Elyounoussi may be a decent replacement for Tadic but generally the squad is treading water.

Accurate relegation odds for Southampton would be more like 4.0. I’m happy to back them to go down at 8.0 and then hedge it with Southampton to survive if at any stage they start to flirt with the dogfight. The loan signing of Danny Ings could prove crucial while Mark Hughes is a good manager at this level and ultimately I expect them to survive. 

 

AFC Bournemouth

Prediction: 17th

Synopsis:

There is no I in team and no club represents this better in the EPL than Bournemouth. Eddie Howe’s side are not overly reliant on one individual and that is perhaps why they maintain durability at this level. Goals and assists come from all areas of the pitch and the team always seems tenacious enough to get a goal when required.

Despite this, I do think their relegation odds are slightly generous @ 6.0, competition to avoid the drop will be fierce again this year. I think odds of around 4.0 would be more accurate for Bournemouth here.

 

Watford

Prediction: 18th

Synopsis:

Despite the departure of Richarlison, Watford still have enough quality to survive at this level in my view. They are aided by decent home support at Vicarage Road but I think their EPL status will be put to the test this season.

The obvious concern is manager Javi Gracia, it’s not that I think he’s a poor coach, he’s simply an unknown quantity. He never stays at a club long enough to accurately assess his abilities, we are somewhat in the dark as to whether or not he will get the most out of his squad.

The Watford relegation odds have shortened too much for me to get involved. They were 4.0 a few weeks back but dropping to 3.0 leaves me disinterested quite frankly.

 

Huddersfield Town

Prediction: 19th

Synopsis:

The daggers are certainly out for Huddersfield this season. Many believe they do not have the quality to survive at this level but having a good coach, hungry players and defending from the front can count for a lot, even in the EPL. Incoming transfers may not be big names but they’re always in line with how the team plays, no square pegs in round holes here. 

A repeat of 28 goals scored and 37 pts accrued may kill them off this time round but don’t be too surprised if they manage to survive somehow. Huddersfield’s cohesion, motivation and determination will last for 38 games, the same cannot be said of every team in the EPL. Relegation odds for David Wagner’s side look to be in the right ball park so not bet here.

 

Cardiff City

Prediction: 20th

Synopsis:

First off I agree with Stevie Day that Neil Warnock is an underrated manager, I’m glad to see him back in the EPL but this season will be a massive challenge for him. The team is how you would expect it to be: low on possession, physical, aggressive, long balls, crosses in the box, strong attacking / defending set-pieces, direct counters.

Will it be enough to survive at this level? I’m not sure, their defence will be very vulnerable against the division’s top teams and I am less confident they can take points off the big boys compared to their relegation rivals. Let’s not forget that Warnock took an average looking championship side to a 2nd placed finish, they performed to the very limits of their potential. Summer reinforcements have not looked like they will take the team to the next level. I fear for them despite Warnock’s abilities as a manager.

The ray of light for Cardiff is the example set by teams like Burnley. Sean Dyche has demonstrated you can take an under resourced championship team and establish them in the premier league but it’s a big ask.

Cardiff’s relegation odds of 1.7 are not worth taking in my view. I suggest looking at their odds after the first 3 league games (Bournemouth, Newcastle, Huddersfield). A good start for the bluebirds may then present an opportunity in the relegation market.

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Cracking little prediction preview there, @Mindfulness. I bought Match magazine with the team ladders wall chart for my son but I've secretly been doing my predictions every week using that. I would say top 8 I am comfortable with my predictions. After that I'm really not sure. I'll put down what I think the final table will be but no doubt my mind will change by the morning!

1. Manchester City

2. Liverpool

3. Manchester United

4. Tottenham

5. Arsenal

6. Chelsea

7. Everton

8. West Ham

9. Wolves

10. Fulham

11. Newcastle

12. Crystal Palace

13. Leicester

14. Burnley

15. Bournemouth

16. Southampton

17. Brighton

18. Watford

19. Cardiff

20. Huddersfield

A number of factors would heavily change my opinion though. For instance, if Zaha left Palace in January or got injured then I think they'd be dragged into a relegation dog fight. If Benitez leaves Newcastle then they could also plummet. If Watford really mess up the managerial switch ups then they could have a tragic campaign. I'd be surprised if the relegated teams weren't three of Huddersfield, Cardiff, Watford, Brighton, and Southampton though. I think the rest have enough about their squad or manager to stay up.

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@Mindfulness

Decent write up, Ill take the seaweed finishing 13th. 

I think I agree with @StevieDay1983 about CP. it will depend on Zaha playing all season for you. But if he does, then I can see you finishing 9/10th.

interesting too to get your additional thoughts on your bet last season. I thought you were crazy at the time, but you weren't too far off even with that dreadful start.

 

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7 hours ago, Tiffy said:

@Mindfulness

Decent write up, Ill take the seaweed finishing 13th. 

I think I agree with @StevieDay1983 about CP. it will depend on Zaha playing all season for you. But if he does, then I can see you finishing 9/10th.

interesting too to get your additional thoughts on your bet last season. I thought you were crazy at the time, but you weren't too far off even with that dreadful start.

 

What are your thoughts on Brighton now after deadline day? Any signings you were surprised by in the summer or signings that didn't happen that you'd hoped for? Where do you think you'll finish?

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    • £28 Bonus at Fun88! £28
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      No welcome offer at present.
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      No welcome offer currently.
    • Setantabet - Irish Bookmaker £0
      No welcome offer at the moment.
    • BetVision £0
      No welcome offer.
    • £20 Free Bet at Betfair Exchange! £20
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    Casino

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    • 2-0 Up - YOU WIN! £0
      Get your bet paid out as a winner if the team you back goes 2 goals ahead. Applies to pre-match single bets on Full Time Result market for applicable competitions. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply. New and eligible customers only.
    • Money Back if 1 lets you down! £10
      Applies to UK & Top Euro leagues. Applies to match odds ACCA & Same Game Multi bets only. Max free bet €/£10 per day. T&Cs apply
    • 2-0 up - You Win! £0
      Applies to all Premier League, La Liga and Champions League games until 31st December 2018. T&Cs apply.
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