It feels like only yesterday that we were crowning Manchester City as the Champions of the EPL and embarking on the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Its been under a month since France took home the World Cup title, but already it’s time to get the 2018-19 EPL season underway.
We will be providing you with weekly betting previews for the key games in each round of the EPL this year, but for now we have a full season preview and betting tips for the 2018-19 season below.
Compared to last year, it’s been a relatively quiet offseason in terms of big player departures and signings. The lack of player movement means that Manchester City will enter the 2018-19 season as hot favourites for the title after their dominant performance last season.
Manchester City take in the same core unit into the 2018-19 season, with the only notable departure being veteran midfielder Yaya Toure, who had limited impact on their title run last year. The Sky Blues also picked up arguably the most lucrative signing of the offseason by acquiring the services of Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez was an integral part of the Foxes championship run a few years ago and will give City depth at arguably their thinnest position on the right hand side.
Liverpool made the next biggest splash in the off season in an attempt to capitalise on their unexpected success of last year. They finished fourth on the EPL table and surprised the footballing world with their run all the way to the Champions League Final. They’ll bring a similar core into the new season with some big additions. Xherdan Shaquiri makes his way over after a stellar season at Stoke last year while World Cup standout goalkeeper Alisson Becker will replace Loris Karius between the posts.
Tottenham finished third on the EPL table last year and will be looking for natural improvement as they take in nearly the exact same squad into the upcoming season. A majority of their core English players will be full of confidence after the Three Lions success at the World Cup. I think that factor could elevate the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli to the next level making Tottenham a real threat this year.
Chelsea will be riding out the storm over the last three days of the transfer window in an last bid attempt to hold onto star forwards Willian and Eden Hazard. Both look likely to stay in Blue for at least the first half of the season but Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are circling. Jorginho from Napoli will be a quality inclusion to the Blues midfield. The Blues ability to hold onto the lieks of Hazard and Willian will depend on their form and standing heading into the mid-season window in January. Expect them to get off to a hot start in 2018-19.
Our pick for the 2018-19 title has to be Manchester United though. We have to think Manchester City fall a little bit back towards the pack this year after losing just two games last season and their cross-town rivals look in the best position to take the mantle. Paul Pogba seemed to take his game to the next level at the World Cup while off season recruits Diogo Dalot and Fred will add depth in the line-up.
Alexis Sanchez should go to the next level in his first full season for Manchester United and Romelu Lukaku remains level with Harry Kane as the most lethal striker in the EPL. There’s also the Jose factor. Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho has claimed a league title in every stint as manager since arriving at Porto in January of 2002. He has won titles for four different clubs in four different leagues. All he does is win and it’s a matter of time before guides Manchester United back to the top of the EPL table.
Since their Cinderella story victory in the 2015-16 Premier League season, Leicester City have finished 12th and 9th respectively over the past two years. The lost midfielder N’Golo Kante to Chelsea last season and will wave goodbye to Riyad Mahrez this year. With Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton likely filling up seven of the top ten spots and the likes of Crystal Palace, Newcastle, West Ham and Watford all improving, we think the Foxes could slide this season.
Mo Salah had a season to remember in 2017-18, but it’s hard to see him replicating that again, especially with the Reds bringing in yet another mid/forward in Shaquiri. Sadio Mane will improve, as will Roberto Firmino. I think the Golden Boot race is between Lukaku and Kane and it’s hard to look past Kane with his form in the World Cup and over the last few seasons of the EPL, however, Lukaku represents so much value here. No way he should be the fifth favourite to take out the Golden Boot.
Hudddersfield narrowly avoided relegation last season, drawing two of their last three games of the season to stay clear by just four points. So often we see teams have one decent year in the EPL in their first year up then fall away and get relegated in the second. Some decent teams come up from the Championship this year in Fulham and Wolverhampton so we expect Huddersfield to be in the bottom three this year.
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