SPONSORED POST By Tamhas Woods
Two great Coaches, two superlative minds, but only one Premier League trophy – Manchester simply isn’t big enough for Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
Not since the eve of the 2012/13 season has there been such a hotly anticipated title fight between City and their neighbours, and Pep’s revolution already appears to have significant momentum. Ilkay Gundogan and the lightning-fast Nolito are both signings that reflect a true desire from Guardiola to take City to the next level, and possibly the very stratosphere of Europe.
As a result, bookmakers have wasted no time in declaring the two Manchester clubs as front runners in Tricast markets.
The new season begins on 13th August. For the latest Man City odds, visit Betfair (Betfair Casino).
With an unrivaled war chest, City are naturally the outright favorites to finish above United – an act which should see Guardiola’s new club claim a third BPL title. As ever though, winning a title is always easier said than done, and with another new element from the capital, gamblers are set to be guessing until the very end of the upcoming season.
CITY/UNITED/CHELSEA OR ARSENAL – 33/1
CHELSEA/CITY/UNITED – 40/1
For either Manchester club to win the title with the other finishing second, and Chelsea or Arsenal to complete the top three, any combination is currently priced at around 33/1. However, with no European football for Chelsea, and the refreshing influence of Antonio Conte, odds for an immediate return of the title to West London have shortened with disquieting pace.
Naturally, so too have the odds for Chelsea finishing third or better tumbled. The acquisition of N’Golo Kante from Leicester will improve the balance between flair and workmanship, and such balance is an important element of any title winning squad – nobody can deny that it was sadly lacking at Stamford Bridge in 2015/16.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s consistent challenge for a top three berth makes them a natural consideration in any Tricast, but a notable section of the Gunners faithful have voiced discontent at the continued employment of Wenger at Ashburton Grove.
This discontent clearly affected the players at key moments in 2015/16, a season which many would argue was a huge opportunity lost for Arsene Wenger’s men. Such were Arsenal’s shortcomings last season, not even a league double over Leicester could prevent the Foxes from winning the title at what was eventually a 10-point canter.
With Arsenal the only top club apparently shying away some much-needed drastic changes, there is the ever-present danger that the Gunners will be consigned once again to that famous fourth place in May 2017.
CITY/UNITED/TOTTENHAM – 40/1
CITY/TOTTENHAM/UNITED – 50/1
CITY/CHELSEA/TOTTENHAM – 66/1
All set for another Champions League adventure, Mauricio Pochettino has an able young Tottenham squad, all of whom are at (or nearing) the peak of their playing careers. Since none of them are showing any sign of moving elsewhere in the near future, many punters will be tempted to back them for another top three finish.
By a quirk of the fixture list, there is further ammunition in favor of Tottenham. They have a home game against none other than Manchester City after Matchday 2 of the upcoming Champions League, assuming that City themselves avoid utter humiliation at the Playoff stage in August.
The match at White Hart Lane on 2nd October could be a telling one if Tottenham can successfully emulate the form of 2015/16, but in addition to the three biggest London clubs, several other Premier League teams also boast attractive prices to complete the Tricast.
CITY/UNITED/LIVERPOOL – 40/1
With a proud history and tradition, not to mention a recently stellar league record against City, Liverpool will have a psychological advantage over their Mancunian neighbors. Like Chelsea, Liverpool will also be absent from Europe, and bookmakers clearly believe that an eighth place finish for the reds last season fails to tell the whole story.
CITY/UNITED/LEICESTER – 150/1
N’Golo Kante, a sheer force of nature, has swapped the blue of the incumbent for the blue of the deposed. With the champions now bereft of their midfield general, odds for any Tricast involving Leicester have lengthened drastically.
In time, the signings will come, precipitating the drastic shortening of Leicester’s odds to complete a Tricast, so gamblers must act quickly to secure a good potential payout.
CITY/UNITED/EVERTON – 250/1
The apparent complexion of Everton’s near future has changed much in the past year. Now backed by Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri, a very different approach to all aspects of the club’s management is expected.
Most Evertonians, in turn, expect an immediate change in form and fortune on the pitch. Again, any gamblers intending to back Everton for a top three finish would be advised strongly to do so before new manager Ronald Koeman makes the first major signing of summer 2016.
*Odds may fluctuate