It may be a surprise to many people but the English Premier League season begins in just over two weeks time. The World Cup was an amazing few weeks of football but the week in week out drama of the Premier League is just as exciting. The great thing about the recent EPL seasons has been the unpredictability. We now have six teams who could all conceivably win the league if things fall their way. However, we also have the excitement of the potential shock result, such as Leicester’s dramatic triumph three years ago. Betting on who is going to win the league adds another level of excitement no matter who your team is. Last week I took a look at the three favorites. This week I will take a look at teams four through six and their chances.
Chelsea @ 16/1
This is an extremely interesting group of players combined with an interesting manager. The departure of Antonio Conte arrival of Maurizio Sarri was nothing short of a minor disaster of execution from Chelsea. However, the final result may be something impressive. Sarri is having to cope with a squad who are depleted due to pot World Cup breaks but he has seen it as an opportunity. The absence of N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus Cheek has allowed Sarri to combine Cesc Fabregas with Ross Barkley and new signing Jorginho. So far that midfield trio has been working a treat and it is a great base for Sarri.
Changing managers at short notice should put Chelsea at a fairly major disadvantage. However, Conte won the Premier League after coming to Chelsea straight from the Euros in 2016. If Sarri is to get the squad humming he will need to get the best out of talented under performers. Two such players are Alvaro Morata and Pedro. Both have failed to really be consistent at Chelsea and if Sarri can get them working then this team could really challenge.
There are still a ton of pieces to fall into place with this team. Real Madrid are sniffing around Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois and Barcelona want Willian. If Chelsea cannot retain or replace those three players in the Summer it is going to be a long road to January. Right now at 16/1 I like Chelsea as an outside gamble. Sarri’s system will catch people by surprise this season and if he can charm the big three into staying he has every shot of getting the results.
Tottenham @ 20/1
Can the ever elusive Tottenham finally put their season together? Their biggest issue right now is that they have yet to make any major additions. It is very hard to just roll back te same squad again and perform well. Teams catch up to you and find a way to shut you down. I fully expect Tottenham to add some pieces before the deadline next Thursday. However, they might need to move someone out to fund major new addition.
Tottenham have a wonderful young core but they have already lent heavily on Harry Kane and Dele Ali and it has not been enough. Christian Eriksen is a wonderful play maker and if they can add a couple of quality pieces around those three they have a real shot of causing some waves. However, right now it is hard to see them as anything more than a team scrapping for a Champions League spot.
Arsenal @ 28/1
Of the six teams I feel like Arsenal had the most they needed to change. A new manager after so many years of Arsene Wenger was always going to see some changes. Bernd Leno has come in to challenge Petr Cech and David Ospina for the starting goalkeeper role. Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis Papastathopoulos should add a nice veteran presence to the defense. However Unai Emery will have his work cut out turning this team into a contender.
There are certainly some good pieces for him to do it with. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil can be a pretty dangerous threesome going forward. Up front Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provide some real goal scoring threat if they can get the best out of them. However, to expect them to go full hog and challenge for the title this season is somewhat of a challenge. This year a big achievement for them would be comfortably qualifying for Europe at which point they can add some quality for future challenges.