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Pre-season Punting – English Premier League Betting 2017/18

The Premier League 2016/17 season has only just finished, but betting on next season is already available.

Although we’ve got a summer of transfer comings and goings to take into account, it can pay to get an early pre-season punt on if on the hunt for some betting value, particularly if you can get your hands on a Betfair free bet offer or a similar such deal from other top bookmakers.

Favourites

All the betting to win Premier League 2017/18 will focus on the ‘Big 6’ although, unlike last season when Chelsea and Liverpool benefited from having no European distractions, all the main contenders will have to cope with trips to the continent between their domestic duties over the coming campaign.

Defending champions Chelsea should have a reasonably settled squad, although speculation as to Diego Costa’s future continues to suggest he will depart. Eden Hazard, who could miss the start of the new season through injury anyway, has hinted that a move to Real Madrid would interest him.

Manchester City are the early pre-season favourites, having already spent close on £80 million on Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva and Benfica goalkeeper Ederson. The squad at Pep Guardiola’s disposal is already as good as any in the Premier League. This season they need to deliver on that ability.

Tottenham Hotspur’s hopes can’t be helped by having to re-locate to Wembley Stadium next season and they could be hard-pushed in retaining the services of all their star players should clubs with deeper pockets come calling.

Liverpool’s squad looked stretched at times last season so, with the additional European fixtures, they will need to make some shrewd acquisitions over the close season to compete for the title.

After two decades of Champions League football, Arsenal finally missed out on a top four finish last season. They did win the FA Cup for the third time in four seasons, but the Gunners have arguably never been less fancied for a title tilt throughout Arsene Wenger’s tenure. Should Alexis Sanchez depart, a major recruitment drive will surely be necessary to even have them in contention for a Champions League finish.

Manchester United claimed silverware in both the Europa League and the EFL Cup, but they were largely disappointing in the Premier League and their performances frequently made for tedious viewing. Further comings and goings are certain over the summer and a major upgrade in personnel in several areas is certainly required if the league title is to be back in the Old Trafford trophy cabinet a year from now.
Outsiders

Leicester City’s historic title win in 2015/16 proved that, just occasionally, miracles can happen in football. Realistically the chances of another shock of such seismic proportions occurring are remote in the extreme, but there’s always hope.

The club that are best placed to upset the odds has to be Everton, although with star striker Romelu Lukaku almost certainly moving on, it’s difficult to envisage them improving on last term’s seventh-place finish as things stand, let alone challenging for the title.

Relegation candidates

The three newly promoted teams are traditionally among the favourites for a swift return to the Championship, although more will be expected of Newcastle United this season and Brighton & Hove Albion also look capable of putting up a decent showing.

Huddersfield Town only promoted via the play-offs and are already early favourites for relegation. The current squad will almost certainly need some serious strengthening to have a fighting chance of survival, but make too many changes in personnel and they could lose the team spirit that took them to promotion in the first place.

There will be fears that Burnley could suffer from second-season syndrome, particularly with manager Sean Dyche being linked with other jobs and with Michael Keane and Andre Gray being the subject of interest from wealthier clubs.

Likewise, Swansea City only survived by the skin of their teeth and were the talismanic Gylfi Sigurdsson to move on over the summer, it would seriously damage their survival prospects.

Another potential contender for relegation could be Watford, with their tendency to chop and change managers likely to catch up with them sooner or later.