The Premier League season starts on 16th August. Here’s a look at various Ante-Post markets for the forthcoming season

Recommendations

Winner: Arsenal at 13/2 each way (1/3 1,2) with BetVictor

Top ten finish Stoke City at 2-1  bwin

Top Ten finish Crystal Palace at 9/2 Coral

Relegation WBA at 11/4 Bet365

Relegation Aston Villa at 7/2 bwin

Top Goalscorer Alexis Sanchez at 16-1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4) BetVictor

Top Goalscorer Edin Dzeko at 16-1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4) BetVictor

Winner

Realistically of course there are only a few possible winners of the league, and at most seven candidates for a top four finish. Chelsea are favourites, followed by last season’s winners Manchester City. Manchester United should rebound into the top four under Van Gaal, leaving Arsenal, Liverpool and potentially Tottenham and Everton fighting for Champions league places

Whilst not too keen to oppose the big two, Chelsea at 15/8 and Manchester City at 9/4 there is better value, each way, in Arsenal at 13/2 with BetVictor. Paying a third the odds the top two places we are getting over 3-1 on a runners up finish. Relative to last season where Arsenal started well but suffered in games against the very top sides, Arsenal have recruited well and that depth should get them closer by the end of the season.  Of course it is going to be a scrap with Manchester United and Liverpool for the top top four let alone challenging the top two, but Liverpool have to replace Suarez’s 31 goals which makes them a “watch and see” despite the 11-1 for the title on offer

Top Ten finish

Realistically seven of the top ten spots in the league table by the season’s end are taken, from the teams mentioned above. Sides finishing top ten last season were Southampton, Newcastle and Stoke. Despite the sale of the majority of last season’s team, Southampton are still quoted at 7/4 for a top ten finish this year, which in my opinion looks unlikely hence the opportunity to find an improving side that represents value to replace them

For starters though bwin quote 2-1 about Stoke City reaching a top 10 finish, which is a must bet. For the improver my two candidates would be Hull City who have invested heavily in squad depth and Crystal Palace. Hull are quoted at 4-1, but what puts me off is their qualification for the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, which (as with Swansea last season) will be an issue later in the season. Palace meanwhile finished 11th last season and are a very attractive 9/2 for a top ten finish with Coral. The market is assuming they fall back, but see no reason under the shrewd Tony Pulis why they should.

Relegation

I would put the following teams in the mix at this early stage. In no particular order

Burnley – The promoted side with the fewest resources, currently and to strengthen

WBA – Strange manager appointment, possibly a lot of instability ahead

Aston Villa – Club for sale, unable to notably strengthen

Swansea City – Loss of Michu, possible loss of Bony

I considered Southampton, but their relegation odds have tumbeld from 14-1 to 5-1 already. I Personally don’t have Leicester City and QPR of the promoted sides in the end of season bottom 3, but the market does, so there is the opportunity….which i think is best represented by West Brom at 11/4 for relegation with Bet365 and Aston Villa at 7/2 with bwin

Top Scorer

A more open looking contest than some years, and we are looking for 20 goal plus strikers for a place, 25+ to win (31 won it last year). Each way markets pay four places each way, so there is an opportunity to spot an outsider too

Candidates

Aguero – If fit for the majority of the season, a lock for the top 4

Van Persie – Again, should rebound heavily under the new manager after significant absences last year

Sturridge – Over 20 goals last season, likely to repeat even without Suarez

Diego Costa – In a powerful side, likely first choice, needs to adapt to English football

These four are 7-1 or shorter in the market but ‘ll go in another direction, hoping to identify two players that might get into the top four at prices

Firstly Alexis Sanchez at 16-1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4) BetVictor. 39 goals in 88 games for Barcelona, possible penalty taker for Arsenal, who have a lot of tactical flexibility to play him through the middle or out wide. Also needs to adapt to English football but the 16-1 looks attractive.

Secondly Edin Dzeko at 16-1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4) BetVictor. 16 goals in 31 league games last season, often rotating with Negredo, who has a long term injury currently. A reasonable chance i feel of improving on 16 goals this season next to Aguero, unlikely to be rotated too often and more than twice the price of the big four in the market

Recommendations

Winner: Arsenal at 13/2 each way (1/3 1,2) with BetVictor

Top ten finish Stoke City at 2-1  bwin

Top Ten finish Crystal Palace at 9/2 Coral

Relegation WBA at 11/4 Bet365

Relegation Aston Villa at 7/2 bwin

Top Goalscorer Alexis Sanchez at 16-1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4) BetVictor

Top Goalscorer Edin Dzeko at 16-1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4) BetVictor