THE STRIKER’S PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW: It feels like the 2021/22 Premier League season only just finished, but with a winter World Cup in Qatar this year, the 2022/23 Premier League season arrives very quickly.
The action kicks off on Friday the 5th of August as Crystal Palace host Arsenal for Friday Night Football on Betdaq Betting Exchange, and the best show in town begins again! We’ve already had plenty of drama off the pitch as the sides returned for pre-season training – Cristiano Ronaldo wanting to leave Manchester United took all the headlines, but Erling Haaland was definitely the biggest signing when arriving for Manchester City. He will be such a huge asset for the current Champions. Liverpool have also splashed the cash, and Chelsea letting Romelu Lukaku (pictured below) go back to Inter Milan on loan probably made him the worst (or most expensive) signing of all time last season. I’m sure we’ll have plenty more wonderful and weird things happen before the season actually starts!
There’s plenty of side markets for the Premier League, however only three really matter. The Outright market, the Top Four market and the relegation market. Let’s break them down. In the Outright market, I believe only two sides can actually win the title. They are quite clearly Manchester City and Liverpool. I’m sure Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester United and Arsenal fans won’t agree or like to hear that, but it’s true. It would be a massive shock if Manchester City or Liverpool didn’t lift the title.
In 2021/22, there was a 19 point gap between Manchester City and third place Chelsea, in 2020/21 there was a 12 point gap to Manchester United who actually (somehow when you look at them now!) finished second behind Manchester City and then in 2019/20 there was a whopping 33 points back to Manchester United in third when Liverpool won the title. That’s not even mentioning the fact Manchester City got 98 and 100 points when lifting the title in 2018/19 and 2017/18. I just don’t see how Spurs or Chelsea close that gap. It’s as simple as that really.
At the time of writing, Spurs trade 16.5 and Chelsea 17.0. If anything, those prices feel on the short side. Spurs have won big managing to get Conte at the right time and then actually keep him in the job over the summer. He will definitely drive them on as a club, but I still don’t see them getting close to the top two. After winning the Champions League, Chelsea were talked up as the “dark horses” of the title race for last season but they were never a factor. Indeed, they were totally outplayed by Manchester City and Liverpool when you look at the xG figures. Chelsea fans will say they got unlucky with Covid19 over the Christmas period – their fixtures probably should have been postponed – but they were never a factor. I don’t see them bridging the gap either.
That leaves us with the top two – Manchester City and Liverpool – on who lifts the title. Manchester City have definitely made some big improvements to their squad over the summer, and given the money Pep Guardiola has to spend it’s hard to see past them. If you look at the transfer market now, Manchester City are basically buying up high quality players for £40 to £50 million to sit on the bench. Perhaps Guardiola will surprise me with Kalvin Phillips, but I don’t expect him to start. It’s incredible, and gives clubs like City a massive advantage with the five subs rule. It is a negative for the Premier League though in my opinion because it sucks all the talent from the mid-table clubs. City could play a second XI and probably finish in the Top Six which is remarkable.
The only side who can challenge City is Liverpool. They did suffer a blow this summer when losing Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich, but the fans were given a boost with Mo Salah (pictured below) staying and then Darwin Nunez arriving is obviously going to take all the headlines. Apart from that there’s been no major movement, and Jurgen Klopp is again relying on his key men not getting injured. When you compare the benches or back up players between Liverpool and Manchester City, it’s not even close!
It’s very hard to see past Manchester City for the title – they are rightly the clear favourites and deserve to be odds on. However, Liverpool do appeal as the value at 4.1. The title race was very close last season, and it will be close again this season between the top two. Liverpool are definitely the value call in my opinion, and betting is all about getting the value. Looking at the key figures from last season, Liverpool were incredibly close to City. Liverpool finished the season with an average xG created of 2.5 goals per game and conceded an average xG of 0.9. They actually conceded a little bit less, but performed in line with their chances created.
Manchester City were marginally better at the back – conceding an average xG of 0.7 per game but they created the same figure going forward as Liverpool with an average xG of 2.5. There really isn’t much between the top two sides, and that’s why I feel backing Liverpool at 4.1 definitely offers some value in what should be another cracking title race.
Manchester United And Arsenal Top Four Hopes?
With the title race between Manchester City and Liverpool, the rest are fighting for the Top Four. Spurs and Chelsea will be the clear favourites here, but Manchester United and Arsenal will be hoping to break back into the Top Four. Arsenal came very close last season, but ultimately threw it away on the run-in. With no European commitments and a range of issues at Spurs and Manchester United last season, that was really a golden chance for Arsenal. It’s hard to make the argument that they have a better chance this season, but they have made some good signings this summer. As always with Arsenal, their fans are very fickle – it will be interesting what type of pressure comes on Arteta should they start slowly. On paper, they do have a pretty easy fixture list to start the season – they could easily go to Old Trafford in September after winning their first five games. If they don’t win those games though, they then have to play away to Manchester United, with home games against Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester City all within October. That’s when we’ll see what kind of Arsenal team we’ll see this season!
Manchester United start their season at home to Brighton a couple of days after Arsenal, but they bump into Liverpool quite quickly. After a 4-0 hammering last season at Old Trafford, it will be interesting to see what Erik ten Hag can do against Jurgen Klopp. United have had a poor transfer window so far, with Barcelona playing hardball over Frenkie De Jong and then of course we had the will-he-won’t-he with Christian Eriksen. The fact that Eriksen needed so much talking around to join, along with money, doesn’t look too good for United. They are struggling to attract top talent given all the issues at the club. It will be very interesting to see can they compete for the Top Four this season, but Spurs and Chelsea are rightly odds on.
It’s a very unoriginal opinion I’m sure but I don’t see any shocks in the Top Four this season. I can see the very same Top Four as last season – Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs in that order. We might see some drama with Manchester United and Arsenal at some stage but I just don’t see them being good enough to jump into the Top Four. The last time Arsenal finished in the Top Four was way back in 2015/16 which is a lifetime ago in football terms. The Europa League commitment will hurt them too, and I wouldn’t be surprise if Arteta didn’t last the season given the unrealistic expectations of the fans.
Manchester United are the wild-card to mess up the current Top Four because we don’t really know what to expect. However, I can’t see Erik ten Hag improving the side that much this season. He was on video shouting at the United stars in training, so I have no doubt he is the right kind of manager that’s needed at Old Trafford at the moment, but they will have to wait a few seasons before the squad can match his tactics in my opinion. This is a poor United squad.
That leaves Chelsea and Spurs to cash in on third and fourth, and with two top managers it’s hard to see them not being better than Manchester United and Arsenal over the course of the season. I can’t see Chelsea finishing out of the Top Four – their xG figures were pretty good last season – I know they aren’t close to Manchester City and Liverpool – but they are a top class team. The only thing that could mess up Spurs season is Conte (pictured below) leaving, which let’s face it isn’t trading 1000.0! We’d had plenty of surprise decisions at Spurs over the years, and Conte isn’t far away from losing the head either – but if he stays then Spurs should be looking to challenge Chelsea for that third spot. Spurs and Chelsea are very backable prices for the Top Four market.
We had a very dramatic relegation battle last season with Leeds and Everton involved. To be honest it was wide open a one point, especially when you look at the games in hand situation after the Covid19 outbreak around Christmas time. Leeds and Everton finished strongly though, and to be honest Burnley gave themselves too much to do. Looking at betting markets, it’s a wide open affair and we’re sure to have plenty of drama again this season!
Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest are the favourites to go down. There isn’t much in it with Nottingham Forest because they are very close to 2.0, but both are trading odds on to back at the moment. After that we have a range of teams involved – the list is Fulham, Leeds, Brentford, Southampton, Everton and Wolves. I was surprised to see Wolves trading so short – but they went backwards last season and perhaps could be involved. It’s very hard to see them actually going down though – I think the best case scenario is an Everton type situation where you can trade out. Brentford losing Christian Eriksen is a big blow, but they play some very nice football and I don’t see them going down. Everton were a very poor side last season, but you have to ask the question can they be worse than that? I think the answer is no, and they will likely finish low-to-mid table without really being in the relegation fight.
I have to say it’s really wide open, and my outside bet would be Southampton at around 4.0 or thereabouts. Bournemouth are also a good value price in my opinion at around 1.7, but they are the clear favourites of course. Bournemouth did well to get back into the Premier League, but they have yet to really prove that they are Premier League standard to be honest – it would be no great surprise if they did a Norwich from last season to be honest. With my Southampton bet – I just feel that they were very poor last season. They were very poor up front and they conceded an average xG of 1.8 per game last season too. Their stats were very poor in general and they were very poor away from home. Leeds are also certainly of interest at around 3.2 because they recorded less than one point per home game last season and we all know how important home form is when in a relegation battle. They can play some nice football though going forward, which is something Southampton can’t do.
Overall it should be another very entertaining season! From a betting point of view I am very happy to have a small value play on Liverpool for the title, confident bets on Chelsea and Spurs for Top Four and then I’m also happy to back Bournemouth and Southampton to go down. Best of luck for the season ahead!
The Striker’s Best Bets:
One point Liverpool to win at 4.1 with Betdaq Betting Exchange.
📉 You can view all markets for the Premier League 2022/23 season here -> https://betdaq.biz/PL2223