It barely seems a few weeks ago that Steven Gerrard’s slip at Anfield allowed Demba Ba the chance to put Chelsea 1-0 up and effectively hand the title to Manchester City.
Manuel Pellegrino’s team seized their opportunity and won their remaining games to lift the title for the second time in three years. There followed a summer of disappointment for English football as a lacklustre World Cup performance saw Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions head home after the first group stage, winless and with their tails very much between their legs.
However, barely a month after the World Cup Final saw Germany triumph and following Arsenal’s superb 3-0 victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield, the Premier League season kicks off in earnest this weekend, with Manchester United taking on Swansea City at Old Trafford in the first game of the season.
In this preview of the season, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular bets for the season ahead, including which teams are favourites for the league title, who the leading goalscorer will be and which teams will be struggling against relegation, including the team most likely to finish bottom of the pile. Finally, to kick off the new season, we’ll give you our choice of a fabulous five-fold accumulator based on the games from the opening weekend of Premier League action.
If you find yourself looking for betting action this season, look no further than Bet365, where new signups qualify for up to $100 in free sports bets from Bet365 Sports.
Premier League 2014-2014 overall winner
Last weekend’s Community Shield victory for Arsenal over Manchester City has certainly turned the overall winner betting market on its head for the Premier League in the new season. Until then, City and Chelsea were close to joint-favourites for the title, but City’s miserable display, plus manager Manuel Pellegrini revealing that he feels his current City team are not in the best shape to defend their title, has seen them drift considerably in the market.
Louis van Gaal’s pre-season promise at Manchester United has them a 9/2 shot for the title, but winning games when it doesn’t matter is one thing. It will be interesting to see how the Dutchman fares when Premier League points are on the line and that price is far too short for a team that was so lacking last season. Arsenal (6/1) and Liverpool (10/1) are two other teams worth considering.
The Gunners were sublime in their 3-0 victory over City last weekend, while on the same weekend, Liverpool humbled Borussia Dortmund 4-0 at Anfield in a hugely impressive performance which will have made more than a few teams sit up and take notice.
However, my favourites for the title are Chelsea (15/8) and they are my choice here. Jose Mourinho stated last season that his aim was always the league title this season and with a brilliant summer in the transfer market behind him, this is arguably the strongest Chelsea squad Mourinho has ever assembled at the club.
Premier League 2014-2015 leading goalscorer
Which player will follow Luis Suarez as the Premier League’s leading goalscorer in 2014-2015?
The bookies have Manchester United ace Robin van Persie as the 9/2 favourite, but there are several reasons why I don’t feel the Dutchman will be the name at the top of the charts next May. Firstly is durability. Van Persie has always suffered with injuries and he is likely to miss the start of the season.
My concern with picking Van Persie (or indeed two of the other main contenders for this prize, Sergio Aguero and Daniel Sturridge) is that he picks up too many injuries and thus misses too many games. That is a point I would make with the 2nd and 3rd favourites for the title Aguero and Sturridge too.Both players tend to miss a few games here and there with niggling injuries and while they are seldom long-term, they are enough to disrupt their flow and stop them scoring as many goals as they probably should if fit throughout the course of the season.
So I do feel there’s some great value to be had in the leading goalscorer market and my choice for top goalscorer is Chelsea new boy Diego Costa (7/1). The Spanish international notched 28 goals in La Liga last season and as Chelsea’s clear number 1 first choice striker, he should get plenty of chances to at least match that tally.
As a pointer, it is worth noting that if you place a £20 bet on the leading goalscorer with Paddy Power, you will also receive a £2 free bet every time your player scores during the season. This is a great offer and well worth taking up if you fancy a £20 flutter on Costa or any other leading goalscorer contender.
If you haven’t yet tried Paddy Power, you can get a free bet offer from them as well. Right now new accountholders will be able to get £20 worth of free Paddy Power sports bets.
Premier League 2014-2015 bottom of the table
While most fans eyes are glued to the top of the table, there are a significant number for whom the other end of the table will likely hold their interest. Reaching the Premier League may certainly be achievable for some, but as Fulham, Cardiff City and Norwich City found out to their cost last season, staying there is an even sterner test.
Unsurprisingly, the three promoted teams, Burnley, QPR and Leicester City feature heavily in the betting as the teams most likely to finish bottom. Burnley at the 13/8 favourites with Bet365 in this unwanted market with QPR 11/2 and Leicester 13/2. Burnley are certainly the obvious choice here.
Manager Sean Dyche has not been able to spend as much money as QPR or Leicester to try and keep them in the top flight and his squad, on paper at least, does lack the quality of the other 19 in the division. However, keep an eye on a couple of larger bets on this market, especially in the opening few weeks of the season.
Southampton (20/1) have lost a huge number of players and Ronald Koeman has a real task to keep Saints in the upper half of the table with a decimated squad that has only been bolstered with players with little or no Premier League experience.
Another team to watch here is Swansea City. Manager Garry Monk endured a tough run as boss towards the end of last season and the Swans have lost several key players, with speculation rife that Wilfred Bony could also be on his way.
If Bony leaves, it is easy to see the Swans drifting towards the lower reaches of the table. However, my pick to finish bottom of the table has to be Burnley at 13/8, but having said that, I hope I am wrong. Sean Dyche has done a wonderful job at the club and he deserves more than one season in the top flight with his team.
Premier League 2014-2015 opening day five-fold acca
What better way to start the season than with a fantastic five-fold acca bet, which if you place it with Bet365, will qualify for their Euro Soccer Bonus, paying you an additional 10% on top of your winnings.
With this acca bet, I am not only going for the obvious picks, but also looking for some better value games to help increase our odds and, fingers crossed, lead to a bigger win. Here’s my selection of five games for the weekend which I feel could turn you a great profit with Bet365:
- Manchester United v Swansea City – home win (1/3)
- Leicester City v Everton – away win (11/8)
- Q.P.R v Hull City – draw (11/5)
- Liverpool v Southampton – home win (4/11)
- Burnley v Chelsea – away win (4/11)
A five-fold selection on these five games with a £10 bet would return at odds of 17.84/1, thus you would win £178.40, plus receive your £10 stake back for a total return of £188.40.
However, with the Euro Soccer Bonus, you would receive an extra 10% on top of your winnings, so you would earn an additional £18.84, meaning you would actually receive £207.24 for the same bet.
To qualify for the Euro Soccer Bonus with Bet365, simply select matches from the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A or the Champions League (knockout stage and onwards) as selections in your acca, place your bet and you will automatically qualify for the bonus.
It promises to be an exciting Premier League season with some huge clashes between title contenders in the first few weeks of the season and it all kicks off this weekend.