Predictions for the 2016/17 Premier League

Date published: Saturday 27th August 2016 2:35

Jose Mourinho: Will renew rivalry with Pep Guardiola on Saturday

Jose Mourinho: Will renew rivalry this season

The new season of the Premier League has started now and fans are settling back into the routines of following their teams fortunes – whether it be at the game, in the pub or on television at home.

Of course some fans like to add a little extra thrill by betting on the results of the games, and the league and this article will look at some of the possible contenders to claim the Premier League crown.

Looking first at last season’s shock title winners, Leicester City, and it will be tough for Claudio Ranieri’s men to match that achievement. The bookmakers have them at around 66/1 to retain the title and that is because of the moves the big sides have made to strengthen their teams, as well as the additional demands that European football will make on Leicester’s squad.

They have also lost N’Golo Kante, but have retained Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy. Manchester City, under new manager Pep Guardiola, are certain to put up more of a title fight than they did last season.

The bookies currently have them as the 7/4 hot favourites and the signings of defender John Stones, winger Nolito and midfielder Ilkay Gundogan boost an already strong squad – so if Guardiola adapts quickly to English football they should justify that status.

City rivals Manchester United also have a brand new manager, in the shape of ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho and will be hoping to mount a realistic challenge for the first time in several years.

At 11/4, the bookmakers certainly believe that they will and there is no question that United are serious this year. Bringing in star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic demonstrates that, as does the arrival of midfielders Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba – the latter for a record £89 million. It was a lack of spark and creativity in the centre of midfield that made United so pedestrian under their last two managers and with these problems addressed, they should be taken seriously as contenders once more.

Chelsea endured a horrendous season last year, with manager Mourinho being sacked just months after signing a new contract, and Antonio Conte is the man charged with getting them back in the hunt. He snatched Kante from Leicester but has seemingly failed to land Romelu Lukaku from Everton.

Chelsea underperformed with a strong squad last year though, and 11/2 odds show they will be back in the mix. Finally Arsenal have perennially disappointed in the title race over the last decade and have failed to address problems with a lightweight midfield and central defence. Unless they do so before the close of the transfer window it is hard to see them as a good bet at 11/1, although one football gambling option that definitely is a good bet is the slot game Soccer Safari which you can find via sites such as http://www.casinoonline.co.nz/pokies. If you already bet on football online you will find this fast, funny animal football game a great way to expand your football gaming horizons a little.

The aim this year has to be to pick the right side for the title as well as to claim the Soccer Safari jackpot, and anything is possible.

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