We run the rule over the contenders for the 2020/21 Premier League title and are surprised to see champions Liverpool as only second favourites.
After the shortest summer break in Premier League history, the world’s best domestic competition returns for what is set to be another thrilling campaign.
Last year the Premier League provided some incredible moments but one thing it clearly lacked was a competitive title race.
Liverpool went on to lift the trophy by 18-point margin over second-placed Manchester City. For neutrals, this was undoubtedly a disappointing aspect.
Despite this, the 2020/21 betting would suggest the new campaign is set to deliver where the last one missed out and provide us with a closer race to the finish.
Let’s take a look at the main contenders…
Betfair odds: 8/11
Following a season that yielded just the Carabao Cup for Pep Guardiola’s men, the pressure is on to deliver serious silverware this time round.
Despite finishing a full six wins behind Liverpool last term, the bookmakers have City priced as odds-on favourites to regain the title and claim it for the third time in four seasons.
The club have made two significant signings so far having brought in Nathan Ake from Bournemouth and Ferran Torres from Valencia. Neither is out of the very top drawer – at least not yet – but they still look strong additions to an already-powerful squad.
City’s price shortened when they were linked to Lionel Messi but he’s now staying put at Barcelona so you have to think Guardiola will keep on looking for players until the transfer window closes next month.
While City have strengthened in some areas, we should not forget about the names that have left the Etihad. City legend David Silva has departed the club after 10 years, while Leroy Sane has jumped ship to Bayern Munich. He barely played last season but some would suggest that was among the reasons they under-performed so badly compared to the previous campaign.
At their current price, City don’t offer any value in the betting and, as things stand, it’s hard to see how this team would be able to overturn the 18-point gap to Liverpool.
Betfair odds: 15/8
Jurgen Klopp’s men are currently second favourites to win what would be back-to-back Premier League titles. Some will find that remarkable given their dominance in 2019/20.
The defending champions haven’t made too many changes to their squad having parted ways with Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana – Gini Wijnaldum is also expected to depart – while at the same time managing to bring in left-back Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiakos.
But, having won the title in such comfortable fashion last term, it’s no surprise that the Reds have remained rather quiet in the transfer market.
Just like last year, Liverpool faced a defeat in the Community Shield via a penalty shoot-out; this time to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
Klopp didn’t seem too worried by the loss and there’s no reason why he should be. With a handful of exceptions, he pretty much has the same squad at his disposal as the one which wrapped up the Premier League crown in record time.
Betting wise, the 15/8 price tag does offer value; certainly a lot more than City. While only one team (City) have managed to defend their league title over the last 10 years, Liverpool still make the best betting option in this market.
Betfair odds: 9/1
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have done some serious business over the summer period. The Blues boss seems to have the trust of Roman Abramovich, who has sanctioned a spending spree.
Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech are major attacking acquisitions by the London outfit, while Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva have become notable defensive additions. Rising stars Xavier Mbuyamba and Malang Sarr have also joined the ranks at Stamford Bridge where the future looks bright.
Given the money they’ve splashed out, there will inevitably be pressure to perform and challenge for the title.
Priced at 9/1, the Blues are third favourites to claim their first league title since 2017.
In Lampard’s first season at the helm, Chelsea enjoyed a decent campaign last year – arguably above expectation – finishing in the top four and making it to the FA Cup final. Nevertheless, Lampard’s men were still a massive 33 points away from champions Liverpool.
While the 9/1 offer certainly looks attractive, there are still doubts whether the signings Chelsea have made can close down that enormous gap. The Blues should get a lot closer on this occasion but it is asking a lot for it to be fully bridged.
Betfair odds: 11/1
Manchester United sealed a third-place finish last season despite spending most of the campaign outside of the top four.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men lost fewer league games than local rivals City but a tally of 12 draws was too big and saw them consistently drop points.
Donny van de Beek is the Red Devils’ big summer signing from Ajax and they appear to have successfully retained the rejuvenated Paul Pogba.
United have been steadily improving under Solskjaer – Bruno Fernandes added much following his January arrival, while Mason Greenwood emerged as a real star.
However, the Red Devils will most likely have to settle for a top-four battle rather than a title challenge in this upcoming season.
The price of 11/1 is fully justified and it is hard to see how this side can make up their 33-point gap to Liverpool.
The dark horses
Arsenal are at 33/1 to clinch their first Premier League title since their invincible 2003/04 season.
The Gunners have certainly improved in both defence and attack during Mikel Arteta’s short reign at the Emirates. However, his side still have some way to go before they can challenge for the title.
Getting back into the top four would be a big achievement in itself this season, a task which would be made to look mountainous were Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to depart before the October 5 transfer deadline.
Staying in North London, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham are next in the list of potential challengers with Spurs at 60/1 in the title betting.
It’s unlikely that the Portuguese manager has ever been priced this far out to claim a league title. Nevertheless, this is certainly a justified price with the team managing a mere sixth-place finish last season.
Matt Doherty’s signing to fill the problem right-back area is a step in the right direction but it will take more than that to return Spurs to the heights of second and third achieved under Mauricio Pochettino.