The 2016/17 Premier League begins on August 13 — exactly one month away — but despite Leicester City’s shock win last season bookmakers are still playing it safe on who will take the title this time.
Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal all lead the odds across the major bookies, with City the firm favourite.
Tottenham and Leicester City are just sixth and seventh in the odds at the moment — even though they came third and first respectively last year.
Chelsea is currently fourth in the odds, despite a terrible season last year.
Bookmakers apparently have high hopes for new managers — former Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola begins his tenure at City while United fans can look forward to much-hyped Jose Mourinho starting at United. Chelsea also has a new manager in Antonio Conte, who just finished coaching the Italian national side.
All three clubs have also spent big on new players. United has already bought Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Villarreal defender Eric Bailly, and could soon break the league’s transfer fee record for French striker Paul Pogba. City, meanwhile, has nabbed Spanish international Nolito, Ukraine winger Oleksandr Zinchenkod and FC Ufa’s Alexander Zinchenko.
Chelsea’s big signing so far has been Marseilles’ Michy Batshuayi for £33 million ($44 million) after an intense bidding war with Tottenham, West Ham, and Crystal Palace. With Chelsea’s enormous wealth it is likely more big transfers are on the way which could improve the club’s odds.
Leicester City has so far been less aggressive in its signings, with Ahmed Musa and Raul Uche Rubio possibly in the pipeline but not yet confirmed. However last season’s hero Jamie Vardy rejected an offer from Arsenal in June and signed a new four-year contract with the Foxes, suggesting the club is willing to spend a lot of money to continue its winning streak.
Here are the odds of the top three teams bookmakers think are most likely to win next season’s Premier League:
- Ladbrokes: City 12/5 — United 7/2 — Arsenal 6/1
- William Hill: City 2/1 — United 7/2 — Arsenal 6/1
- Betfair: City 2/1 — United 4/1 — Arsenal 6/1
- Paddy Power: City 9/4 — United 10/3 — Arsenal 6/1
- Sky Bet: City 2/1 — United 7/2 — Arsenal 11/2
Leicester City’s now infamous league win beat odds of 5000/1, which made a few lucky gamblers as much as £100,000 from a £20 bet. Despite the club’s brilliantly consistent form throughout the season, bookies said last May that Leicester had more chance of being relegated than of retaining the title next season.