As we are all gearing up for the start of the new season, many are wondering who is worth a flutter to be top scorer, the relegated teams, the winners, survivors and who will be getting their passports ready for a European adventure. So here is a guide of where to place your hand-earned money during the 2012-13 campaign.
Winners of the Barclays Premier League 2012-13
City’s last-gasp win on the last day of the season has installed them as clear-favourites to retain the league crown. They are a best-priced 13/10 with YouWin.
United’s cruel end to the season, getting pipped at the last, has them as second favourites to regain the trophy and claim their 20th title. United are at a best price of 13/5 with BetVictor. These are good odds, especially if our targets Lucas Moura and Robin van Persie are signed.
Now to the outsiders… Chelsea have found new ambition and vigour following their historic Champions League success, enabling them to attract much-sought after Eden Hazard, Mirko Marin and Oscar, with potentially more to follow. Losing Didier Drogba has been a blow and has not been replaced. His experience and big-game status will be missed. Therefore they come in at 5’s with Bodog.
Arsenal have some serious rebuilding to do. It seems as though talismatic striker Robin van Persie will be exiting the Emirates, and if Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski very much untried in England, it could well mean settling for top 4 places is as lofty as Gunners’ fans can hope for. This is reflected in the best odds of 69/5 with Betfair.
Spurs had a very good campaign last year, being seriously unlucky to not claim Champions League football, despite finishing above Chelsea. This has led to uncertainty surrounding their key players. Yet again, Luka Modric went AWOL before apologising, angling for a move to Real Madrid. Manu Adebayor is stalling on signing a permanent contract, the long-term future of Gareth Bale remains in doubt. Spurs will have to go some and more to claim a first Premiership, hence being at 33’s with YouWin.
Relegation Odds 2012-13
Arguably the toughest topic to produce a definite answer, we see every year that one or more of the so-called ‘established’ Premier League outfits loses their status, some have never returned (Coventry, Leeds, Charlton), but more recently, Bolton and Blackburn will be playing Championship football. There are cliches that one promoted will supposedly ‘not get more than 10 points’ all season (Blackpool, Swansea), and look at the attractive brand of football they played.
Onto the odds, Reading are the bookies’ favourites to go down immediately, despite astute proven Prem players being signed (Pogrebnyak, Guthrie, Shorey). They are 11/10 with 5 of the leading bookies.
Southampton are likely to also suffer an immediate return to the Championship. Much will depend on their frontline of Jay Rodriguez, Billy Sharp and Rickie Lambert, all fantastic lower down but untested in the big league. The Saints romped the Championship last season but are widely available at the small price of 5/4 to drop down, with a number of bookies.
Norwich are tipped to suffer from the dreaded 2nd season syndrome with many of the bookies. They have managed to retain the services of hitman Grant Holt for next season, and new gaffer Chris Hughton is looking to build on Paul Lambert’s stellar work. They are about to add creativity in Leeds’ Robert Snodgrass and stability in Sunderland’s Michael Turner but are still destined to struggle according to the bookies. Odds of 6/4 reflect this.
Wigan have re-defined logic with their great escapes over recent years. They have the know-factor and grit to survive the relegation battle. Can they hold their nerve for another season? Keeping Victor Moses is essential, but is out of contract next summer, so a sale might be sanctioned, then it’ll be who they replace him with who is key. They sit alongside Norwich at 6/4 with leading bookies.
Others tipped to maybe be in danger are- West Ham, who are mainly at 2’s. Same with Swansea, then those who might be in safer water, West Brom are at 4’s, QPR at 9/2, Villa and Stoke at 7’s, Fulham and Sunderland at 9’s, if you fancy a long punt.
One area that always draws a lot of money, interest and debate is who will win the Golden Boot. Last season, RVP absolutely coasted it, leaving Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney in his wake. This is why so many United fans will be drooling at a potential Rooney/RVP partnership at Old Trafford. I will select those who are likely to be up and around the top of the charts.
Top Scorer 2012/13
Sergio Aguero- best priced: 7/1
Robin van Persie- best priced: 7/1
Wayne Rooney- best priced: 7/1
Luis Suarez- best priced: 12/1
Carlos Tevez- best priced: 12/1
Javier Hernandez- best priced: 16/1
Papiss Cisse- best priced: 16/1
Darren Bent- best priced: 20/1
Nikica Jelavic- best priced: 20/1
Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud- best priced: 20/1
Some longer shots
Andy Caroll- best priced: 25/1
Manu Adebayor- best priced: 25/1
Demba Ba- best priced: 25/1
Eden Hazard- best priced: 33/1
It is always interesting to see who is the bookies’ favourite to get the chop first, here are the best odds.
Premier League Next Manager to Leave 2012/13
1) Sam Allardyce- 4/1
2) Nigel Adkins, Steve Clarke 6/1
3) Mark Hughes- 10/1
4) Roberto Di Matteo- 11/1
5) Brian McDermott, Chris Hughton 14/1
For a bit of fun, Arsene Wenger is 25/1, Roberto Mancini is 33/1, Sir Alex Ferguson is 66/1. Interestingly, Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers is only 16/1 to the first manager out of the door in the 2012-13.
Hopefully from this list you will be able to decide where to place your money. The football season is fast approaching and there’s a lot to get excited about. I, for one, fancy a punt on Brendan Rodgers to get sacked first…