Football specialist James O’Rourke (@JamesOR1) provides us with an in-depth betting preview of the 2019/20 Premier League season with a focus on the outright, relegation, top goalscorer markets, as well as general best bets for the campaign.
2019/2020 Premier League Ante-Post Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
Based on the outright odds, it once again looks like being another two-horse race at the top of the Premier League. Manchester City are an odds-on shot to secure a third title in succession, whilst Liverpool once again go in search of the gong having only fell a point short last season. Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa are all back in the big time looking to make their presence felt. Graham Potter, Frank Lampard and Steve Bruce are all in new jobs at Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea and Newcastle United respectively. The new campaign is not too far away now and we’ve got every base covered here at The Punters Page.
Another Two-way Battle At The Top?
As touched upon already, it would appear that Man City and Liverpool will fight it out until the very end of May to secure the latest Premier League number one position after 38 games. From an antepost perspective, there’s little appeal in 4/6 over Man City. There’s every chance that price could rise mid-season after a bad result or two, or should a rival pull a few points clear like last season. Liverpool are around the 5/2 mark, which is fair as for all they got the plaudits, they still ultimately fell short to Pep Guardiola’s men. Jurgen Klopp hasn’t exactly gone big so far in the transfer market either. Pep on the flip side has splashed out over £60million on Atletico playmaker Rodrí, who is very much a Busquets 2.0. He’ll get them points next season. Whilst we’d never doubt Klopp at all, you just wonder if he has maybe missed a trick in not boosting his squad. Then again, the Anfield club are likely to give everything to the league season after falling so short last time and winning the UEFA Champions League. This should be a good battle, but for this market your best bet is to wait for periods in the season. There are of course other clubs in the mix, such as Tottenham, Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal, who are all big odds. Spurs could be interesting, whilst Lampard might need a settling in period in the Stamford Bridge dugout given he’s not been able to utilise the transfer market. Man Utd and Arsenal really need to step up to get involved. The Premier League title market is one which doesn’t appeal, unless you can ‘spot a Leicester’ somewhere in the mix!
Tips To Struggle?
Naturally, the three promoted clubs are always around the subject of potential teams to be relegated from the Premier League. Aston Villa have spent big to make sure they’re not part of the equation. That is a lot of new faces to integrate into proceedings, but you’d like to think they’d have enough. Norwich have a young and exciting squad, and you just wonder if that could work against them. They’re likely to win plenty of friends and they certainly impressed in the Championship, but they too have questions to answer. As do Sheffield United, and Chris Wilder has elected to keep faith with the team that got them to this position. He deserves big plaudits for that, with Slavisa Jokanovic from last season at Fulham a big exactly for going against that approach. Burnley, Brighton and Newcastle are the other notable short odds for this market, with there being a bit of a gap to the rest. That again presents a lack of value in this particular field. I wonder if Crystal Palace could be worthy of consideration at 6/1 in one place. They’ve lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka, plus Wilfried Zaha has made his feelings clear that he’d like to move on. It could be a case of wait and see with that one. Watford at 6/1 is another as for all they had a good year last season, they’ve finished in the bottom half for four seasons running. You just wonder if they’ll suffer a bit of a second season bounce after doing well last year in making the FA Cup Final. Again, I’m not overly keen on this market because of the prices.
Value Around In The Top Scorer Market
Over the last eleven seasons in the Premier League, only on three occasions has to top scorer broke the 30-goal barrier. The talk of a ’30 goal a season striker’ therefore is perhaps something more in the past, especially with squads becoming stronger overall, rotation playing a bigger part, meaning other players are chipping in to spread the goal load. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sadio Mané and Mo Salah shared the gong from last season with 22 each. Once again, they’ll likely be part of the equation this time around. Things like injuries can never be accounted for, but the schedule can and you just wonder which clubs will rely on their strikers as much as some. Harry Kane is the favourite on the basis of him likely starting almost every game. He got 17 last year, when injury cut his involvement, whilst he reached 30 the year before when injury-free. He won the top scorer prize in 2015/16 and 2016/17. There are each way markets in this sphere however, which could be to our advantage. A 100/1 shot has placed in this market in 11 of the last 17 Premier League seasons. A 50/1 has placed in 14 of the last 17 seasons, too. Mane was 80/1 last season for example. Many are suggesting those that take penalties could be in for a good time with VAR now involved in the Premier League. After its showing in the summer tournaments, you wonder how many spot kicks we could see per match! Luka Milivojevic is one notable mention, and you can get 250/1 on him with Sky Bet! However, it is another current Palace player which tickles me fancy at 100/1, and that is Wilfried Zaha. This was initially on the basis of him likely moving to Arsenal, but a possible switch to Everton remains a possibility… I’m happy to have a small play on him. His goal contribution has increased in each of the last four seasons and even in Everton’s setup he could be perfectly suited. This is a big if however, in terms of if a move to Goodison or the Emirates materialises. Then again, even if he remained at Palace, he’ll still want to perform to a level which would keep some of the bigger clubs interested. He’d be getting regular football in a side which has lacked an out-and-out goalscorer up front, so there is a void to be filled in terms of getting among the goals.
One bet I do like the look of the 13/2 on offer from Sky Bet for the top three to be positioned exactly as Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham. The top two look pretty secure, but picking which way around is up for debate. Again, I pip City again on the basis of them adding Rodrí, who is a bit of a game changer for them. Spurs have made the top three in three of the last four seasons, only missing out last season when their UEFA Champions League run began to take centre stage. Spurs have added Tanguy Ndombele to their roster to fill a necessary void and that will only aid their cause. Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal have plenty of questions to answer.
Finally, the PFA Young Player of the Year Award is something which caught my attention when seeing the prices. Only the likes of Trent-Alexander Arnold, Marcus Rashford, Leroy Sane and Dele Alli can you get single-priced odds across the board, so there’s plenty of value to be had. Much has been said of the fact that Chelsea cannot utilise the transfer market, and Lampard is likely to look towards his plethora of young talents. To me, this can only be a good thing in relation to this market. With youngsters likely to be getting more game time, it will get them in the public eye and we can really see how good these guys are at the top level. There’s plenty of notable candidates from many other clubs, but if a youngster can really make a mark at Chelsea, who will challenge near the top regardless, then it could only be good for their cause. Callum Hudson-Odoi ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned. A move to Bayern Munich now looks off the table, but that just highlights how regarded he is across the game. Lampard wants to work with him and you can see him having a big role to play, especially with Eden Hazard now in Madrid. Christian Pulisic could be another contender, but Hudson-Odoi proved in flashes last season that he can make an impression in this league, and at international level. 20/1 with Sky Bet is a great price.