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Friday, 12 August 2011

Who will win the Premier League 2011/12?

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Manchester United start their defence of the Premier League title on Sunday away at West Bromwich Albion and the Red Devils are clear favourites among the bookies to keep hold of their crown.

Sir Alex Ferguson has opened the chequebook this summer to bring Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea to Old Trafford and they have looked devastating in pre-season. Fergie is building yet another successful team at the Theatre of Dreams and it could be one to triumph long after he’s left the hot seat. The bookies just can’t see past United clinching their 20th league title and the best price you can get on them winning the league is 7/4 at bodog.

However, the Premier League is famed for its competitiveness and the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool will not just roll over for the champions.

Chelsea, despite having new manager Andre Villas-Boas in charge, are tipped to be United’s main challengers this season. The Blues have been a major title contender over the past few years and if it wasn’t for an alarming dip in form during the middle of last season the title could well have stayed in the capital.

Critics claim Chelsea are an ageing team but the likes of Terry, Lampard and Drogba are experienced professionals and born winners. There is still plenty of room in their mansions for more silverware and the Premier League title will be high on their list of priorities. You can get odds of 3/1 on Chelsea winning the title at Stan James, Coral and BetFred.

Just behind them is FA Cup winners Manchester City. Roberto Mancini’s men have one piece of silverware in the bank but they want more and they would love to be the team to knock Manchester United off their perch. Mancini has added Aguero to his multi-million pound squad and Arsenal’s Samir Nasri is expected to join up with former team-mates Clichy and Toure soon. City have the most talented squad in the top flight and their second XI is stronger than more than half of the top flight’s first teams. Coral is currently offering the best price on City being champions at 9/2.

Arsenal used to be United’s main title rivals, but since the Invincibles won the league in 2004 Arsene Wenger’s side have been overtaken by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. With star midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri tipped to leave before the new season kicks off, Arsene Wenger faces a real battle to convince the fans that they can still compete for honours. Most pundits fear Arsenal could slip out of the top four this season but Coral and Victor Chandler are offering 11/1 on the Gunners winning the title.

Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool are tipped to oust Arsenal from the top four and the Scotsman has spent millions in an attempt to reclaim a Champions League spot. Eyebrows have been raised at the money he’s spent on the likes of Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam, but if they gel and the Reds continue to perform as they did in the second half of last season then they may be aiming higher than a top four place.

Liverpool haven’t won the English title since 1990 and will be fuming at the fact that rivals Manchester United surpassed their league title record last season. If you think Dalglish can bring the title back to Liverpool and regain parity with Manchester United then Coral and Totesport are the places to go as they are offering 14/1 on Liverpool to win the title.

There is then a huge gap back to Tottenham Hotspur at 66/1 at Coral. Harry Redknapp has a highly talented squad but given the fact that only four teams have won the Premier League since its inception 20 years ago then you can understand why the odds are so long. Not forgetting that Spurs also face the demands of Europa League action this season.

After that you are looking at odds of 500/1 for Everton and Aston Villa at Bet365 and 3000/1 for Sunderland at Coral.

Total outsiders for the title are Norwich City, Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Wolves, who are all priced at 10000/1 at Bet365 and William Hill. I’m sure I’d get better odds of dating Carmen Electra than that!!!

Here is a full list of the odds:

Manchester United 7/4

Chelsea 3/1

Manchester City 9/2

Arsenal 11/1

Liverpool 14/1

Spurs 66/1

Aston Villa 500/1

Everton 500/1

Sunderland 3000/1

Fulham 5000/1

Newcastle 5000/1

QPR 5000/1

Stoke City 6000/1

Bolton Wanderers 6000/1

Blackburn Rovers 7500/1

West Bromwich Albion 8000/1

Norwich City 10000/1

Swansea City 10000/1

Wigan Athletic 10000/1

Wolverhampton Wanderers 10000/1


Who is your money on?

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Antony Melvin



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