Premier League betting season preview: Tottenham to finish higher than Liverpool, Jamie Vardy top goalscorer at 16/1
Nathan Redmond, Jamie Vardy and Jack Grealish all tipped to flourish
Last Updated: 06/08/19 8:03am
Liverpool to finish outside the top two? Leicester to break into the top six? Jones Knows has a feast of ante-post bets to ponder as the Premier League returns.
Are we now in a period of a big two not just a big six? The markets would have you believe so but I'd like to go one further and suggest we're living in a Premier League era of a 'big one'. Steady....
All the pre-season chat has centred around whether you'll be backing Manchester City (1/2) or Liverpool (9/4) for the Premier League title after the pair pulled 25 points clear of the chasing pack. It was a title race that will live long in the memory for the pure standard of football played under intense pressure over the last two months of the season.
Many are expecting a repeat battle. In my eyes, those of that persuasion will only be half right as Manchester City, who finished the season with 14 wins on the bounce, look set maintain and even build on their record-breaking form with arguably the league's best player Kevin De Bruyne now fit.
Meanwhile, Liverpool may struggle to repeat their heroics.
Squad depth remains a cause of concern, especially in forward areas. Liverpool managed to avoid long-term injury issues to their key men last season while defeats against Wolves in the FA Cup and Chelsea in the Carabao Cup showcased that apart from 13 or 14 players, Liverpool do lack the quality that City possess in reserve. Jurgen Klopp has built a quite extraordinary team at Anfield but to hit the same heights as last season seems a big ask. They look short in the markets.
This slight vulnerability regarding Liverpool's title credentials certainly opens the door for a team to finish behind City in second. At 5/1 it's certainly worth taking a chance on Tottenham to follow Guardiola's team home (straight forecast: 1st: Manchester City, 2nd: Tottenham).
Mauricio Pochettino is the master of improvement. Every year his Tottenham team go to the next level both individually and as a unit. To make the Champions League final considering the restraints Pochettino found himself under in terms of transfer budget, stadium chaos and injuries was an accomplishment that deserved more hullabaloo.
With Harry Kane, the best centre-forward in Europe, refreshed after a rare summer off and Spurs settled at their new imperious home, the odds for them to chase home City in the title race are ones to snap up.
Jones Knows 33/1 shot!
Liverpool to finish outside top two, Leicester top six and Burnley to be relegated!
When assessing the market for top goalscorer this season, there are two key components to factor: selfishness and being on penalties with VAR set to increase the spot-kick count.
Kane is an obvious one in that regard and it's no surprise to see him heading the market at 4/1 with Sky Bet. After a prolonged rest, he'll be fully revved to lead Tottenham's charge in the Premier League. He rates as the most likely winner but my eye is drawn another Englishman who will be primed for a big season with full focus on his club exploits.
Jamie Vardy is just too big to ignore at 16/1 with each-way stakes in mind - Sky Bet are paying the first four places. After a stormy time under Claude Puel, Vardy is Brendan Rodgers' main man in attack, spearheading Leicester City's season - like the good old days.
His goalscoring record at this level certainly merits more respect than the current odds suggest.
Added to the fact he scored nine in 10 games under Rodgers at the end of last season, Vardy's goal record reads: 24-20-18 in the last three seasons. He's an elite striker, playing at a club that will play attacking football - 16/1 is just too juicy to ignore.
2pts EW: Jamie Vardy 16/1 with Sky Bet
The power of data when it comes to making shrewd decision-making for assessing a market should not be underestimated. Filtering out the irrelevant and putting faith in strong data that paints a picture for future results is a key component in turning your long-term profit and loss column into the green.
Will Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa stay up?
Adam Smith takes an in-depth look at how newly-promoted sides have fared in the past and the keys to avoiding relegation...
Burnley are a team that constantly defy key data - last season they had the fewest shots and key passes of any Premier League team per game, less than Huddersfield, Cardiff and Fulham who were all relegated.
This inability to create chances will eventually leave them in trouble at some point in the season, which makes the 2/1 on offer for relegation a decent play. Their time could be up in the Premier League if they continue to rely on last-ditch defending and such a rugged style of play that has served Sean Dyche so well over the years but could leave them toiling behind the newly-promoted teams. All three newbies to the league, Sheffield United (8/11), Norwich (Evens) and Aston Villa (2/1), will play in an aggressive, attack-minded approach that will yield points, especially at home.
Burnley's haul of 40 points in the last two seasons has seen them survive comfortably but there doesn't seem to be a whipping club that will get tailed off this season. Points will be harder to come by. Burnley look in trouble.
2pts: Burnley 2/1 with Sky Bet
Outside the top three there is vulnerability regarding Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. With instability in the air and lots of unknowns, it's easy to see one of those teams slipping out of the top six.
That opens the door for a club to break through and challenge.
The Foxes finished 14 points adrift of that mark last season but with a more settled plan in place now, led by an ambitious manager, they are equipped to challenge the elite this season.
This bet has been to the fore of my mind since they ripped apart Arsenal 3-0 in a style at the end of April that had Rodgers' unique enthusiastic clapping style going into overdrive on the touchline. Yes, Arsenal had 10 men for 55 minutes but Leicester swarmed all over their visitors throughout, registering a whopping 84.4 per cent passing accuracy and mustering 24 shots on goal.
Leicester won five of their 10 matches under Rodgers and contained Manchester City for large parts in that nervy 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium when Vincent Kompany sent a thunderbolt through the heart of Liverpool.
Ayoze Perez, James Justin and last season's loan star Youri Tielemans all have been added to the squad and while the loss of Harry Maguire is a blow, he is far from irreplaceable.
Club top goalscorer
Under Ralph Hasenhuttl last season, Southampton forward Nathan Redmond was involved in more Premier League goals than any other Southampton player (10 - six goals, four assists). The boss sees Redmond as a bit of a project and under his stewardship Redmond looks set to take his game to the next level. "A guy we want to build the team around," Hasenhuttl said in pre-season.
He's a player with all the required ingredients to become one of the best attackers in the Premier League but has yet to put it all together. Just 21 goals in 175 Premier League is a massive underachievement for someone with Redmond's skill-set. Expect those numbers to go up with the way Hassenhuttl plays the game. He's all about pace, quick transitions and possession with a purpose. Redmond should thrive.
Danny Ings (6/4) and new signing Che Adams (7/4) head the Saints' market for the club's top goalscorer but Redmond simply has to be the play at 7/2. Also, the 300/1 from an each-way view in the outright top goalscorer market could be one to give you a bit of excitement over the season.
To make England's Euro 2020 squad
This time next year we could be sitting here revelling in England being European champions. Gareth Southgate's men have a huge opportunity to end 54 years of tournament hurt. But who will make the squad? It's certainly not too early to be thinking about that and there is a betting opportunity with plenty of legs.
One area England continue to miss is that player who can come and collect the ball under pressure and progress the play up the field through midfield. Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, Ross Barkley and Eric Dier have been the go-to guys for Southgate but a change is coming in that department with a crop of exciting talent likely to play their way into fold over the coming season.
He is yet to make his senior debut for his country but Southgate has always been very open regarding how playing in the Sky Bet Championship was always going to make it difficult for Grealish to be selected. Now leading Aston Villa's charge at the top table, it'll only be a matter of time before he gets his chance to shine at a level that mirrors his ability.
He left the Premier League stage as a raw, rough around the edges loose cannon but he returns a man and could be the missing piece of Southgate's puzzle. He's ready for the international stage.
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