It feels like we’ve only just said goodbye to the Euro’s but football’s packed schedule leaves no time for respite. Domestic leagues across Europe are about to resume with the English Premier League leading the way.
Brentford and Arsenal kick things off this Friday 13th August before a packed weekend of fixtures. Among a mouthwatering set of opening ties is the clash between Spurs and Manchester City while Manchester United are set to host historic rivals Leeds United at Old Trafford.
We’re ready for another entertaining and dramatic campaign but what, exactly, can we expect from the EPL in 2021/22?
The summer transfer window has been open for some time and we’ve already seen some big money deals go through. One of the breakthrough stars in England’s national squad from recent years is Jadon Sancho who has left Borussia Dortmund to play in the red of Manchester United.
Sancho began his youth career with United’s great rivals Manchester City but that’s not the only reason why this is a big coup for the Red Devils. The 21-year-old is one of the brightest prospects in the game and it will be great to see him in the Premier League.
Other major deals in August have seen Ben White move to Arsenal from Brighton while Leicester City have signed the prolific striker Patson Daka from RB Salzburg. It’s been a busy summer of deals and there should be more to come.
Lining them up
England midfielder Jack Grealish has now completed terms for a move to Manchester City while his former club Aston Villa are already spending the money. Southampton’s Danny Ings has moved to Villa Park for an undisclosed fee which is believed to be in the region of £25m.
When the ink is dry, it’s likely that City will step up their pursuit of Harry Kane who has effectively gone on strike at Tottenham Hotspur.
In contrast to Manchester City, Chelsea have been quiet by their own standards, but the Blues remain linked with a number of players, including Norwegian striker Erling Haaland.
The Teams to Watch
Even if Manchester City were to miss out on their transfer targets, it’s likely that the defending champions will be the team to beat once again. A squad that contains world class talent such as Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez is always likely to compete at the top of any division.
With City adding Grealish and possibly Kane to their ranks, they will start to look unbeatable. Premier League betting markets already list Pep Guardiola’s men as odds on favourites and the new arrivals would see the prices slip even shorter.
Leading the chasing pack are Chelsea who overcame City in the 2021 Champions League final. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will also be confident of making a challenge while Manchester United’s new faces should make the Red Devils more competitive.
Lots to Consider
The Premier League is one of the biggest draws for betting companies and there is plenty for customers to consider besides that overall winner market. Millions of pounds are staked on the Premier League each season by punters across the world, in turn, EPL clubs receive around £50 million in shirt sponsorship.
Fans can place bets on individual games with win, lose or draw markets available. Many hundreds of side markets are listed including Total Goals, First Goal Scorer, Winning Margin, Both Teams to Score and many more.
Other long-term markets have options including the league’s leading goal scorer while punters can also speculate on top four and top six finishes. The diverse choice offered by the sportsbooks is a key factor in the popularity of betting on the Premier League.
The main attention may fall on the potential winners but there are other markets to consider at the other end of the table.
Beating the Drop
Norwich City and Watford returned to the topflight at the first time of asking while Brentford will take their place in the Premier League for the very first time. All three newly promoted teams will now face a battle to stay up and many feel that they will occupy the three relegation slots at the end of the campaign.
For Brentford, much will depend on striker Ivan Toney whose goals saw the Bees earn promotion via the playoffs. Norwich also have a key centre forward and Finnish international Teemu Pukki will need to improve on his modest return from the Canaries’ last EPL campaign.
Watford will have the experience of Troy Deeney to call upon while all three clubs have been busy in the summer transfer market. The sides will face a battle and early results will be an indicator as to whether they have what it takes to beat the drop.
All to Play for
We’re just days away from the start of the new Premier League season and this is an exciting time for all involved. New players in the ranks give cause for optimism around the division and everyone is starting with a ‘clean slate.’
It’s evident that Manchester City will be the team to beat once again but there’s more to play for beyond the title race. Champions League and Europa League places are up for grabs while the battle for relegation is on, and it will be fascinating to see how it all plays out.
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