We’re 22 weeks into the 2016-17 Premier League season and some interesting storylines have emerged. Chelsea (18-1-3, 55 points) are threatening to run away with the title. With 55 points, they are eight points clear of the league and have held a comfortable lead for most of the season. But what makes Chelsea’s title chances so good isn’t just their points margin, it’s their consistency. While the other title contenders have faltered during the season, Chelsea have remained steady, winning 15 of their last 16 league games.
If the other title contenders are going to catch the Blues, they will have to stop dropping points against lesser teams. The season so far has been riddled with upset losses and disappointing draws, and each time it allows Chelsea to pull a little further ahead. That said, the Blues could soon be without leading scorer Diego Costa, who is being lured by big spenders in China and may be on the move in the next transfer window.
Tottenham (13-7-2, 46 points) have been the most consistent side chasing Chelsea. Spurs are unbeaten in their last seven games, which includes a 2-0 win over Chelsea (ending the Blues’ 14-game win streak) and a tight 2-2 draw against Manchester City. They’re nine points below the leaders, which is a tough gap to close, but there’s still time left in the season.
Arsenal (14-5-3, 47 points) are currently in second place after a very fortunate win against 13th-place Burnley last weekend. The Gunners record belies some shaky performances. Yet, on paper, they are doing great, and if manager Arsene Wenger can iron out the kinks in the team, they stand a real shot at the title.
The last time we updated you on the title odds, Liverpool (13-6-3, 45 points) were considered Chelsea’s biggest threat. Well, not anymore. After a decent 1-1 draw against Manchester United, the Reds broke down against Swansea City, losing 3-2. The loss saw them fall three points further below the leaders and they now trail by ten points. Liverpool have had some spectacular wins but they have also had some horrible losses. All those dropped points are costing them dearly.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City (13-4-5, 43 points) looked so promising at the start of the season but now their title chances are pretty slim. A crushing 4-0 loss to Everton and a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool have left the Citizens 12 points below the top.
Perennial power Manchester United round out the top six (11-8-3, 41 points). At this stage, the Red Devils can forget about the EPL title and just focus on cracking the top four and reaching next year’s Champions League.
So there you have it. The Spurs and Gunners are in with a decent outside shot at the title, but at the end of the day Chelsea remain the heavy favorite.
Below, you can get the full odds for the top contenders, along with some side props on other trending storylines: Will Man United make a push for the Champions League? Will Diego Costa be lured to China? Who will lead the EPL in goals come season’s end?
Odds to win the 2016-17 Premier League Title
Man City: 25/1
Premier League Side Props
Odds Man United finishes top-four in the EPL: 5/2
United are only four points back of fourth-place Liverpool, but their goal difference (+12) is a good indicator of how much stronger the top teams are right now. Fourth-place Liverpool has a +24 differential. Tottenham, Arsenal, and Chelsea are all even better. Unless United finds more goal scoring, they’re underdogs to reach the Champions League spots.
Odds the following players leave during the January transfer window:
Diego Costa, Chelsea: 3/1
Dimitri Payet, West Ham: 7/13
Dele Alli, Tottenham: 23/2
Eden Hazard, Chelsea: 20/1
Diego Costa is considering leaving England for some Chinese megabucks while Dimitri Payet desperately wants out of West Ham. There is talk of high-profile interest in Dele Alli and Eden Hazard, but so far the rumors are unsubstantiated.
Odds to be the 2016-17 EPL top goalscorer:
Diego Costa, Chelsea: 11/4
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Man United: 4/1
Harry Kane, Tottenham: 4/1
Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal: 17/3
Sergio Aguero, Man City: 6/1
With Chelsea crushing it in the league, Diego Costa is naturally the favorite. He’s currently tied with Sanchez for the league lead (15), one ahead of Ibrahimovic (14). Harry Kane (13) isn’t far behind for Spurs. Any one of these guys could catch fire and claim the honor. I give Ibra the best chance to best Costa since he’s basically United’s only consistent source of goals.
Photo credit: “West Ham United Vs Manchester City” by joshjdss, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.