- Liverpool head the EPL by 13 points and are big odds-on for the title
- Leicester City leading the chase and look set for a Champions League spot
- Man Utd and Spurs putting pressure on Chelsea for fourth spot
After the busy festive period in the EPL, Liverpool still remains undefeated and now have average odds to win the league of -2767. Just under a month ago, on December 10, they were -750.
While, with a 13-point lead, it’s hard to see anyone challenging the Reds for the biggest prize, there is still plenty left to play for, including a place in the top four and, as a result, a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
English Premier League 2019/20
|Team||Top 4 Odds||Odds to Win|
Odds taken on Jan 7.
At -2500 to win in the EPL odds, there is no value in betting on Liverpool and nor should there be. The Reds look imperious and despite having had a couple of implosions in the last decade when approaching the final straight of a title run-in, such is their dominance this season, it will take something quite extraordinary for them not to be lifting the EPL trophy in May.
Having started the season at +268, just behind Man City who started as odds-on, Liverpool have been odds-on themselves since early October, when they dropped to -147. Since then, they have exerted more and more pressure on Man City and their 13-point lead has resulted in the aforementioned -2767.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are fighting successfully on all four fronts – the three English domestic competitions and the UEFA Champions League – and have recently won the FIFA Club World Cup competition, in which they beat Flamengo in the final. They also have strength in depth, demonstrated perfectly on Sunday when a youthful, second-string team beat a full-strength Everton 1-0 in the FA Cup.
In other words, Liverpool look unstoppable and in a few months will be crowned English champions for the first time since 1990.
There are however some decent bets on offer when it comes to predicting will make the top four and earn one of those lucrative Champions League places.
Leicester and Co Battling For Champions League Places
As things stand, Liverpool, Leicester City, Man City, and Chelsea make up the top four, with a five-point gap between fourth-placed Chelsea and fifth-placed Manchester United, but Tottenham in sixth will also consider themselves in the hunt. Wolves too, with their significant ambition and funding, are also a club who see the Champions League as their ultimate destination.
But will any of those currently outside the top six be able to gatecrash it? And will Leicester and Chelsea be able to maintain their challenge? The bookies, understandably, assume that Man City will stay in the top four.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 1, 2020
Foxes Looking to Replicate 2015/16
For Leicester, it’s been a season of awe and wonder and despite Brendan Rodgers having put together a quality squad, few expected them to go toe-to-toe with the big six so successfully. In many ways, this has bettered their form of 2015/16 when they won the title despite starting the season as 5000/1 outsiders. This Foxes team plays a more entertaining brand of soccer than Claudio Ranieri’s Class of 2016 and have plenty of matchwinners in their ranks.
In addition to being full of goals, Leicester have a rock-solid defense and only Liverpool have conceded less the EPL this season. They currently have a 14-point lead over Manchester United and with just 17 games remaining it’s very hard to see them not making top four.
Man Utd Striving for Consistency
United, for their part, will fancy their chances of catching Chelsea, with both teams exhibiting signs of both the good and the bad as the season has progressed. Both have mixed some good performances with some less-than-spectacular ones and consistency has been elusive in both west London and Manchester.
For that reason, United cannot be written off, especially if United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can get a tune out of fit-again Paul Pogba. He’s very much the key here – if he’s healthy and, importantly, focused then I’d back the Red Devils to beat the Blues to fourth-place. But it’s a big if.
Three points don't come much more satisfying than that! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/D35Nz4Mtrv
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 28, 2019
Spurs and Wolves are the other two teams at play here – both are only a single point behind United – but both need to overcome the odds to make fourth, with the knockout stages of European competition looming as they also to look to make up ground on those above them.
European Glory for Wolves?
For Wolves, who are through to the knockout stages of the Europa League, there is an argument here that their best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League is by winning said Europa League. They certainly have a good chance.
Tottenham’s inconsistency could potentially cost them but, equally, with a new stadium to pay for, Jose Mourinho will be drawing on all his experience and knowhow to see them make ground on United. And I have a feeling that if Spurs can get big wins against the sides around them, United in particular, they could sneak into fourth off the back of a storming second half of the season.
Pick: Spurs to make to four (+400)