- Liverpool and Man City head the EPL after three games
- Spurs are favored to finish third but Arsenal looking good
- Man Utd still struggling under Solskjaer
With the English Premier League just three games old, already there is a familiar pattern emerging. Again, Manchester City and Liverpool are emerging as the teams to beat and already it appears a battle between the two for the title and a separate battle for third.
English Premier League 2019/20 – Straight Tricast Odds
|1st Man City, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Tottenham
|1st Man City, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Arsenal
|1st Liverpool, 2nd Man City, 3rd Tottenham
|1st Man City, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Man Utd
|1st Man City, 2nd Liverpool, 3rd Chelsea
|1st Man City, 2nd Tottenham, 3rd Liverpool
|1st Liverpool, 2nd Man City, 3rd Arsenal
|1st Liverpool, 2nd Man City, 3rd Man Utd
|1st Liverpool, 2nd Man City, 3rd Chelsea
|1st Man City, 2nd Man Utd, 3rd Liverpool
*Odds taken 8/28/19.
Odds favor City being first, Liverpool second and Tottenham third at +350, but with Chelsea making third last season, is there an argument for this happening again?
And is a tricast the best way of making a profitable bet or are EPL outrights the way to go, considering, the presumptive favorites to win the league on their own are offered at shorter prices (-250 for City and +275 for Liverpool)?
We’ll take a close look, starting with a quick look at the embryonic league table (top ten):
Nothing that’s occurred over the opening three games has led anyone to believe the status quo is going to be challenged. City and Liverpool have both hit the ground running, including their players who were away in the summer on Copa America and Africa Cup of Nations duty, and look set to continue their two-way battle for the EPL title.
Champions League Pressure on City
For Pep Guardiola’s City it will very much be a case of more of the same, but for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool they will need to find something extra; an edge that will make them at least one point better than City – a big ask when we consider that last season they broke the EPL points total for a team that finished second.
“Are you the best coach in history?”
? Pep Guardiola: “Of course not, There's Cruyff who changed Barcelona and Ajax, Ferguson in Manchester, and José Mourinho as well.”
— 4 3 3 (@433) August 26, 2019
What may count in Liverpool’s favor, and which may tilt the balance slightly, is that for all Man City’s riches and highly decorated trophy room, they have yet to get even close to winning the UEFA Champions League, something that will not be lost on owner Sheikh Mansour. For that type of financial outlay, he will demand European football’s biggest prize.
EPL Title Is Liverpool’s Holy Grail
Liverpool, by contrast, have the Champions League trophy tucked safely away in the trophy cabinet and now see their Holy Grail as the EPL title. Klopp will be pulling out all the stops to make this happen, and so a Liverpool title win, with City distracted by a Champions League campaign, is perfectly feasible.
Salah and Van Dijk on target as Liverpool beat Norwich 4-1.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 9, 2019
Ground to Make up for Lampard’s Blues
Looking now at who can make third, given the transfer embargo placed on Chelsea over the summer and January transfer windows, it’s hard to see Frank Lampard’s team repeating their feat of last season. They are now without the skills of Eden Hazard – who left for Real Madrid – and are instead relying on some of their talented young players who, until now, have had little first XI game time.
So, while they may well entertain and thrill the Chelsea fans by playing some great soccer, they will in my view not have enough to make third.
FT: Norwich 2 vs #Chelsea 3. Mount of Fire Ministry ⚽ and Fada Abraham ⚽⚽ score to give Frank Lampard him first win as Chelsea manager. Oga Frank gats luk wella inside our back. E no gud. Dazzall! pic.twitter.com/PI3V86CGgB
— Chelsea In Pidgin ? (@Chelsea4Pidgin) August 24, 2019
North London Derby Awaits
Tottenham too have made only an average start to the season and despite many positives, like a new stadium, there is a sense of inertia around the new White Hart Lane, with them showing few signs of having the additional talent needed to take it to the next level.
FULL-TIME: Newcastle hold on and take the points.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 25, 2019
This coming weekend, Spurs go to Arsenal for the first North London derby of the season, and it will be telling who comes out on top because I firmly believe the Gunners have a genuine chance of third-place. New signings, Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos have both had a positive impact on Unai Emery’s team, and with two top strikers, in Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang, they look full of goals.
"I chose to come here because it's a club with a lot of ambition. The idea is to win the Europa League and do better than last season. I believe we will."
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 21, 2019
Solkjaer Under Pressure
The other realistic contenders for third, Manchester United, have serious ground to make up already and look to have stagnated since the early days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign. The loss of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan could be decisive and it’s hard to see them making top four, let alone top three.
My pick: 1st Liverpool, 2nd Man City, 3rd Arsenal (+1100)