The 2016-17 EPL season is just four fixtures old, but we’ve already seen a handful of hugely meaningful matches (including Arsenal vs. Liverpool, Liverpool vs Tottenham, and the Manchester Derby) and the wheat is starting to separate from the chaff. That’s led to some changes from the preseason odds to win this year’s title.
It’s clear that Leicester are not going to cruise to a repeat title. If the Foxes are going to shock the world again, they’ll have to come from behind, already sitting eight points back of league-leading Manchester City.
Meanwhile, if the likes of Southampton, Sunderland, and Stoke City are going to avoid relegation, they’ll have to find a way to pick up three points sooner or later. They remain the only winless squads in the Premier League.
Chelsea, Tottenham, and Everton join City as the remaining unbeatens.
2016-17 EPL Title Odds (Sep. 13)
Manchester City: 1/1
The Citizens (4-0-0) are the only perfect team after four games. They’ve relied on their potent attack to stake them to an early lead in the table, outscoring opponents 11-4 so far. That 2.75 GPG average is best in the league.
They’ve clearly taken to the style of new manager Pep Guardiola and picked up a massive three points at Old Trafford on the weekend (2-1), but there’s still room to improve on defense, which is kind of scary.
They’re heavy chalk to win the EPL title and will be disappointed with anything less. The Champions League is where this team’s real ambitions lie.
Manchester United: 4/1
United (3-0-1) were perfect until City came to town. The team has struggled offensively with just seven goals in four games. But offseason acquisition Zlatan Ibrahimovic has done his part, scoring four of those seven tallies.
Unlike City, United haven’t taken to the style of new manager Jose Mourinho quite as quickly. And that’s not overly surprising, since “Mou” is a more arcane tactician.
They should improve as the season goes on, but dropping three points at home to a rolling City team could prove costly months down the road.
Chelsea (3-1-0) are also adapting to a new manager (Antonio Conte). Everything was going well until a 2-2 draw with Swansea last time out. They’re playing aggressively on offense and Diego Costa looks back in top form with four goals in four matches, but their defense is slightly disorganized and secondary scoring could be hard to come by.
When Liverpool (2-1-1) win this year, it’s going to be because of their attack. The Reds upset Arsenal 4-3 (away) in the first match of the year and then smacked Leicester City 4-1 (home) last weekend for their only two wins of the year. They now have nine goals in four matches, but have allowed seven.
Coach Jurgen Klopp’s roster is one of the most offensively loaded that the club has ever had. The defense is the exact opposite. If Liverpool lose the ball possession battle, they lose the game.
Leicester City: 100/1
West Ham United: 250/1
Hull City: 1000/1
Crystal Palace: 1000/1
West Brom: 1500/1
Stoke City: 1250/1
Photo credit: Leon Queeley (David Silva) CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.