After eight weeks of the Premier League season, there are some surprise names still in and around the top of the table. With what equates to 21% of the Premier League campaign gone for most teams, could there be a surprise winner of the Premier League for the first time in five years? Let’s take a look.
The Surprise Front Runners
While there have only been eight games played, the top two aren’t just a surprise, but a genuine shock for some. Leicester City should perhaps be more expected to lead at this stage, purely because they were so strong in the first half of last season, going into 2020 in 2nd place albeit behind a rampant Liverpool side.
The Foxes have 18 points after eight games, three more than they had at the corresponding stage of their title-winning season. At 28/1, they represent good bet-to-cash out value around Christmas time.
Tottenham Hotspur are only available at 10/1 in the latest odds to win the Premier League (via Oddschecker) and the reason for that clearly lies in management. While Jose Mourinho has won three Premier League titles – each with Chelsea – Brendan Rodgers hasn’t done so, and not only did his Leicester side suffer an injury-strewn drop from form last season, the former Celtic manager also led Liverpool to a runner-up finish in 2013/14 where they only had to win their last three games to claim the title.
As it happened, Liverpool would have to wait another 6 years (or to put it another way, 20% of the 30-year wait for the EPL title their fans had endured) due to Rodgers’ side throwing it away. The bookies’ rank Mourinho as more likely to get over the line, and that’s borne out in the sportsbetting prices.
Of the current top two, we’d take Spurs over Leicester at present, but only in terms of letting it ride. Both are worth a bet, just be prepared to cash out on The Foxes even when they look rampant. Their squad depth is not as strong at the King Power and we all saw what happened in the 2019/20 season.
The Chasing Favourites
Of the three sides thought to be most likely to claim the title, Liverpool (13/8) still look the best bets, despite again not convincing on Sunday. So far this season, they have lost Virgil van Djik to a serious long-term injury and have conceded 16 goals, yet still have a record of five wins and two draws from eight games.
Manchester City (7/4) should really have own last night’s clash against The Reds, but a scuffed penalty from the usually peerless Kevin De Bruyne cost them two vital points. At the end of the season, that three-point swing (Liverpool would have lost rather than drawn) could be felt keenly at The Etihad, and while Guardiola has gone some way to improving their defence with the addition of former Benfica defender Ruben Dias, The Citizens look a little short of their best in a league where you really can’t afford to be.
Top Four Regulars Who Might Miss Out
While Chelsea (8/1) are still in the running for the title, their porous defence doesn’t look remotely strong enough to last the season and Ben Chilwell aside, looks like it needs help across the backline, aside from quality addition Edouard Mendy. The Blues do, however, look good for a top four position should any of the sides we’ve already mentioned drop their levels.
Frank Lampard’s West London team should be ready to pounce, but both Manchester United (33/1 for the title) and Arsenal (66/1) look in no condition to take the initiative should it be handed to them. The Gunners have lost as many games as they have won in the Premier League with four defeats from their eight games so far, and while United have a game in hand, they would only be a point better off if they won that match, not something any of their supporters would feel too confident of them doing in such sporadic form.
An Outside Champions League Bet
While the usual suspects are jostling for position in the Champions League places (top four) betting market, we think the 11th-ranked team could have an outside shot of making the top four. Shorn of the services of Danny Ings, they still had no problem seeing off a usually stubborn Newcastle side at the weekend.
Yes, we mean it. Southampton (25/1 to make the top four via SpreadEx) are great value and Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side are going to be fun to sweat this season. With or without Ings, they have reacted to the loss of Pierre-Emile Hojberg to Spurs with remarkable resolve and The Saints could be a heavenly godsend for your wallet come the end of the season.
With an International break looming large, the Premier League odds are likely to stay this way for the next week or so, so you’ll want to follow your sportsbetting instincts on the EPL and choose your future bets wisely before monitoring them as the season progresses.