The Premier League is back, and the transfer activity, managerial changes, and general lack of football has concocted a deadly dose of pre-season giddiness in fans up and down the country.
What that hype and excitement tends to lead to is more people punting with their hearts rather than their heads, and so it’s always rather interesting taking a peek into Paddy Power’s betting book to see which sides are getting backed to lift the Premier League trophy. This year is no different, and despite not winning the title for over a decade, it’s FA Cup holders and four-time Emirates Cup winners Arsenal (9/2) who are the punter’s choice to lift the title.
Arsene Wenger’s men have attracted a whopping 27 per cent of the bets for the league title this year, making the Gunners the most popular bet in the book. With Petr Cech between the sticks Arsenal fans will be hoping to mount a serious assault on the league, and lift the trophy for the first time since McFly were number one with the first of their many crap singles.
Unsurprisingly 21 per cent of Paddy Power punters think this will definitely be Liverpool’s (25/1) year and another 21 per cent have lumped on Manchester United (9/2). Louis van Gaal has already broken the bank to bring in Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, and Bastian Schweinstieger among others, and is apparently teeing up a move for Barcelona’s Pedro. There seems little desire to purchase a rock-solid centre-back to patch up last year’s gaping holes, but that hasn’t put off more than a fifth of punters backing the Red Devils.
Chelsea (13/8 favourites) romped to the title last year but just 15 per cent of punters fancy Jose Mourinho’s side to retain their crown. And while they have won the title twice and finished runners-up twice in the four years since 2011/12, just six per cent of punters are backing Manchester City (11/4).
As if to emphasise the pre-season giddiness of punters, only the top five above and Tottenham (90/1) are more popular than Bournemouth to win the league this year. The newly promoted Cherries are in the top flight of English football for the first time in their history, but at odds of 2000/1 it’s unlikely that this will be a case of first time’s the charm…
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