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EPL 2018-19 Preview & Betting Tips: Pep Guardiola’s Man City set to rule England again
Citizens to beat rivals Manchester United and Liverpool to title
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates with midfielder Fernandinho (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
English Premier League 2018-19 Preview & Betting Tips
The race for the English Premier League title begins on the 11th of August and once again the usual suspects are expected to challenge.
Champions Manchester City are widely fancied to retain the title next season. Manager Pep Guardiola is set to strengthen an already dominant squad during the summer. It is expected though that rivals Liverpool and Manchester United will also bring in reinforcements.
City are odds-on favourites to win the 2018/19 title with bookmakers.
There’s also the London trio of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham who face pivotal seasons as they look to adjust to changes in their setup.
We attempt to preview what to expect in the 2018/19 season.
The bookies have released the brand new outright odds for the 2018-19 season and have unsurprisingly Man City have been installed as the team to beat. Pep Guardiola’s men are the 8/11 favourites to retain the EPL title next season.
Of course, Man City are expected to boost their squad in the summer as they attempt to go further in next season’s Champions League.
The Citizens still retain the quality of key man Kevin De Bruyne in midfield while still having forwards Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus. City though are expected to strengthen at the back with Captain Vincent Kompany still seemingly not fit enough to prosecute a 38-game season. There have also been question marks around England centre back John Stones.
The likes of Benjamin Mendy, Bernado Silva and Aymeric Laporte are expected to have more influence on the team next term.
After playing the best football in the league last season, there’s a sense that Pep Guardiola has finally shaped the team in his own image and they will get even better in the coming season.
Verdict: Champions @ 1.73
Jurgen Klopp’s men had a strong finish to the season and made it all the way to the UEFA Champions League final. It was a big season for star man Mohamed Salah who swept all the individual awards. The Egyptian's performances have transformed the Reds from top 4 contenders to title challengers.
The Reds are 9/2 to win the league next season.
The Merseyside outfit have already shown their hand in the transfer market acquiring versatile midfielder/defender Fabinho from Monaco in France. Energetic attacker Naby Keita also joins from German club RB Leipzig in what could be a much changed liverpool midfield next season.
The Reds have however lost German midfielder Emre Can who has opted against signing a new deal after his contract expired. Striker Daniel Sturridge who went on loan to relegated West Brom is likely to be let go by the club.
Liverpool's all action pressing game has served them very well and could see them make a challenge for the title next season, they however look set to miss out though as they do not possess the quality of the defending champions.
The Red Devils had a poor season last time out, they finished in second spot at the end of the season 19 points behind city rivals and champions Manchester city. Jose Mourinho's men didn’t win a trophy last season and where eliminated in the champions league by Sevilla in the round of 16.
Their season finished on disappointing note after defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup final. There has been talks of a massive clear out at the club with Defenders, Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw all rumoured to be on their way out of the club.
French forward Anthony Martial who missed out on the French World Cup squad is also rumoured to be leaving while youngster Marcos Rashford could find matches harder to get this term if new faces arrive.
The onus though will be on the big guns to steer United towarsds the title, Romelu Lukaku, record signing Paul Pogba and January acquisition Alexis Sanchez have all failed to produce the expected spark upfront.
It will probably take a major transfer splurge by United to see them challenge effectively for the title.
Verdict: Third Place Finish
The London Clubs
Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal look a fair way off and this season will be a testing one for the trio.
Spurs move into their new home this season and will be buoyed by the signing of new contracts by their top players.
Harry Kane has signed a new long-term deal despite numerous reports linking him with a move away from the club while manager Mauricio Pochettino ignored the advances of Real Madrid to also commit his future to the London club.
Spurs still look a bit short and the rumoured lack of transfer funds as a result of their investment in their new stadium might mean they will struggle to mount a serious title challenge. They however still look good enough to challenge for fourth place.
The Blues are in a bit of a limbo as there is still no clear indication whether current manager Antonio Conte will be in charge next season. Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri continues to be linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea will be desperate to keep hold of some of their important players, Eden hazard is rumoured to be desperate to know who the next manager will be if Conte is fired while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has turned down the clubs offer of a contract extension.
The Blues need to sort out who their next manager will be if they indeed want to sack Conte and also bring in players to strengthen the squad.
At the moment they look nowhere ready and will miss out on the top 4 places.
It’s a new Era at the Emirates with long serving manager Arsene Wenger saying goodbye to the club after 22 years in charge.
New manager Unai Emery will have his work cut out as he inherits an Arsenal team who are in need of reinforcements.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Lucas Torreira, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Bernd Leno have all joined up to add some quality to the Arsenal roster.
Captain Laurent Koscielny will miss the start of the season while the club is sweating on the contract situations of midfielders Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere.
Up front though, the Gunners are well stocked with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to stake their claim under the new man.
It’s a new adventure for Emery in a new country and his lack of experience in the league with an Arsenal team short of confidence might see the Gunners miss out on the top 4 once again.
Verdict: Tottenham to finish fourth, Chelsea fifth and Arsenal sixth.
2018-19 Premier League Matchday 1 fixtures (10-12 August 2018)
Bournemouth vs Cardiff City
Arsenal vs Manchester City
Fulham vs Crystal Palace
Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea
Liverpool vs West Ham
Manchester United vs Leicester City
Newcastle vs Tottenham
Southampton vs Burnley
Watford vs Brighton
Wolves vs Everton