After a couple of months off, the Premier League is back for another season and just as has been the case for most of the last decade, it’s Manchester City’s title to lose.
They were pushed most of the way by Arsenal last season and the Gunners have bolstered their ranks to try and sustain a challenge for 38 matches instead of 32.
However it won’t just be Mikel Arteta’s team set to challenge with Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea all eager to improve on last season, while Newcastle will be keen to flex their newfound financial might.
Then there’s Tottenham, with Ange Postecoglou at the helm, every Aussie will be desperate to see if he can work his magic on his toughest task yet.
At the other end of the table the Premier League welcomes back Burnley and Sheffield United following a spell in the Championship, while lowly Luton Town will seek to defy expectations and survive their inaugural Premier League campaign.
Regardless of how the next nine months plays out, it promises plenty of intrigue, plenty of drama and a whole lot of high quality football.
We’ve run through the Premier League futures markets and found our best bets for the 2023/2024 season.
Premier League Winner
You know it, I know it, Johnny out on the northern end of the Victoria/South Australia border who isn’t entirely sure which Manchester team is which knows it, Manchester City deserves to be clear favourites in the market and are probably going to win it all again.
But backing City to win it all at $1.80 isn’t exactly a great long term futures play at that price, you’d be better off backing them to win every week and riding that out.
If you want to have a play in the title winner market though, two teams stand out above the rest as far as potential challengers for City.
Arsenal are at $5.50 and gave City a great test last season, leading the way for most of the year before falling off the pace in the final month.
Mikel Arteta has strengthened the squad with a number of additions that should be able to contribute early and they will be hoping last season serves as a learning experience for their young team.
Then there’s Liverpool at $9.00, who pushed City all the way for several seasons and even got the better of City, winning the 2019/2020 title.
Last season was a massive letdown by their standards but it did come after playing in every possible match in 2021/2022, so a bit of a hangover last time out was perhaps to be expected.
The big question hanging over that team is how quickly Jurgen Klopp’s new midfield will gel, if it comes together quickly, it will create plenty of opportunities for Salah and co up top.
As for the rest of the “Big Seven”, you can very easily talk yourself into one or two of them contending as well, but their respective shortcomings are far more likely to consign them to the race for the top four rather than the title.
I can’t bring myself to back against City so I’ll take Arsenal or Liverpool to finish as runners up in the straight forecast
Straight Forecast: Man City-Arsenal @ $5.00
Straight Forecast: Man City-Liverpool @ $5.50
It is no surprise then, that I’m picking City, Arsenal and Liverpool to finish in the top four, but there’s not a lot of value backing those three with Liverpool having the longest odds at $1.53.
United should round out the top four but there are some questions over their depth and striker situation and if they do fall out, those will likely be the reasons why.
Newcastle made it in to the top four and should be in the mix once again, however their squad does seem to be lacking a bit of depth at the moment and they might find it hard early on to battle in the league and in Europe.
There’s no point sugar coating just how bad Chelsea were last season, with a bloated, unmotivated squad, an unhealthy rotation of managers and a malaise lingering over the team.
Frankly, this squad has too much talent for this side to be as bad as they were last season, and combined with the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino this offseason, Chelsea are going to be vastly improved.
Rounding out the “Big Seven” is Tottenham who have brought in Ange Postecoglou, who we know can make a team a lot better, but the uncertainty surrounding Harry Kane (at the time of publish) makes them tough to back, even at their current odds.
Chelsea to Finish Top 4 @ $2.38
Now for the rest of the league, Brighton and Aston Villa look like the sides that are best placed to capitalise on a slip up from the big boys of the Premier League.
Unai Emery revitalised that squad when he was brought in earlier this year and Villa is the sort of club he specialises in getting the best out of.
The additions of Youri Tielemans and Moussa Diaby will help solidify the squad and they look like the value play in this market.
Brighton are unlikely to slip out as well and look like a decent play, albeit at smaller odds, but you can be sure that they will be competitive once again.
Aston Villa to Finish Top 6 @ $3.75
Once you have gone through the Big Seven, Villa and Brighton, there’s only one spot left in the top half of the table to be filled.
West Ham have the shortest odds of the chasing pack and should be comfortably clear of the relegation zone, but their European commitments, plus the departure of Declan Rice make them a stay away here.
Brentford will have to make do without Ivan Toney until January and with David Raya headed for the exit door, that’s two key contributors they will have to find cover for and what will stop them landing in the top half of the table.
The same can be said about Palace and their loss of Wilfried Zaha although they have brought through some players ready to step up.
Someone is going to have to emerge and I’m happy to have a play on one of the promoted sides.
Perhaps there’s a bit too much hype around Burnley, but after they dominated the Championship under Vincent Kompany, it’s a bandwagon I’m happy to jump on with the football they are set up to play.
52 points was enough for Fulham to finish in 10th place last season and a fast start for Burnley should get them well on the way to that tally.
Speaking of Fulham, they have added a couple of players to help fill out the squad and are the other side I’m going to have a play on.
Fulham to Finish Top 10 @ $4.50
Burnley to Finish Top 10 @ $6.50
Nobody would have tipped Chelsea to be as bad as they were last season but for the few that did back them to finish in the bottom half, it would have been a joyous watch.
History says that someone we expect to be good this season is going to be bad, and this is a market I’m happy to throw a couple of darts in because there’s a few scenarios that could play out.
Villa and Brighton are the obvious candidates at over even money odds, although it feels like they would need a rash of injuries to drop down.
As for Spurs, in this instance you are essentially backing Harry Kane to leave and Postecoglou to fall victim to Daniel Levy’s quick trigger as his building project takes a while to come together.
It’s not something that is necessarily going to happen, but if Ange is gone by Christmas most of Australia will be hoping Spurs freefall continues.
Brighton to Finish Bottom 10 @ $3.50
Tottenham to Finish Bottom 10 @ $5.00
Relegation & To Stay Up
As great of a story as Luton will be early in the season, it’s tough to see them competing in the Premier League over nine months and 38 matches.
That’s why they are favourites to be relegated at $1.33 and they seem likely to head straight back down, alongside fellow promoted side Sheffield United, who are priced at $1.67, not exactly great value.
I will however back Luton to not finish on the bottom of the Premier League table and instead take the price on Sheffield.
Forest and Everton only just survived last season and as it stands heading into the start of the new season, neither one appears to have done enough business to think they will be flying up the table this time around.
Forest are my pick to go down, but I’m going to take Everton as well, at some point their luck is going to run out and it’s not like Sean Dyche is the manager to help this side overachieve.
I’m also going to back Wolves because they just cannot score enough goals over the last few seasons to turn defeats into draws and draws into wins.
Over the last three seasons, they have scored 36, 38 and 31 goals, which is quite frankly an appalling return and unless they find another 20 or so goals (which is going to be tough with Raul Jiminez off to Fulham), they are going to be struggling once again.
Sheffield United to Finish Bottom @ $4.50
Nottingham Forest to be Relegated @ $3.50
Everton to be Relegated @ $4.00
Wolves to be Relegated @ $4.00
PFA Player of the Year
It says a lot about City’s dominance that the only two players in single digits for this market are two of their superstars.
Erling Haaland ($3.00) is coming off a dream debut season and Kevin De Bruyne ($8.00) is the best player in the Premier League.
One of them will almost have to win it by default if City take out the title again and they stay healthy.
Given it’s a two horse race for City, I’ll have a play on De Bruyne but I’ll also have a bit on the main players for their chief contenders.
Mo Salah’s “down year” still produced 19 goals and 12 assists from 38 appearances and if Liverpool are going to have any success in this campaign, he will be key.
Meanwhile with Arsenal, their captain Martin Odegaard is going to have to have a big say in his side’s fortunes.
Bukayo Saka is at shorter odds, but with Arsenal bringing in a bit more depth out wide (and opponent’s tendency to kick the living daylights out of Saka), Odegaard looks like the better value play from the Gunners.
Kevin De Bruyne PFA Player of the Year @ $8.00
Mohamed Salah PFA Player of the Year @ $11.00
Martin Odegaard PFA Player of the Year @ $21.00
If not Erling Haaland then who?
City’s Norwegian cyborg is an unbackable $1.67 to take out another Golden Boot award, it’s just a question of which player can run a close second and potentially take advantage of an injury enforced absence.
We’ve already had a bet on Spurs struggling with Harry Kane departing, so here is an opportunity to back a scenario where he stays and continues to thrive.
Postecoglou wants his team to attack and get on the front foot, which will mean plenty of chances for Kane and he is shaping up as Haaland’s best challenger.
For a long shot, I like the potential of Alexander Isak at $29, as he will be the focal point of the Magpies attack.
Harry Kane Top Goalscorer @ $7.50
Alexander Isak Top Goalscorer @ $29.00
PREDICTED PREMIER LEAGUE LADDER
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Aston Villa
- Brighton And Hove Albion
- West Ham
- Crystal Palace
- Nottingham Forest
- Luton Town
- Sheffield United