The 2015-2016 Premier League campaign kicks off in less than 16 days, and if odds makers are right, Chelsea and Manchester City will continue to bat the championship around. The defending champion Blues are heavy favorites at 6/5, and City aren’t too far behind at 12/5, according to the latest odds from VegasInsider.com
After adding striker Radamel Falcao to an attacking arsenal that already included Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho appears poised to repeat as champions, a feat no squad’s completed since Manchester United in 2009.
City and manager Manuel Pellegrini fell eight points back of Chelsea in their title defense last season, but they too secured upgrades in the attack, most recently acquiring winger Raheem Sterling from Liverpool. Seeking their fifth title and third in the last four seasons, Sterling’s addition could greatly benefit last year’s leading scorer Sergio Aguero, who netted 26 goals.
After the favorites, Arsenal and Manchester United are knotted at 4/1 odds apiece. The Gunners haven’t won the Premier League since 2004, and their runner-up finish the following year was the closest Arsene Wenger’s side has come ever since. Arsenal were one of the strongest clubs in the league last season, finishing third overall, but unless Wenger can add more depth to his attack beside striker Alexis Sanchez, it’s possible the Emirates side will remain strictly in the title’s periphery.
Returning to the top four in the league after a one-year absence, United and manager Louis van Gaal have been one of the most active clubs on the transfer market this summer but they’ve yet to acquire the necessary attacking upgrades. Also, should Old Trafford officials decide to cut ways with goalkeeper David de Gea, whose play greatly elevated the rest of the squad last season, and allow him a transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid, then their odds could slide.
Outside of the top four, Liverpool appears to be the only club odds makers believe have a realistic shot at the crown at 16/1. The Reds parted ways with Sterling, and will start the season without top scorer Daniel Sturridge while trying to figure out who will take the role of emotional leader after Steven Gerrard's departure.
Reds manager Brendan Rodgers has led an active summer transfer session, which has included the acquisition of striker Christian Benteke from Aston Villa. However, many believe Rodgers enters the season on the hot seat, and a poor start to the season could result in his dismissal.
The biggest longshot in the field is recently promoted Watford at 5000/1, only months removed from their second-place finish in the English League Championship season. The Hornets' are expected to have a short-lived stay in the Premier League.
The season officially gets underway Saturday, Aug. 8 with United hosting Tottenham at Old Trafford.
Odds to Win Premier League
Manchester City 12/5
Manchester United 4/1
Newcastle United 1000/1
Stoke City 1000/1
West Ham 1000/1
Swansea City 1250/1
Crystal Palace 1500/1
Aston Villa 2000/1
Leicester City 2000/1
West Bromwich 2000/1