Following an uneven preseason and ongoing concerns over the defense, Chelsea’s odds to remain Premier League champions have taken a slight hit a day before the 2015-2016 season commences.
Hoping to become the first team to repeat as English champion in seven years, the Blues and manager Jose Mourinho remain favorites but have slipped from 6/5 to 11/8 as the season kicks off Saturday, according to the latest odds from VegasInsider.com.
Ahead of the stare down with Swansea at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea endured a difficult 1-4 record during the preseason, marred by losses to MLS’s New York Red Bulls and to Arsenal in the Community Shield. But the Blues are still perched above the rest of the league with Diego Costa and last year’s Player of the Year Eden Hazard in form, and new striker Radamel Falcao now more than a year removed from a major knee injury that stunted his play with Manchester United last term.
The Blues aren’t the only squad to see their line move, with Manchester City’s chances improving from 12/5 to 5/2, while Arsenal inched forward from 4/1 to 7/2 and United shifted down from 4/1 to 9/2. Liverpool and manager Brendan Rodgers, despite having spent millions during the transfer session, also saw their odds dip from 16/1 to 20/1
City, previously known for splash moves during the summer, remained relatively quiet on the market other than the acquisition of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool. Still, Manuel Pellegrini’s side are expected to be Chelsea’s main competition with striker and last term’s leading scorer Sergio Aguero and midfielder David Silva once again in the fold.
Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side certainly enjoyed their Community Shield victory over Chelsea, particularly Wenger, who ended a 13-match winless streak against Mourinho. But how the Gunners respond in the face of midfielder Jack Wilshere’s fractured ankle, and his expected four-week absence, could determine their start to the season.
Here are the full list of odds before the season officially kicks off.
Odds To Win For Premier League
Manchester City 5/2
Manchester United 9/2
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 2500/1