Leicester City captured headlines around the world last season with one of the most shocking title runs in sports history, clearing traditional powerhouses like Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham for their first championship.
However, oddsmakers don’t believe Claudio Ranieri’s side can repeat their magical run in the 2016-17 season and claim the first-back-to-back Premier League crowns in seven years.
According to Sportsbook.ag, Manchester City is favored to reclaim Premier League at 9/4 odds, while quickly refurbished United are next up at 11/4, followed by Arsenal at 4/1, Chelsea at 5/1, and Liverpool and Tottenham each listed 8/1.
The Foxes are next up at 22/1, despite resisting overtures from around the globe for their leading scorers Jamie Vardy (24 goals, six assists) and midfielder Riyad Mahrez (17 goals, 11 assists). Though, given all the extra matches Leicester will have to play this term, with UEFA Champions League on top of regular Premier League play as well as international duties for a number of players, it’s somewhat understandable for the Foxes to face doubt once again.
And in response to Leicester’s incredible disruption of what was previously a quite top-heavy league, wealthy City added several new pieces and so did United.
With former Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola now managing the sideline, City paid £13.8 million to Celta Vigo for forward Nolito and also plucked Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund to strengthen a midfield and attack that already led all teams with 71 goals last term.
But it’s United that’s made the most startling and even drastic changes with perhaps one more on the way. Upon dismissing Louis van Gaal after a lack of creativity in the attack that led to a mere 49 goals and a fifth-place finish, United tabbed former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to return them to glory.
Mourinho and Old Trafford officials have already signed former Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as well as defender Eric Bailly from Villarreal, and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, yet one more move could be on the horizon that might allow United to leapfrog City.
The Red Devils have been heavily linked to Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, hoping to bring him back to Old Trafford after four years abroad in Italy, and reportedly are working out transfer details that could result in a record-setting sum. Pogba’s one of the most well-balanced scorers and playmakers in the world, and coming off an overall solid performance at Euro 2016 that saw France through to the final.
Odds To Win 2016-17 English Premier League
Manchester City 9/4
Manchester United 11/4
Leicester City 22/1
West Ham United 66/1
Stoke City 400/1
Swansea City 500/1
Crystal Palace 600/1
Hull City 750/1
West Bromwich 1000/1