Premier League top-four odds: Spurs ahead of Chelsea in Champions League race
Premier League top-four odds and contenders
The Premier League is back this weekend and the race for Champions League spots is expected to be as hot as ever.
Manchester City are the 4/6 favourites in the Premier League title odds despite losing Saturday’s Community Shield encounter with Liverpool, who are 13/5, although both clubs are 1/50 and 1/10 respectively to finish in the top four.
Tottenham are next in the Premier League top-four odds at 8/13, so let’s look briefly at their prospects and their rivals.
Spurs gatecrashed the top four last season and have been busy in the transfer window to ensure they are not waiting until the final day of the season before guaranteeing a Champions League place.
Antonio Conte made it clear to the Spurs board (ie Daniel Levy) that the squad needed to be improved and the chairman has delivered by bringing in Everton striker Richarlison (£60m), Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma (£25m), Middlesbrough right-back Djed Spence (£20m), the versatile Ivan Perisic on a free transfer and Barcelona centre-back Clement Lenglet on a season-long loan.
Ready for the new season 👀 pic.twitter.com/NsPxh01wyK
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 1, 2022
Fraser Forster was also signed on a free from Southampton to provide back-up to Hugo Lloris, so they certainly look stronger than last season and should be competing for a top-four spot if they can handle the rigours of the Champions League.
The uncertainty surrounding Chelsea has given way to optimism as new owner Todd Boehly starts to bring in new players following the departures of Romelu Lukaku, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
Thomas Tuchel’s enthusiasm upon Lukaku’s arrival last summer soon began to wane and the Belgian was a peripheral figure for most of the season which prompted his return to Inter Milan on a season-long loan, but he was disappointed by Rudiger and Christensen’s moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Becoming a Kalidou ™️ pic.twitter.com/JRv2w0XKd3
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 1, 2022
However, the Blues signed England forward Raheem Sterling from Manchester City for around £47.5million and Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly for £34m, but they missed out on Sevilla defender Jules Kounde who joined Barcelona instead.
Chelsea finished in third despite winning just three of their last eight Premier League games and if they can bring in another centre-forward, another top-four finish looks on the cards at 8/11.
The Gunners were coasting towards a top-four spot on the back of successive victories against Chelsea, Manchester United, West Ham and Leeds but a 3-0 defeat at arch rivals Tottenham followed by a 2-0 loss at Newcastle meant they were hoping for a miracle on the final day which never materialised.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta put his faith in youth last season but has responded to the departure of Alexandre Lacazette by snapping up Gabriel Jesus from his former club Manchester City for £45m, one of the best transfers of the summer.
This boy 🔥🔥🔥
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 30, 2022
The Brazilian scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 pre-season victory over Sevilla during which former City colleague Oleksandr Zinchencko started on the left side of midfield.
The Gunners have also brought in 22-year-old Portugal midfielder Fabio Vieira for £35m from Porto and 19-year-old Sao Paulo defender Marquinho, but their hopes of a top-four finish seem to rest on the shoulders of Jesus.
Arsenal were 15/8 in the Premier League top-four odds when the fixture list was first released but they have since leapfrogged Manchester United and are now 6/4.
New head coach Erik ten Hag has made three signings during a summer window which has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo’s determination to leave the club with a year left on his contract and the long-running saga of Frenkie de Jong, who remains at Barcelona despite United’s interest.
💬 @ChrisEriksen8: "The people were very welcoming and I had a good feeling. I feel good. The group has taken good care of me.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 1, 2022
The Red Devils signed Denmark midfielder Christian Eriksen on a free transfer, Argentina centre-back Lisandro Martinez from Ajax for almost £57m and left-back Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord (£13m).
However, the uncertainty surrounding Ronaldo, who has spent most of the summer dealing with a private family matter in Portugal, means United are 7/4 to finish in the top four.
Best of the rest
Newcastle were in danger of being relegated until they were taken over by a Saudi-led consortium and a raft of new signings in January and the summer mean they are 8/1 to break into the top four.
Lille centre-back Sven Botman and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope joined for a combined £45m and Matt Targett made a permanent move from Aston Villa, but with Leicester midfielder James Maddsion on the Magpies’ radar they could be a threat to the top six this season.
West Ham were the team closest to threatening the top six last season but finished 15 points shy of fourth-placed Spurs and are 14/1 to secure a place in the Champions League.
David Moyes desperately wanted a new striker and finally got his wish with the £32m signing of Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo, but centre-back Nayef Aguerd, a £31m capture from Rennes, suffered ankle ligament damage against Rangers, so a new defender looks to be the priority.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication