Sunday, May 27, 2018

Title favourites unsurprisingly leading the pac

Zlatan Ibrahimovic3

With three Premier League games played so far this season, it is the threeArgu preseason favourites for the title that occupy the top three positions in the division and with the campaign not even a month old, two of those sides face off next time out.

Antonio Conte will be undoubtedly delighted the focus is not on his Chelsea side next weekend and he will be hoping the Blues can do the business as they travel to Swansea City.

However, all eyes will be on Manchester in Saturday’s early kick of as United face City at Old Trafford.

Like Chelsea, both the Red Devils and the Citizens have taken maximum points so far though something will have to give as managers Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola renew their rivalry.

The pair battled in out in La Liga with Mourinho’s Real Madrid clashing with Guardiola’s Barcelona on a number off occasions earlier this decade, and now they meet in England’s top flight.

Both bosses have were busy in the transfer market before the window slammed shut on Wednesday with City adding the likes of goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, defender John Stones, midfielders Nolito, Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan and forward Gabriel Jesus though it is his Portuguese counterpart who has grabbed the headlines.

Whilst the additions of Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mikitaryin have been applauded it is the return of Paul Pogba in a world record deal from Juventus and the signing of the enigmatic Zlatan Ibrahimovic that have been the most talked about transfers of the summer.

Whilst both squads are unquestionably stronger than last season, there is not doubt who City’s key man is still Sergio Aguero – the man who’s goal won them their first EPL title in 2012.

The Argentina international failed in his appeal over a suspension following an elbow in the win over West Ham United so will miss the next three games starting with the derby, news that will be music to the ears of the Red Devils’ faithful.

The absence of Aguero has no doubt affected the potential outcome of the result in the eyes of the bookmakers, with the hosts favourites to take all three points though it is the visitors who remain top of the Premier League winner’s market at a price of 7/5.

United, who last won the league in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final campaign in charge four seasons ago are priced at 11/4, with 2015 champions Chelsea available at 9/2.

Last season’s winners Leicester City are once again not considered serious contenders while North London duo Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, who finished second and third in the table last season respectively are either side of 14/1 shots Liverpool according to the betting companies.

A mention should also go to Everton, who sit in the top four after dropping just two points so far and are priced at a generous 100/1.


Deke Hardman

Freelance football writer with a love of the game that goes back to the mid nineties when both his beloved Nottingham Forest and England had genuine hope of acheiving some level of success. A regular contributor to both and, Deke also dabbles in music journalism with his heart and head still stuck in the latter years of the twentieth century.



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looks like this year will be mighty interesting, and even more competative

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