The English Premier League, self-hailed as the greatest domestic soccer league in the world, started with a bang. It may have lost one of its talisman players, Harry Kane, but there’s more than enough talent to go around in the big-money league. This has been perfectly showcased through the opening stanza of play.
Even with would-be top-four contenders Manchester United, Chelsea, and Newcastle United dwelling in the bottom-half of the table, only three points split Manchester City and Brighton and Hove Albion from first to sixth by the international break. However, according to the experts behind the odds, the title race isn’t yet wide open.
At least seven legitimate contenders for the top four
When betting on Premier League futures, it’s clear that the oddsmakers continue to back treble winners Manchester City, with the team that went four wins from the first four games at -227 to win the title again. In the more intriguing Top 4 Finish market, Arsenal (-333) and Liverpool (-250) are favored behind City.
After the two teams in red, Tottenham Hotspur (+180), Manchester United (+180), Chelsea (+188), Newcastle United (+188), and Brighton (+250) are all clearly considered to be in the race. Given the results so far, including Arsenal beating Manchester United to make good on Crouchy’s Premier League tips, a top-four with City, Arsenal, and Liverpool makes sense.
So, that leaves one more space for the traditional UEFA Champions League spots. Despite the money thrown around by Chelsea, Manchester United, and Newcastle, it might actually be Spurs or Brighton who manage to sneak in. After all, none of those three big spenders looked particularly impressive early doors.
The case for Spurs and Brighton getting into the top four
If anyone had said that Spurs would lose Harry Kane, go without signing a true or proven replacement, and still go undefeated through the first four games, they would have been laughed away. Kane was crucial to the club, but the team’s inability to suitably provide a supporting cast that could challenge had him leave for the Bundesliga.
Kane will win trophies with Bayern Munich – it’s about as certain as rain in the British summer. In his place, so far, Heung-min Son, James Maddison, Dejan Kulusevski, Pape Matar Sarr, Dejan Kulusevski, and even center-back Cristian Romero have been firing in the goals. After four games, Spurs scored the same number of goals as City.
Now, Spurs have long been a staple of the so-called “Big Six” of the Premier League, but thanks to the club’s incredible leadership and Chelsea consistently begging for players, Brighton are very much in the mix atop the table. Roberto De Zerbi had the unenvious task of succeeding Graham Potter, but if anything, he’s exceeded his predecessor.
De Zerbi led the Seagulls to European competition last season, was pivotal in the coup of the summer transfer window – loaning Ansu Fati from Barcelona – and even said that they were targeting the Champions League last season. There isn’t any doubt that, after three wins and one loss, the ambitious club is eyeing up the top four again.
Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City are rightfully seen as the main contenders to the crown and shoo-ins for the top four, but after them, Manchester United, Newcastle, Chelsea, Tottenham, and even Brighton look set to fight it out.