Football Sport

The wait is over

Written by Big Jim

The long wait is over for billions of fans as the English Premier League (EPL) kicks off this weekend. Personally, I can’t wait for the American Football season to start in a few weeks’ time but for most lovers of sport this is the weekend that ends the football drought of the past few months.

Make sure you follow Leanne Lu’s articles on the world game each Tuesday on To be fair, Leanne has forgotten more about football than I will ever know. She has her finger on the pulse of the game and provides our readers with expert analysis directly from England itself.

My expertise revolves around betting and in that regard I feel I know what I am talking about. Opinion is a wonderful thing and before a ball is kicked I will give you my take on who represents the best value in the race for the Premiership title

The trades are done, the teams are ready to go but who is going to win and why? The market is always a good guide so let’s start there. The big three in betting — Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea — are all quoted between $3 to $4 to win the title. Arsenal comes next at a little worse than $10.00 with Tottenham and Liverpool both around $31. The other 14 clubs are making up the numbers so don’t make any donations by backing anyone else. For what it’s worth, it is hard to see anyone outside of the top four lifting the Cup at the end of the season.

The first thing I am going to do is put a line through Manchester United. Firstly, I don’t like the Red Devils and never have. I think this is a great year to lay them. The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson is going to leave a very large hole at Old Trafford no matter how much United would beg to differ. It is unavoidable that the baby gets confused when taken away from the mother’s teat. When things get tough, which at some point they will, the squad can’t simply relax in the knowledge the boss has it under control. Add the Wayne Rooney transfer saga to the mix and United look ripe for the picking.

I will put a cross through Arsenal too although they are tempting at the price. I just think they need to get some stability back before they can mount a serious challenge again. Maybe a year to get it right and they will be right in the mix to make a go of it next season. They look like good trading options though as you would think they will shorten from this quote if they get off to a good start to the season.

That brings us down to two. I’m not in love with either Chelsea’s or Manchester City’s squads but I come back to these two through a process of elimination. Chelsea now has their coach back. They had their couple of seasons of instability at Stamford Bridge but returning manager and “Special One” José Mourinho will be as hungry as a starving wolf to get them back to playing their best. They have the cattle, now they just need the structure.

City was always going to suffer a hangover last season following their final day heroics from the year before but some heavy off-season spending has seen them plug a few holes in key areas. On paper they are the team to beat.

Usually I am not one for sitting on the fence but I am going to do it here to a degree. I am going to back Chelsea to win the EPL title but I am going to save on City to get my money back. So that is my recommendation. Choose one of the two and have the other team going around to break even. This way you will be in the running all season and if one of them gets up at least you are guaranteed to not lose anything in the process.