BIG-SPENDING Manchester City have emerged as white-hot favourites to win the 2017-18 English Premier League title.
An outlay of more than £200 million in summer signings has encourage punters to back Pep Guardiola’s side into +180 at WilliamHill.com.
A defensive cleanout has seen stalwarts such as Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta replaced by the new blood of Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy.
Bernardo Silva will add to City’s already-formidable attacking weaponry, while goalkeeping prospect Ederson has impressed in pre-season following his move from Benfica.
According to Kevin de Bruyne, it was exactly what the Sky Blues needed after an underwhelming 2016-17 campaign.
Kevin De Bruyne on Man City: “There are seven teams in England who want to do the same as us, but in the end we will do our job.” pic.twitter.com/89MTJeViZF
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) July 25, 2017
“It’s how the market goes,” the Belgian star told reporters in Manchester this week.
“There’s a lot of money, but there’s a lot of money going in.”
“Who can say that spending £200m is normal? It isn’t.
“But how the league and football is going at the moment, it’s normal prices.
“Obviously it’s a lot of money, but it’s things that we needed to do.
“The revenue that the club gets in will be more than the £200m.”
With even more jewels of the football world at their disposal, the pressure is on Guardiola and company to deliver some silverware this season.
If online bookmakers are to be believed, their biggest obstacle is only a short trip across town.
Manchester United have made some significant changes of their own, signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton and sending former skipper Wayne Rooney the other way.
Jose Mourinho’s men are pegged at +325 for the title, just a whisker ahead of defending EPL champions Chelsea (+350).
The departure of star full-back Walker is a blow for Tottenham Hotspur, yet they hold the fourth line of outright betting alone at +900.
That leaves Arsenal and Liverpool as the last of the likely contenders at +1000 apiece.
Several Premier League bookies had the Reds in single figures a few weeks ago, but lingering uncertainty over the long-term future of Philippe Coutinho has punters worried.
The Brazilian playmaker has attracted strong interest from Barcelona, who are not used to missing out on their prime transfer targets.
However, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that his number 10 is not on the trade table.
Jürgen Klopp on Phil Coutinho: ‘I know he feels completely more than fine in Liverpool. He loves the club, he loves the city – it is clear’ pic.twitter.com/LmxwiO4VZU
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) July 22, 2017
“If I say he is not for selling, he is not for selling,” the German gaffer told reporters last weekend.
“There is nothing else to say.
“It’s a club decision, it’s my decision. That’s how it is.”
The only team within shouting distance of the top six last season was Everton, who are slated at +6600 to stage what would be a remarkable upset.
The most recent side to steal the title from the big boys was Leicester City, but their stock has fallen through the floor after a calamitous defence.
The Foxes are paying +20000 to reprise their exploits of 2015-16.
Newcastle United (+50000) are the best liked of the promoted clubs, with Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town bringing up the rear at +100000 odds.
The EPL campaign will commence with a Friday night clash between Arsenal and Leicester on August 11.
2017-18 English Premier League futures
Markets courtesy of William Hill
+180 – Man City
+325 – Man United
+350 – Chelsea
+900 – Tottenham
+1000 – Arsenal, Liverpool
+6600 – Everton
+15000 – Southampton
+20000 – Leicester
+50000 – Crystal Palace, Stoke, Newcastle, West Ham
+75000 – Bournemouth, West Brom
+100000 – Brighton, Burnley, Huddersfield, Swansea, Watford
-555.56 – Man City
-285.71 – Chelsea, Man United
-142.86 – Tottenham
-109.89 – Arsenal
+100 – Liverpool
+800 – Everton
+1600 – Southampton
+2000 – Leicester
+6600 – Newcastle, Stoke, West Ham
+10000 – Bournemouth, Crystal Palace
+12500 – West Brom
+20000 – Brighton, Burnley, Huddersfield, Swansea, Watford
-175.44 – Huddersfield
+120 – Brighton
+125 – Burnley
+175 – Swansea, Watford
+350 – Crystal Palace
+400 – Bournemouth, Newcastle, West Brom
+700 – Stoke
+800 – West Ham
+1600 – Leicester
+2000 – Southampton
+5000 – Everton
+50000 – Arsenal, Liverpool
+75000 – Tottenham
+100000 – Chelsea, Man City, Man United
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