In our third and final part, we look at Premier League Season Match Bets for Manchester City v Liverpool, Tottenham v Arsenal, Southampton v Bournemouth and Brighton v Crystal Palace.
Original article published 22 August 2022
How unfortunate Liverpool can consider themselves, to be going through the club’s greatest period since the 1980s, only to be met by the behemoth that is Manchester City.
The Premier League looks to be a two-horse race again, with Liverpool finishing 18 points ahead of third-placed Chelsea and nobody seeming to have made any significant ground in the transfer window, and Jurgen Klopp’s men can take solace in knowing they were 10 minutes away from a second Premier League title.
The Reds will fancy themselves to touch 90 points for the fourth time in five seasons – the only time they’ve dipped below that figure since 2018 was their injury-plagued 2020/21 season, and despite the loss of Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, and the exciting Fabio Carvalho will look to plug that gap.
City present the biggest unknown we’ve seen for quite a few years. Captain Fernandinho, no doubt a big presence in the dressing room, has departed, as have regulars Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, with dependable squad member Oleksandr Zinchenko set to join Arsenal.
Of course, the signing of Erling Haaland makes them perhaps the most exciting prospect in the division. Though he has had injury issues, the Norwegian is a generational striker who could take City to the next level.
If he can stay fit and adapt to Pep Guardiola’s demands, there should be no stopping them from winning a third straight title.
While Southampton have rarely threatened to crack the top 10 under Ralph Hasenhuttl, they’ve also rarely looked in danger of relegation. However they do seem to have stalled somewhat, and depending on their new owners’ ambition, they may seek more progress this season.
A lack of goals may be their biggest issue, with dead-ball specialist James Ward-Prowse the only player to reach 10 goals last season.
However they’ve been a well-run club ever since their return to the Premier League, recruiting smartly in terms of both players and management, and they should have enough to stay up.
There’s little to suggest however, that Bournemouth have enough to stay up. While the Cherries have largely kept their squad together after promotion, they’ve only added Ryan Fredericks and Joe Rothwell, and it could be argued the side which Eddie Howe failed to keep up – containing the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Nathan Ake, Harry Wilson and Callum Wilson – was better.
After a disappointing survival bid a couple of years ago with Fulham, Scott Parker will be out to prove he has what it takes to manage in the top flight.
Priced up much more closely last season, with both teams presenting a bit of an unknown, Tottenham backers couldn’t have wished for a better start, with Spurs winning their first three games and Arsenal losing theirs.
But things quickly unravelled under Nuno Espirito Santo, with Antonio Conte making an overdue arrival in North London.
Things turned around, despite voices of dissent from the Italian, but he’s continued to add to his squad following a good January transfer window, and fans will hope with a full season with Conte at the helm, a top-four place will come a little easier.
But Arsenal are also harbouring Champions League ambitions, and but for a late-season collapse, would’ve been there themselves. Fabio Vieira and Gabriel Jesus are a couple of shrewd acquisitions as Mikel Arteta continues to mould and develop his youthful squad, but they’ll be tested with the addition of European football this time around.
The job Graham Potter has done at Brighton cannot be questioned, but one wonders how much further he can take them without a higher-calibre striker. Their struggles with xG have been well-publicised, and after so long, it becomes harder to blame luck. Neal Maupay has top-scored with eight in each of the last two seasons (tied with Leandro Trossard last season); they’ll likely need more if they’re to finish in the top half once more.
The loss of Yves Bissouma will also hurt, but Brighton often buy well, and while the top half may be a push, they shouldn’t be troubling the bottom three.
How the loss of Conor Gallagher affects Crystal Palace remains to be seen, but Patrick Vieira won plenty of admirers last season, and 12 months into the job, he may see his Eagles go from strength to strength.
Wilfried Zaha remains as dependable an outlet as he’s always been, while Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell will have both benefited from a full campaign in the top flight, as the Eagles look to another solid mid-table finish in 2023.