category: England


The opening exchanges in the English Premier league produced some fairly predictable results along with a familiar, if extremely early league table. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool were all guided to victory by their main strikers and there are a number of forwards in the division who have made an early claim on the Golden Boot trophy as the Premiership’s leading goal scorer.

Attempting to fill a void

In the absence of his former club mate Luis Suarez, Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge is the new favourite with Betfair to win the award at the end of 2014-15 and the England international opened his account with the winner over Southampton.

Suarez grabbed all the headlines, both good and bad, last season but his admittedly phenomenal record of 31 goals in 37 league games masks the fact that his strike partner managed a more than respectable 21 in 29.

With Rickie Lambert left on the bench for the opener, Sturridge is the lone centre forward in Brendan Rodgers’ new formation and even at this early stage he could be the man to beat.

City stroll

Defending champions Manchester City enjoyed a relatively comfortable away win at Newcastle with Sergio Aguero sealing the victory in second half injury time. At one stage in the previous campaign, the Argentinian was ahead of Suarez in the race for the trophy until injury derailed his domestic season.

Aguero may not be 100% fit as yet but he will remain a contender for the Golden Boot and at least he has a head start over team mate Alvaro Negredo who is yet to return after suffering a broken foot in pre-season.

The new boys

In 2013-14, Jose Mourinho was quick to rule out his team’s chances of landing the title, claiming that his Chelsea side was without a striker. Since then, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto’o have gone with Diego Costa and Didier Drogba coming in and their side already look to be a more potent force.

Spanish international Costa scored the first goal in a 3-1 win over Burnley and after netting 36 times in 52 games for Atletico Madrid last season, the 25 year old must be a leading contender for English football’s top goal scorer award. Meanwhile, Drogba was only given seven minutes as a second half substitute while Fernando Torres – a very remote candidate – was left on the bench.

Lagging behind

Robin Van Persie’s absence from the Manchester United team that lost to Swansea may have an effect on his chances of taking an accolade that he won for two consecutive seasons prior to Suarez’s triumph in the previous campaign.

The Dutchman was in superb form in the 2014 World Cup but he simply needs to get onto the pitch to stand a chance here.

While Van Persie sat out United’s opener, Wayne Rooney opened his own account and if the new club captain is pushed further forward under Louis van Gaal, he can’t be ruled out.

Elsewhere, there has been some interest in new Arsenal signing Alexis Sanchez after the Chilean scored 19 goals in 34 league matches for Barcelona last season. Sanchez failed to find the net in a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace but both he and Olivier Giroud are clear contenders for Arsenal in this campaign.

Outside of these five clubs, you may have to take a leap of faith to find another suitable candidate. Emmanuel Adebayor at Spurs and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku would both argue that they have a chance but the main contenders for the Golden Boot seem to have already found the net in their opening round of league games.

category: England


With the return of the Premier League this weekend, all bets are open on who will take home the 2014-2015 title. Chelsea are favourites to claim the league, but contenders are closely behind in bookies’ odds, suggesting another season full of drama and excitement in the English top flight.

The following table offers a recap of this season’s favourites and their odds to win the title.

Team Odds to win
Chelsea 15/8
Manchester City 9/4
Manchester United 9/2
Arsenal 6/1
Liverpool 10/1


Bet365 supplies these odds and the  bonus code available for new membership promotions in all of 2014.

Chelsea, for Mourinho’s second year back at Stamford Bridge, are looking like strong candidates for a league title. The squad was tailored to fit the Special One’s demands and is also the favourite English club in the odds to win the Champions League, with a promising 9/1 to win the completion outright.

Manchester City, the title holders, are still in the bookmakers’ good books. Their rivals, Manchester United, after a disappointing last season failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League are hoping to rebuild this year with the arrival of Luis Van Gaal on the bench at Old Trafford. Moreover the Red Devils will not have the Champions League draining the team’s energies as they set to fight to regain their rank. However, despite defeating Liverpool, AS Roma, and Champion’s League title holders Real Madrid the team very much still looks like a work in progress.

Arsenal are looking particularly strong. Their outstanding win in the Community Shield, the coming of age of a young generation of promising players and the arrival of top class recruits like Alexis Sanchez – formerly of FC Barcelona and one of the artisans of Chile’s successes in the World Cup in Brazil – will no doubt aim to live up to the ambitions displayed by the club in the transfer period.

Liverpool, very close seconds in last year’s race, are looking a bit behind. Suarez’s departure has yet to be compensated and Gerard’s poor performance in the Brazil both indicate that the Reds might not have the strength and the bench to repeat last season’s performance.

Although the odds for the season are in no way representative of the reality of a season, which has yet to commence, the trends represent the expectations at this early stage but will require confirmation on the pitch. One thing is clear however, the Barclays Premier League will once again prove one of the hardest leagues to predict with no less than five strong candidates for the final victory.


With just three weeks until the kick off of the Premier League season, the league’s biggest title contenders are warming up with some essential charity matches. This year’s transfer season has seen some huge changes, from the sale of Luis Suárez to Barcelona to the complete revamp of Southampton, but a few preliminary matches will ensure that the teams can gel together to ensure a successful season.

One match that’s got bookmakers talking is the forthcoming Community Shield, taking place on 10th August, which will see Manchester City take on Arsenal. The event, formerly known as the Charity Shield, has been taking place since 1908 and places the winners of the FA Cup (Arsenal) against the winners of the Premier League (Manchester City.)

This year will be particularly interesting, if the current odds are anything to go by. With odds of 9/4, Arsenal are an amazing value bet, particularly given the recent signing of Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez. Though Wenger had been cautious of making any drastic moves too early on in the transfer window, he’s now made two essential purchases, Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez, that will surely serve him well in the Premier League and indeed in the forthcoming charity match.

Punters who want to have a flutter on Arsenal in the Premier League need only look at Sanchez’s performance in the World Cup for proof of how much he can help the team. After scoring against Australia and former favourites Brazil, the 25-year-old has shown amazing potential, and this preview match could be a sign of things to come for the Premier League title race.

Meanwhile, Manchester City, who have taken the Community Shield title recently in 2012, should use this opportunity to stretch the legs of their new defence and goalkeeper. While some may argue that manager Manuel Pellegrini is fixing a formula that isn’t broken, he could be viewed as a cautious manager who’s taken care to have a back up where it counts. With odds of 5/4, The Blues are hot favourites to win this year’s event, and they have recent titles on their side. With a 2012 Community Shield win and a Premier League win, they’re highly preferable against a team who, prior to the last FA Cup, hadn’t won a title for nine years.

It could be argued however that the disparity in the odds is somewhat misleading: while experience tells us that Manchester City should win, a charity match is hardly a pairing that will see either team taking any risks. Just six days prior to the start of the Premier League season, both teams could see their managers starting their second team in a bid to keep peak fitness for the league.

For Arsenal however, a title win would be welcomed after their former nine-year drought, so we could just see the bookies proved wrong.