The market for the high scoring team in the league has been dominated by Manchester City and they should be able to live up to the entertainers tag for the fourth successive season. Forget Pep Guardiola for a second (yes, I did actually say that) – the record backs up their place as favourites. They have topped the scoring charts in the last three seasons that despite the fact that they have been well beaten in two of those title seasons, with tallies of 102, 83 and 71, and this season’s total should be more in line with the first of those two numbers.
Guardiola’s sides have always had a penchant for high scoring seasons and even if an injury befalls Sergio Augero there is backup in the shape of promising young striker Kelechi Iheancho and the midfield is one of the most aggressive in the league with Kevin De Bryune in particular expected to score a few more than the seven he managed last season. They have more firepower than most of their top 7 rivals bar Liverpool, the other who made appeal of those at the top bracket. Any one of four – Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane and Divock Origi – could be a golden boot contender on their own and if they link up as they did in the latter stages of two cup competitions last season.
In that most popular special of all, the beloved sack race, there are several contenders. However a difficult start is always a great advantage in something such as this. Watford’s Pozzo family are not ones to take their time then dropping the axe so a trip to Southampton followed by visits from Arsenal and Chelsea is not ideal for Watford as they try their best to build on a disappointing end to last season and Walter Mazzari has an awful lot on his plate if those three games go the way the markets suggest they will and then it’s West Ham away and Manchester United coming. That’s a hard start for any manager and he could well trade shorter than even the 11/2 (was 14/1) with Betfred.
The betting for the LMA Manager of the year is a fascinating puzzle but with so many great managers at the top end of the table it could be more likely that winning the league seals it rather than say, Dyche keeping Burnley up.
4 pts Manchester City to be the highest scoring team (7/4 general)
2 pts Walter Mazzari to be the first manager to leave his post (11/2 Betfred)