It’ll always be tough for the promoted teams to be able to stay up in the Premier League but Burnley seem more likely than Hull to and they are worth backing to beat them over the course of the season. 10 points separated the two last year in the Championship which is a big gap for Hull to overturn and doing it without Steve Bruce and Michael Dawson, right-back Moses Odubajo, goalkeeper Allan McGregor and central defender Alex Bruce – at least for most of the first half of the season – is going to be a tall order for them. Burnley haven’t invested much but they’ve kept their side intact and Sean Dyche at the helm is always a tremendous boost so there’s a whole lot going for them in a head to head.
Middlesbrough were beaten to the title punch but they have strengthened and the feeling is that there’s a lot of improvement to come from them if players such as Alvaro Negredo for one find their feet although there’s a lot of youth in their side that should grow with experience. In any case, the addition of Marten De Roon in midfield is an important step that neither of the other two have taken whilst Vitkor Fischer has potential for a burgeoning partnership with the likes of Patrick Adomah, so the short odds on them being the top promoted club seem justified.
At the other end of the table, Chelsea can retake their title as the top London club. The first half of last season should be written off and new manager Antonio Conte will need to adjust to the Premier League although that is surely within his compass and he has a side that is more than capable of making a serious title bid. So too are Arsenal, but early injuries could put them on the backfoot and they had beaten both Arsenal and Tottenham for the past three seasons in a row before last season. Neither of their North London rivals have the feels of them strengthening overall despite some sporadic high class arrivals and both of them will have the distraction of European football, something that Chelsea avoid.
Sunderland are odds on to be the top club In the Northeast but that’s doesn’t make a huge amount of appeal against a promising Middlesbrough side who merit more than a second look with Hull having a lot to prove. Investment has been made at Teeside that on paper doesn’t leave them too far behind so 5/4 the pair is interesting although we’re already with them for top promoted club, a safer bet. The Northwest reads like a title market without the London Clubs and if you fancy any of the clubs in that field then you’re probably better off backing them to take the title outright.
Advice – Match Bets
5 pts Burnley to finish above Hull (5/6 Betway, 10/11 general)
Advice – Top Club Markets
3 pts Chelsea top London Club (15/8 Stan James)
2 pts Middlesbrough top promoted club (19/20 Betfred)