PREMIER LEAGUE expert Ben Levene (@benlevene96) has scoured the dozens of Premier League specials markets and has shared his best bets ahead of the 2018/19 big kick-off.
WLB Season Preview 2018/19 | Premier League: Specials
Man City/Liverpool Dual Forecast (2/1 BetVictor)
Champions League finalists Liverpool finished fourth last season, but impressive early transfer business sees them second in the betting.
Jurgen Klopp’s outfit look set for a strong showing. As has been the case during his time in charge, they’ve shopped for players who suit his unique high-intensity style. Naby Keita and Fabinho add depth in middle of the park, while Xherdan Shaqiri posted impressive data last season for relegated Stoke.
Liverpool now have a deep and talented squad. The Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mo Salah front-three can continue to thrive, as the Reds look to mount a challenge on Premier League holders Manchester City.
Spurs are stereotypically behind in their transfer business, with uncertainty remaining around the future of Toby Alderweireld. Tottenham will also experience a hampered pre-season with a massive nine-players competing in the World Cup until its closure.
Factor in an adjustment period at their new stadium, and it’s difficult to see them keeping tabs on Man City and Liverpool, although they do look the third most capable side.
Jose Mourinho has already begun to disseminate his excuses. While they’ll be mainstays in the top four race throughout the season, both City and Liverpool look to have a higher level within them.
Meanwhile, Arsenal and Chelsea are amidst transition periods, and so title challenges this season look a step too far.
The Manchester City/Liverpool Dual Forecast is 2/1 (BetVictor). It sees a winner paid if they make up the division’s top duo come May.
Fulham to finish in the top-half (6/1 Royal Panda)
Newly-promoted Fulham have arguably done the division’s most impressive business this window. The right-side of their attack was a weakness that has now been turned into a threat courtesy of the addition of World Cup winner Andre Schurlle.
Alfie Mawson has come on ten-fold over the past year or so, and he could mirror Harry Maguire’s progress now upped in class. Jean-Michael Seri was a month ago linked with the likes of Barcelona, Arsenal, and Chelsea.
Meanwhile, front-man Aleksandar Mitrovic spearheaded Fulham’s strong close to the last campaign and is tried and tested under Slavisa Jokanovic.
Jokanavic’s Cottagers were possibly the Championship’s best side in the second-half of last season. The difference in price between Fulham and Wolves is too big and we can take advantage by taking the huge 6/1 around a top-10 finish.
Brighton to finish higher than Bournemouth (11/8 SkyBet)
Brighton went under the radar last season, but they finished 15th, losing just seven of 26 matches to teams outside the top-six. They also conceded fewer goals than any other side in the bottom-half. Chris Hughton’s side were well-drilled. The settled squad know their duties, and additions – Matthew Ryan, Ezeqial Schelotto, Davy Propper, Pascal Gross, and Jose Izquierdo all proved hits.
This time around, the Seagulls have moved early, bringing in the likes of David Button, Jason Steele, Leon Balogun, Soufyan Ahannach, Percy Tay and Florian Andone.
Highly-rated midfielder Yves Bissouma could prove a coup. The Mail international was the target for many European sides. Jurgen Locadia was added in January and could play more of a role after a bedding in period.
Hughton has the same XI that has served him so well at his disposal. On top of that he now has depth, and so the fourth favourites for relegation can improve on a campaign that saw them finish just four-points short of the top-half.
Eddie Howe has worked miracles to get his side where they are but in football you are told you can’t stand still.
It’s difficult to see how Bournemouth have improved over the last two season. They’ve snatched young David Brooks from Sheffield United’s bench and added left-back Diego Riego.
Defensive mainstays, Simon Francis, Charlie Daniels, and Adam Smith have come through the divisions, as have pivotal midfield-men Harry Arter, Andrew Surman, and Dan Gosling.
Callum Wilson is essential to any success, but his fitness cannot be relied upon while Josh King failed to hit the heights last season, scoring just eight times compared to 16 in the campaign prior.
There is a sense of regression at the ironically named Vitality. With teams elsewhere spending, this consistent Bournemouth outfit could find themselves surpassed. Boss Howe is stubborn in his style, and the expansive football is not optimum should any dog fight arise.
It’s 11/8 that the Seagulls fly over Bournemouth. Even if Jefferson Lerma joins the Cherries, Brighton can still finish higher.