Premier League Season Preview 2018/19 : Liverpool to challenge Man City and Warnock is in big trouble
Event Venue: English Premier League, Starts 10 August 2018. Sky Sports, BT Sports & Amazon Prime..See Stats
Premier League Preview 2018/2019
The 2018/19 season will kick off on August 10th 2018 with the final matches scheduled for 19th May 2019.
Defending champions, Manchester City, will face Arsenal away in their opening match of the season and are odds on favourites to repeat their success of 2017/18 with Ladbrokes already offering 8/11.
The top flight clubs are facing fresh competition from Cardiff City, Wolverhampton Wanderers & Fulham, all newly promoted from the Championship.
It feels like there has been no break in the football this summer thanks to the World Cup but the Premier League is back in just a few days and we are set for another entertaining campaign, although maybe not in the race for the title.
Manchester City strolled to the Premier League title last season and it is hard to see any team stopping them doing the same this time around. The champions have not made huge improvements to their squad (Riyad Mahrez being their only major signing) but their squad is so deep and full of quality that additions were hardly necessary.
The likes of Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy hardly featured last season and will almost be like new signings themselves. Whilst other sides have boosted their playing staff it doesn’t look like enough to topple the Cityzens from their lofty perch.
However, the team that have done best over the summer and should come closest to Pep Guardiola’s side are Liverpool. The signings of Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri are all going to give them a better shot at the business end of the Premier League. Their defensive frailties and slight inconsistency will mean they won’t quite reach the big prize, but they look great to finish in the top two.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are fancied to do just that but they still look good value for a top two finish at 10/11 with Betfair.
The front three for the Reds last season was the best thing about their outfit with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane tearing up defences across the country. Salah took most of the headlines thanks to his 32 Premier League goals, but there is no reason to suggest one of the other two could not take the fore this time around.
Firmino has been slowly improving each season he has been wearing a Liverpool shirt, with his return of 15 Premier League goals last campaign his best yet, with 27 in all competitions also a career best.
The Brazilian 26-year-old is all the way out at 33/1 with Betway to be the Premier League top scorer next season and that looks tremendous value if you choose to back him each-way. Outscoring every other player in the division might be a bit beyond him, but he is very capable of cracking the 20-goal margin and that should be enough for him to grab a top four finish in the Golden Boot table.
At the bottom end of the table, three teams will face the disappointment of relegation and it is going to be a tense battle to avoid the drop. Wolves came up having won the Championship last season and they look incredibly strong for new arrivals in the top flight. Fulham have the potential to be very solid campaigners in the Premier League, whilst it is only Cardiff that the bookies have no faith in and have made odds-on to go straight back down.
This means that we can expect at least one of last year’s Premier League survivors to be sliding back to the Championship in 2019 and the most likely candidates appear to be Huddersfield.
The Terriers were the joint lowest scorers in the division last season with just 28 in 38 games which is an incredibly poor return. Their defence isn’t even that solid with 58 goals conceded, which was worse than two of the relegated sides, Swansea and West Brom. They ground out results when they had to, but the Yorkshire side did not make an especially convincing argument that they will be mainstays in the top flight.
David Wagner has made some interesting signings including the Ramadan Sobhi from Stoke and Erik Durm from Borussia Dortmund, but they have not really added any proven Premier League experience and that could prove to be their downfall. They will not go down without a fight, but their almost complete lack of firepower will be their undoing this time around.
As mentioned, Cardiff look set to struggle this season despite a really impressive campaign in the Championship last year. No one was expecting the Welsh club to be taking an automatic promotion spot last year but Neil Warnock worked wonders with a limited squad, amassing 90 points and claiming second place.
Warnock, though, could prove to be a victim of his own success in the ruthless environment of the Premier League. The Yorkshireman has managed in the top flight before and it has not gone particularly well for him. He is an archetypal example of a manager that can produce great results in the Championship but is just not quite at the level required to compete with the big boys.
It is not just Warnock that doesn’t have what it takes for the Premier League, but his players are not up to the required standard either. Kenneth Zohore isn’t going to be frightening top flight defences, Sean Morrison isn’t going to keep quality strikers out of a game and Junior Hoilett isn’t going to create chances like he did in the second tier. Cardiff’s major summer signing is Bobby Reid from Bristol City, who was very good last season for the Robins, but has had just one good season in the Championship and is certainly not anyone to hang your hat on against the best.
Cardiff are near certainties to make an immediate return to the Championship, but as a result there is almost no point betting on them at such a short price for a long-term return. However, what is a much more appealing price is for Warnock to get the bullet because the Bluebirds cannot get off the ground in the top flight.
If Cardiff start badly then the temptation will bet there to give Neil the boot and replace him with a manager with more Premier League success on their CV. It is quite surprising that Warnock is all the way out at 12/1 to be the first boss to be fired and is well worth backing at that price.
Neil Warnock to be the next Premier League manager to leave their post is great at 12/1 with Bet Victor.
- Manchester City are current champions
- Cardiff City, Wolverhampton Wanderers & Fulham are newly promoted
- Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur & Liverpool are in the Champions League.
- Man City won the title by 19 points last season, reaching 100 on the final game of the season
- Huddersfield and Southampton failed to reach 40 points last season, but survived in the top flight
- Huddersfield scored just 28 goals in 38 league games last season
- West Ham conceded joint most goals last season, despite finishing 13th
- Jose Mourinho is the bookies’ favourite to be the first manager fired in the Premier League
- Harry Kane is favourite to be the Premier League top goal scorer
- Mohamed Salah is available at 6/1 to be the top scorer despite his 32 goals last season
- Man City are aiming to be the first team to retain the Premier League since Man Utd in 2009
- Man City have never retained a top flight title after 5 wins
- There has only been one first time winner of the Premier League since 1972 – Leicester in 2016
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