Premier League Preview
Last year's campaign was one of the most enthralling and competitive Premier League seasons for years. Man Utd won the title by 6 points with Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in the top 4.
Will this years Premier League be as interesting? Our guess is yes!
Most Premier League teams have strengthened again this year but with some real quality signings, not just cheap foreign imports but players with pedigree and potential such as Liverpool's Fernando Torres and Chelsea's Florent Malouda.
Premier League Betting Odds
The following Premier League preview will run you through the major teams playing for the coveted title, the current betting odds that British Bookmakers offer on each.
Manchester United - 5/4
Where better to start than with last seasons Champions. Sir Alex has been relatively busy in the transfer window this year with England midfielder Owen Hargreaves being the major signing.
He is a player who will do all the leg work in the team, tracking back and protecting his defenders.
This will allow Scholes, Carrick and the more centrally located Giggs to maraud forward and to add to an already impressive attack.
Two fairly unknown quantities are the youngsters from Sporting and Porto, Nani and Anderson. These have cost Utd a combined fee somewhere in the region of £25m-£35m, so they must have a lot of potential.
Assistant Carlos Quiroz will have no doubt watched these players on many occasions to splash out the sorts of figures that have been banded around.
They are both attacking midfielders and although they may not be an instant hit, they may warm up to the English Premierships fast pace and then take the league by storm ala Ronaldo.
Overall Man Utd have a huge chance of retaining their title, providing the main two players Rooney and Ronaldo have another relatively injury free campaign.
This for me is my main concern. They are by no means a one man band but lets face it, the two R's made all the difference for Utd last season.
Liverpool - 6/1
It is probably best to start with saying that Liverpool are one of my strong fancies for a good title challenge this season, although 6/1 isn't massive - it is still a bet that I will be placing.
Liverpool have made plenty of signings so far and quality ones at that.
We all know Torres' pedigree and is potentially a special player. He literally carried Atletico Madrid for several seasons, taking the captains armband aged just 19.
Ryan Babel is another signing. Anyone who saw him in the U21's European Championships knows what he can do, we mustn't forget that he also has 14 full international caps, netting 4 times.
Benayoun and Ukrainian Vornin seem to have settled in well too, especially the latter, he has been named LFC man of the match twice out of his three friendly appearances scoring twice.
I think what is more important than the signings is the hunger shown by all of the players.
They have been quoted as saying how important the opening weeks of the season are. This is where Liverpool have slipped up recently.
The Premiership cannot be won in the first 10 fixtures but it can be lost. In summary - Liverpool are a good bet at better odds than Man Utd.
Chelsea - 13/8
Jose Mourinho is never one to shy away from the media spotlight, even when the team is in L.A on their pre season tour he still manages to put his two penneth in.
He recently said that all of the pressure is on Man Utd and Liverpool this season as they have been the "spending clubs". While this may be true I do not whole heartedly agree.
Chelsea have the reputation of being up there with the "world's elite" and rightly so - after winning back to back Premier League titles, but last season they lost their title and got knocked out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage yet again.
Make no mistake they are under pressure too.
The addition of Frenchman Florent Malouda will certainly help their cause, especially if Robben does leave "the bridge".
Ex Reading midfielder Steve Sidwell has also been added to the squad, although I fail to see where he will fit in with Lampard, Ballack, Essien and Makele.
Chelsea will be chomping at the bit to regain their title and this is what makes them so dangerous. Obviously they too have an excellent chance of regaining it and it will be up to the rest to stop them.
Arsenal - 9/1
Not many peoples fancy this season, but this can be such a huge advantage for the Gunners. After losing Henry and Ljungberg, many people have written of their chances of winning the league - this can be dangerous.
Arsenal will be playing with little pressure this season, they have been quoted as being in a "transitional period" which will only push them on to be stronger and pressure free.
Croatian International new boy Da Silva may or may not work out, but one man who will step up and be counted for is Van Persie.
He was missing for a lot of the season last year and will be looking to make amends. He will be first choice up front in my opinion and is one for your Fantasy Football teams.
The young players at Arsenal had a good shot in the first team last year with all of the injuries - this too is an advantage for the Gunners.
Whilst they do have a chance at winning the league, I feel they MAY fall short. The squad is very thin with not too many new signings, an injury to Gilberto or Fabregas could be detrimental to their challenge.
Tottenham - 100/1
Spurs will not win the Premier League this season, BUT they are a cracking bet for "without the big 4" at 11/8 at most of the online bookmakers we've rated.
They have a very youthful and skilful squad, the addition of Darren Bent and Gareth Bale will be huge.
Spurs' weakest position for quite a while has been left back. Bale who has gone to Spurs with a big reputation will make this position his own and do very well.
Dimitar Berbatov was awesome last year, his first season at Spurs and in the Premiership and he scored 25 goals in all competitions.
That is truly outstanding, now he is in his second season you would expect him to be even better. For me, worth a good punt for 5th place betting and if they do make 4th or 3rd which is likely - you will still win.
The Relagation Battle
The relegation battle is often more exciting than the actual title race, we've seen plenty of last day survival games recently. Wigan were very lucky not to be relegated to the Championship last season, instead the plucky Sheffield Utd took the drop.
It may be different this year, Paul Jewell has now left the JJB and he will be missed more so than if Heskey, Baines and Scharner were all to leave.
He has proven in the past he is an excellent manager and you have to wonder whether Chris Hutchings can keep them up. At 5/4 to be relegated you'd have to be mad not to back it.
Derby have to be an obvious choice to go back down, I can not see them having the ability or the squad to stay up, however 1/2 is hardly a price to be jumped upon.
The final relegation place isn't so simple. It would have to be a toss up between Fulham (2/1) and Birmingham (5/6), only a minor preference for the former.
NB: Premier League betting odds correct at the time this article went live. Bookmakers shorten odds closer to race day so bet early for the best odds!