2023-24 Premier League outright winner predictions, odds and best bets: Fierce competition for places should keep City on top of pile

2023-24 Premier League outright winner predictions, odds and best bets: Fierce competition for places should keep City on top of pile

When does the 2023-24 Premier League season start?

Friday, August 11

2023-24 Premier League winner odds

4-5 Man City, 5 Arsenal, 8 Liverpool, 11 Man Utd, 14 Chelsea, 16 Newcastle, 50 Tottenham, 66 Brighton, 150 bar.

Best outright bets for the 2023-24 Premier League season

Manchester City-Liverpool straight forecast
2pts 13-2 bet365

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James Milton’s 2023-24 Premier League winner predictions

A 2-0 EFL Cup quarter-final defeat to Nathan Jones’s Southampton was the one blot on Manchester City’s 2022-23 record as the Citizens won the Premier League, the FA Cup and a long-awaited first Champions League title.

City’s treble was a reward for an impressive training performance from manager Pep Guardiola, whose side moved through the gears to overhaul title rivals Arsenal on the run-in despite the unique challenge of a mid-season World Cup.

The bare facts of the 2022-23 title race suggest a straightforward success for City. They wrapped up the league with three games to spare from runners-up who had been 50-1 shots at the start of term, and third-placed Manchester United finished 14 points behind the champions.

However, Arsenal set a blistering pace, winning 16 of their first 19 matches, and the Gunners were still favourites for the league at the start of April before a hat-trick of dramatic, damaging draws against Liverpool, West Ham and Southampton.

After those results dented Arsenal’s title hopes, their dream was demolished by an emphatic 4-1 defeat at City on April 26. It could have been far worse for the Gunners – Erling Haaland finally got on the scoresheet in the 94th minute with his fifth shot on target – and it was one of a series of late-season City performances that illustrated the gulf between them and their rivals.

They thumped Liverpool 4-1, without the injured Haaland, on April 1 and beat RB Leipzig 7-0, Bayern Munich 3-0 and Real Madrid 4-0 in the home legs of their Champions League last-16, quarter-final and semi-final ties.

City’s attacking football is outstanding but they also defended brilliantly last season, conceding just five goals in 13 Champions League matches and suffering only five league defeats, all of them by a one-goal margin.

Guardiola’s men have been eased slightly in the ante-post betting to win a sixth Premier League title in seven years, largely due to Arsenal’s statement of intent in the summer transfer window.

City tend to peak in the second half of the season, winning 16 of their next 18 league games after January’s 2-1 Manchester derby defeat at Old Trafford, so they make limited appeal at odds-on before a ball has been kicked.

However, the treble winners still set the standard in the English top flight and last season’s domestic and European displays offered little encouragement to the chasing pack.

Are there any crumbs of comfort for City’s Premier League challengers? The champions won only two of their nine away matches against top-half teams last term, although the title was already in the bag before they drew 1-1 at Brighton and lost 1-0 at Brentford.

The fierce competition for places in City’s starting line-up means complacency shouldn’t be an issue for the treble winners. Phil Foden, a five-time league champion at the age of 23, and Julian Alvarez, who starred in Argentina’s 2022 World Cup triumph, started just 22 and 13 league matches respectively last season and star striker Haaland is unlikely to rest on his laurels after a record-breaking 36-goal debut season in the Premier League.

One by-product of Manchester City’s dominance is a fascinating betting heat on who will win the league without the champions.

Arsenal were surprise title contenders last term but bookmakers do not believe that was a one-season wonder and the Gunners, having strengthened their midfield with the signing of West Ham captain Declan Rice, are rated the biggest threats to the Citizens.

The average age of Arsenal’s Premier League starting 11 in 2022-23 was under 25 – only bottom club Southampton had a younger average line-up – yet they looked an assured unit for much of the season, averaging 2.79 goals per game at home and, ignoring the rout at the Etihad Stadium, conceding just 14 times in 18 away matches.

Arsenal shared their goals around, with Martin Odegaard (15), Gabriel Martinelli (15) and Bukayo Saka (14) leading the way, and they coped well without striker Gabriel Jesus, who was sidelined from December to March.

However, last season’s surprise packages are no longer flying under the radar of bookmakers so Liverpool look a more tempting bet to chase home City in the Premier League straight-forecast market.

The Reds did City a favour last term, coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Arsenal in a rollicking encounter at Anfield where Mohamed Salah also missed a penalty.

That marked the beginning of the end of Arsenal’s title challenge but the start of Liverpool’s strong finish to the campaign. They won their next seven games, kicking off with a 6-1 drubbing of Leeds at Elland Road, to finish fifth in the table after a patchy season.

One example of that frustrating inconsistency came in October, when they beat City 1-0 at Anfield before losing at Nottingham Forest six days later. Then, in March, they hammered Manchester United 7-0 but followed up with a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.

Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold were the only two outfield players to make more than 32 league starts but Jurgen Klopp has a younger, more streamlined squad after a summer exodus of senior players including skipper Jordan Henderson.

Most of those departures were planned, and covered for by the exciting arrivals of Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, and the changing of the guard offers opportunities for forwards Diogo Jota, Luiz Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, along with young midfielders Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic, to establish themselves at Anfield.

The season before last, Liverpool won both domestic cups, finished runners-up to City with 92 points, and peppered the Real Madrid goal in a luckless 1-0 Champions League final defeat, and they are capable of putting their underwhelming 2022-23 campaign behind them.

The title betting – and the ‘without City’ market – suggests there is a significant gap between Arsenal and Liverpool and the rest of the chasing pack. Manchester United made progress in Erik ten Hag’s first season but their squad does not look equipped for a serious title challenge, while Newcastle are aiming to consolidate their top-four status and make the most of their return to the Champions League.

Tottenham and Chelsea, third and fourth in last season’s ante-post title betting, are hard to fancy this term. New managers Ange Postecoglou and Mauricio Pochettino are positive appointments but the speculation over Harry Kane’s future is casting a long shadow over Tottenham’s summer and Chelsea’s response to last season’s dismal 12th-placed finish was to rip up the squad and start again.

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