Manchester City - 15/8

Last season: 3rd - 78 points, 80 Goals For, 39 Goals Against
Top Goalscorer: Sergio Aguero - 20
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Predicted Finish: (according to market) 1st

It's becoming increasingly difficult to deny that Manchester City don't deserve to be title favourites given their summer transfer business. Forget that for a moment though as improvement on last season's third-place finish isn't impossible to envisage on the basis of the potentially-brilliant Gabriel Jesus being a better player this term, and his role in an attacking line-up that could figure a combination of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Daivd Silva and Sergio Ageuro - as it did when City scored 15 goals in winning their last four matches in May - could be explosive.

But the addition of attacking full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, plus the excellence of midfielders Bernardo Silva and the soon-to-be-fit again Ilkay Gundogan to name but four, mark Pep Guardiola's squad out to be of the very highest quality. You still feel that another top class centre-back would be a welcome addition, and they might yet get one, but for now City look like a team that will entertain their way to outscoring their opponents on a regular basis.

Best Bet: Back Man City @ 15/8 to Win the Premier League

Chelsea - 7/2

Last season: 1st - 93 points, 85 GF, 33 GA
Top Goalscorer: Diego Costa - 20
Manager: Antonio Conte
Predicted Finish: 2nd-3rd

The defending Premier League champions are rated as joint second favourites to retain their crown, this despite the arrival of £70m striker Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid. If, and it's probably a sizeable if, he can be a 20-goal-a-season man just like the seemingly outgoing Diego Costa is, then there's no reason to think that the Blues won't go close to retaining their title.

Consider also the big-money signings of German defender Antonio Rudiger and French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko and it's almost laughable that Chelsea can be backed at 7/2, the same price as Manchester United who they finished 24 points ahead of last term. The reason probably lies with Antonio Conte, and the niggling hunch that he's not entirely happy at Stamford Bridge. Ignore this and Chelsea are a stonking bet to finish ahead of United.

Best Bet: Back Chelsea to finish ahead of Manchester United @ 4/5

Manchester United - 7/2

Last season: 6th - 69 points, 54 GF, 29 GA
Top Goalscorer: Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 17 (released)
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Predicted Finish: 2nd-3rd

Let's start by looking at the numbers. Twenty-four points adrift of the champions last term, 32 less goals netted than the highest scorers (Spurs), and nine fewer home wins recorded than the top two. That's a lot of gaps to be bridged this season if United are to challenge for the title.

The positives are that the Red Devils have signed prolific goalscorer Romelu Lukaku, but he's no given in this United line-up to repeat his 25-goal haul that he achieved with Everton last term. Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic will make United even harder to break down than they were last season, and Paul Pogba is sure to have a much better campaign, but I still have concerns about United going forward. They can be very pedestrian and I'd have all five of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Spurs in a different league when it comes to creativity. Though the possible signing of Gareth Bale could change all that.

Best Bet: Lay Man Utd for a Top 3 Finish @ 1.76

Tottenham - 8/1

Last season: 2nd - 86 points, 86 GF, 26 GA
Top Goalscorer: Harry Kane - 29
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
Predicted Finish: 4th-6th

Tottenham remain the only 'top six' club not to make a major breakthrough in the transfer market this summer but we shouldn't be sounding the alarm bells just yet. As evidenced last season Spurs' best XI can match any team in the Premier League, and yet it has so much potential to be even better given the average age, and therefore likely improvement, of their regular starters. Squad depth might become an issue, and the recent injury to right-back Kieran Trippier is untimely given the sale of Kyle Walker, but don't expect the Spurs hierarchy to sit on their hands if it becomes evident that some fresh faces are needed.

Perhaps a bigger worry for Tottenham followers is the 19 'home' games that they will play at Wembley Stadium this season. Given the way Mauricio Pochettino likes his team to play it shouldn't be a problem at all, quite the opposite in fact, but it clearly was an issue in European competition last term. A good early win at Wembley could work wonders for the season ahead, and who better to get it against than Chelsea in Tottenham's opening home game of the campaign. In fact, I'm expecting Spurs to have a fine home record and an injury-free Harry Kane to run riot in the large spaces of Wembley's hallowed turf.

Best Bet: Back Harry Kane to be Top Goalscorer @ 4.60

Liverpool - 11/1

Last season: 4th - 76 points, 78 GF, 42 GA
Top Goalscorer: Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane - 13
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Predicted Finish: 4th-6th

Of all the 'big six' club Liverpool are the one that I'd be least surprised at, whether it's making a run at the title or finishing outside of the top four. You only have to look back at some of last season's results to see that they can be very unpredictable.

For a team that likes to press and turn the ball over quickly Mo Salah looks an excellent signing; he has the pace and dribbling ability to turn counter attacks into very good goalscoring opportunities, and with Daniel Sturridge reportedly in the best shape he's been for quite a while then Liverpool could be set for a good season in front of goal. If it materialises, losing Phillipe Coutinho to Barcelona would be a devastating blow however. But based on what we know now I don't see any reason why Liverpool, who finished seven points ahead of Manchester United last term, should be 11/8 in a two-horse race.

Best Bet: Back Liverpool to finished ahead of Manchester United @ 11/8

Arsenal - 12/1

Last season: 5th - 75 points, 77 GF, 44 GA
Top Goalscorer: Alexis Sanchez - 24
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Predicted Finish: 4th-6th

Arsenal commence the 2017/18 Premier League season with a home game against Leicester on Friday night and they'll be buoyed by their penalty shoot-out success over Chelsea in Sunday's Community Shield. But what realistically can they achieve this term?

They finished 18 points behind Chelsea last season and finished outside of the top four for the first time in 20 years, and there is still uncertainly surrounding a number of their star players who are entering the last year of their contracts, not least Alexis Sanchez. French international striker Alexandre Lacazette - a near £50m signing from Lyon - has been brought in to help lead the line but he's unlikely to make an instant impact, and the gut feeling is that the Gunners will do tremendously well to finish above their north London rivals.

Best Bet: Back Tottenham to finish ahead of Arsenal @ 4/6

Everton - 80/1

Last season: 7th - 61 points, 62 GF, 44 GA
Top Goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku - 25 (now at Man Utd)
Manager: Ronald Koeman
Predicted Finish: 7th

I'm liking a lot about Everton this season, none more so than their summer signings and the likelihood of Gylfi Sigurdsson joining them very shortly. The question is how best to profit from the Toffees?

The hugely talented Jordan Pickford, and the highly promising Michael Keane will add strength to an already strong backline, while the likes of Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez, and Wayne Rooney offer plenty further up the field. The signing of Sigurdsson just puts Ronald Koeman's men in an even stronger position to challenge for the top six. We'll need one of the 'big six' to drop out of course, but I can easily see one of Arsenal, United, or Liverpool performing below expectations and the Toffees taking full advantage.

Best Bet: Back Everton in Top 6 Finish market @ 3.20

Leicester - 250/1

Last season: 12th - 44 points, 48 GF, 63 GA
Top Goalscorer: Jamie Vardy - 13
Manager: Craig Shakespeare
Predicted Finish: 8th-10th

Leicester were a shadow of the 2015/16 title-winning team last season, only pulling away from the relegation zone when, bizarrely but ultimately as things turned out the correct decision, Claudio Ranieri was sacked and replaced by Craig Shakespeare.

The club have spent over £50m on defender Harry Maguire, midfielder Vicente Iborra, and former Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho so they've strengthened in every deparment, but it's likely that star man Riyad Mahrez will leave and there is even talk of Danny Drinkwater departing, although interest from Chelsea seems to have cooled. Last season's poor start was understandable so a 12th-place finish was in the end, creditable. Even without Mahrez I envisage an improvement this term.

Best Bet: Back Leicester in Top 10 Finish market @ 2.04

Southampton - 250/1

Last season: 8th - 46 points, 41 GF, 48 GA
Top Goalscorer: Nathan Redmond - 7
Manager: Mauricio Pellegrino
Predicted Finish: 8th-10th

Southampton have finished 8th, 7th, 6th, and 8th in the last four Premier League seasons, and with, the exception of Everton, none of the clubs that are generally considered to challenge for those position standing out as massive improvers there isn't any real reason to suggest that they won't record yet another top 10 finish.

A new manager - this time it's former Liverpool player Mauricio Pellegrino - hasn't stopped them in previous seasons, but perhaps a couple of reasons to oppose the Saints for a Top 10 Finish at the odds this time are the club's apparent lack of a prolific goalscorer (Nathan Redmond top scored last season with seven, which makes the sale of Jay Rodriguez a bit of a surprise), and the transfer request handed in on Monday by Virgil van Dijk. You have to strengthen at this level; Southampton appear to be doing the opposite.

Best Bet: Lay Southampton for a Top 10 Finish @ 1.68

West Ham - 350/1

Last season: 11th - 45 points, 43 GF, 51 GA
Top Goalscorer: Michail Antonio - 9
Manager: Slaven Bilic
Predicted Finish: 8th-10th

In contrast to Southampton I expect West Ham to improve on last season's 11th-place finish and I don't see any reason why Slaven Bilic's men won't finish in the top half of the table. Last season was always going to be a difficult campaign at their new home, the London Stadium, but the Hammers concluded with three clean sheets from their last four home games including a 1-0 win over then title-chasing Spurs.

Bilic has made four very eyecatching signings in Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Mark Arnautovic, and former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, suggesting they'll score more goals this time around as well as being more difficult to beat. An eighth or ninth-place finish should see West Ham finish above the Saints, and that's a bet I really like.

Best Bet: Back West Ham to finish ahead of Southampton @ Evs

Bournemouth - 750/1

Last season: 9th - 46 points, 55 GF, 67 GA
Top Goalscorer: Joshua King - 16
Manager: Eddie Howe
Predicted Finish: 11th-15th

Having effectively selected nine clubs to finish in the top half of the table so far - the 'big six', Everton, Leicester and West Ham - there's room for one more. Don't be surprised one bit if it's Bournemouth, and don't be surprised if veteran striker Jermain Defoe stars on the south coast.

The former Sunderland striker scored 15 goals for the Black Cats in a team that scored just 29 times. If he plays regularly, and in a team that can often be involved in high-scoring games, then Defoe could easily net 20+ times. I know it contradicts our Harry Kane Top Goalscorer bet but I wouldn't put anyone off backing Defoe to be Top English Goalscorer at around 14.00, but for a bit of early season fun how about Defoe to be the first player to score a hat-trick. The Cherries start with games against West Brom and Watford; Defoe will be licking his lips, and at the thought of a 50/1 winner, so are we.

Best Bet: Back Jermain Defoe First Player to score a EFL Hat-trick @ 50/1

Crystal Palace - 750/1

Last season: 14th - 41 points, 50 GF, 63 GA
Top Goalscorer: Christian Benteke - 15
Manager: Frank de Boer
Predicted Finish: 11th - 16th

It's been a very quiet transfer window so far for Crystal Palace and their new boss Frank de Boer, and the feeling is that they'll have to get a bit busier if they're to improve on last season and push for a top half finish.

But in Christian Benteke they have a 15-20-goal-a-season striker who has declared his happiness at Selhurst Park, and in Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend they have a couple of flair players who enjoyed a great finish to last term and who now should be approaching their peaks. I'm also a big fan of Jason Puncheon, and the loan signing of Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another plus. I have a good feeling about the Eagles, and I think the Sportsbook price of 3/1 about them finishing in the top 10 is a generous one.

Best Bet: Back Crystal Palace for a Top 10 Finish @ 3/1

Newcastle - 750/1

Last season: Championship Title Winners
Top Goalscorer: Dwight Gayle - 23
Manager: Rafa Benitez
Predicted Finish: 11th-16th

The Sportsbook has priced Rafa Benitez up as the 7/2 favourite to be the first Premier League manager to leave his post, and I can understand completely the thinking behind that. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has never been afraid to pull the trigger, Benitez has equally never been afraid to walk away.

Despite been given some cash to spend and bringing in a number of new faces the former Real Madrid boss doesn't exactly appear 100% satisfied with his club's transfer business. Just being a newly-promoted club means Newcastle are likely to be a bottom half team, and given their relatively kind fixtures in the first few months they'll be under enormous pressure to get off to a good start. If they don't then Rafa could well be out the exit door.

Best Bet: Back Rafa Benitez to be First Manager to Leave Post @ 7/2

Stoke - 750/1

Last season: 13th - 44 points, 41 GF, 56 GA
Top Goalscorer: Peter Crouch - 7
Manager: Mark Hughes
Predicted Finish: 11th-16th

Stoke have seen the likes of Glenn Whelan, Jonathan Walters, and more significantly Marko Arnautovic all depart during the summer, while their only big-name arrival is the loan signing of Kurt Zouma. Mark Hughes is cutting a frustrated figure, and although the Potters are trying desperately to bring in some fresh new faces they currently don't have a squad that screams goals.

In fact quite remarkably Stoke's top goalscorer last term, with just seven goals, was veteran striker Peter Crouch, and the team themselves scored just 41 times. The departure of Arnautovic is a massive blow then, and for now Hughes' men look worth chancing in the Relegation market.

Best Bet: Back Stoke to be Relegated @ 6/1

Swansea - 750/1

Last season: 15th - 41 points, 45 GF, 70 GA
Top Goalscorer: Fernando Llorente - 15
Manager: Paul Clement
Predicted Finish: 1th-16th

Having lost one midfielder in Jack Cork to Burnley, Swansea can ill-afford to lose another, especially when it's the club's best and most creative player. But that's seemingly what's going to happen as Gylfi Sigurdsson's move to Everton draws ever nearer. So already Swansea's survival hopes could well depend on how they spend the incoming cash as they will desperately need to plug some gaps.

Remember, Swansea were effectively embroiled in a relegation battle for 90% of last season and their squad, even with the addition of experienced Spanish midfielder Roque Mesa, will look considerably weaker with the departures of Cork and Sigurdsson. Another season-long relegation battle look almost certain.

Best Bet: Back Swansea to be Relegated @ 3.40

Burnley - 1000/1

Last season: 16th - 40 points, 39 GF, 55 GA
Top Goalscorer: Sam Vokes - 10
Manager: Sean Dyche
Predicted Finish: 16th-18th

Although Burnley would eventually finish one point and one place below Swansea last term they were never really in relegation trouble having secured their points early thanks to some magnificent home form. On the flip side, Sean Dyche's men were woeful on their travels and you sense that they'll need to be a more balanced outfit this term, or at least improve that away form considerably.

I don't expect it to be a comfortable season for the Clarets but I like the way Dyche gets the best out of what he has to work with. Jack Cork is an excellent addition, and Phil Bardsley and Jonathan Walters - both signed from Stoke - bring plenty of experience.

Best Bet: Lay Burnley to be Relegated @ 2.30

Watford - 1000/1

Last season: 17th - 40 points, 40 GF, 68 GA
Top Goalscorer: Troy Deeney - 10
Manager: Marco Silva
Predicted Finish: 16th-18th

Of all the clubs that survived last season Watford had the worst goal difference so immediately they become a relegation candidate, but having selected Stoke and Swansea to be relegated at bigger prices, and - spoiler alert - Huddersfield for the drop a bit further down this page, I can't really recommend a fourth club to be relegated.

So instead we have to look for positives, and who the Hornets could realistically finish ahead of this term. Marco Silva made an immediate impact on Hull last season and he looks a great capture for the London outfit, so while from the outset Watford look to have a similar strength squad to last term - Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah are decent, but that's about it - they do have the potential to do some good transfer business before the end of the month and/or in January. One of the clubs I strongly fancy to struggle is Swansea, so let's back the Hornets to finish above them.

Best Bet: Back Watford to finish ahead of Swansea @ 5/4

West Brom - 1000/1

Last season: 10th - 45 points, 43 GF, 51 GA
Top Goalscorer: Salomon Rondon - 8
Manager: Tony Pulis
Predicted Finish: 16th-18th

After flirting in and around the top eight for large chunks of last season West Brom ended the campaign in very poor form, taking just five points from the last 36 available to them. So the inevitable question is do we judge the Baggies on what we saw for the first 26 games, or do we believe their dreadful finish is a better indication of how good Tony Pulis' men are.

The answer probably lies somewhere in between; not good enough to challenge the top eight but easily better than at least five or six Premier League clubs, though the signing of Jay Rodriquez from Southampton has me thinking that another mid-table finish is easily achievable. The Baggies are rated as the joint ninth club most likely to be relegated which is about correct, though the team they sit alongside in that market is Stoke, a club I strongly fancy to struggle this term, hence the recommended bet.

Best Bet: Back West Brom to finish ahead of Stoke @ 5/6

Brighton - 1500/1

Last season: Championship Runners-Up
Top Goalscorer Glenn Murray - 23
Manager: Chris Hughton
Predicted Finish: 19th-20th

There was barely nothing between promoted clubs Newcastle and Brighton at the death last season - the Magpies pipped the Seagulls to the title by a single point thanks to Chris Hughton's men taking just a single point from their last three games - so I'm not sure why there's such a discrepancy in prices between the two clubs in various markets ahead of the new season.

Brighton have brought in no fewer than eight new players ahead of Saturday's opening game against Manchester City so they're undoubtedly a stronger outfit, and I just have a hunch that they'll cause a few shocks at the Amex Stadium. Whether they'll be good enough to stay up is another matter but wherever they finish I expect Newcastle to be in a similar position. One place lower will suit us fine.

Best Bet: Back Brighton to finish above Newcastle @ 11/5

Huddersfield - 2000/1

Last season: Championship Play-Off Winners
Top Goalscorer: Elias Kachunga - 12
Manager: David Wagner
Predicted Finish: 19th-20th

I expect all three promoted clubs to be in and around the relegation places at some point in the season - two of the newly promoted clubs were relegated last term - and the difference between survival or an immediate return to the Championship could well depend on squad depth.

Despite bringing in five or six new faces the Terriers' big-name signing remains Tom Ince, and their squad lacks a stand-out striker. Last season's leading goalscorer - Elias Kachunga with just 12 goals - has now been signed permanently for just over £1m, and I fear David Wagner's men will struggle to score the goals needed to survive.

Best Bet: Back Huddersfield to finish Rock Bottom @ 21/20

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