Premier League Review: Five talking points from Gameweek 3

The Premier League continues to entertain, and with not a single mention of the handball rule, Mike Norman talks us through five betting markets following the weekend action...

1. Liverpool go odds-on to retain crown

It's fair to say there were a few surprised faces when Liverpool were put in at 5/2 on the Betfair Sportsbook to retain their Premier League crown. Not many clubs win a domestic title is such dominating fashion, retain all their best players, and yet aren't even favourites to win the title again the following season.

That honour went to Manchester City, who have been matched at 1.69 to win the title, but following their 2-5 home hammering at the hands of Leicester, followed 24 hours later by Liverpool's impressive display in beating Arsenal 3-1, it's the Reds that now trade odds-on in the Premier League Winner market.

Jurgen Klopp's men can be backed at 1.98 to retain the title having been matched at a high of [4.00], with Man City out to 2.76.

And after winning three from three in the league this season, including wins over two of the 'big six', some will argue that being able to back Liverpool at close to Evens is still on the generous side.

2. Jamie Vardy would walk into England's Euro 2020 squad

I don't think there's any doubt that Harry Kane is England's number one striker, and with the emergence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin of late, plus the goal-scoring threats of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate certainly isn't short of attacking options.

But should Kane be injured, or if you simply need a fresh pair of legs late in a game, then is there a better out-and-out goalscorer option than Jamie Vardy right now?

The Leicester striker - last season's Premier League top scorer let us not forget - took his tally to five goals in three games with a hat-trick at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. He's asked not to be considered for England selection of course, but has never officially ruled out a return to the international scene, especially if England suffer an injury crisis.

Vardy is available to back at 5.80 to retain his Premier League Top Goalscorer crown, with Calvert-Lewin - also on five goals for the season - trading at 16.00England meanwhile can be backed at 6.40 to win Euro 2020 next summer.



3. Can Tottenham become capital kings?

Tottenham were extremely disappointing in their opening-game defeat to Everton but it's fair to say they've improved a lot since that day. Two Europa League away wins against minnows were to be expected of course, but two excellent performances in the Premier League have certainly raised the spirits among the Tottenham faithful.

Jose Mourinho's men were brilliant in the second half in their 5-2 win at Southampton, and they played very well again on Sunday when drawing 1-1 with Newcastle. Tottenham's only crime that day was not putting the game to bed. Well, there was another crime in stoppage time, but we promised not to mention that!

Once Tottenham's horrendous run of games is over, and Gareth Bale becomes available again, then it's not too difficult to see a settled Spurs side challenging for a Top 4 Finish, for which they can be backed at 3.95.

Another market that might be of interest however is the London Club Head-to-Head one, where Tottenham can be backed at a rather generous 5.20. Effectively they only have to finish ahead of Arsenal 2.10 and Chelsea [2.24] to land the odds here, and the way the Blues have started the season I'd be confident they can finish above the latter, while the Gunners have a tendency to be very inconsistent.

4. Leeds United - the real deal or just striking lucky?

It's hard to dispute that Leeds have made an excellent start to the season, picking up six points from a possible nine and scoring eight goals in the process. But sometimes league positions and bare results can hide potential problems.

Prior to Leeds' win over Sheffield United on Sunday Marcelo Bielsa's men had registered seven shots on target, and scored with all seven. There was only one thing certain about that statistic, and that's that it wouldn't continue. And it didn't, but then it's still hard to knock a victory of the Blades even if it did come by a solitary goal.

Patrick Bamford has scored three in three, and you know that run won't continue either. And after conceding four goals at Anfield on their return to the top flight, Leeds have actually registered hard-fought single-goal victories over the Premier League's bottom two teams.

My gut feeling is that Leeds aren't as good as their early season form suggests. Only time will tell of course, and that time could easily be the next few months. In their next eight fixtures Biesla's men face the likes of Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester, Everton and Wolves.

You can lay Leeds at 1.20 in the Top Promoted Team market, and that might just have some trading potential given their upcoming games.

5. Fulham already relegated... according to one bookie

Three teams remain without a single point following the third round of fixtures, but it's rock-bottom Fulham that one bookmaker has already paid out on to be relegated.

Scott Parker's men have lost three from three on their return to the Premier League, conceding 10 goals in the process. The Cottagers' defending leaves a lot to be desired and unless they bring in a handful of players who will improve their squad before next Monday's transfer deadline then it's difficult to envisage them surviving.

Fulham are available to back at just 1.33 in the Relegation market with West Brom next in at 1.70. Incidentally, the other two teams without a point are Sheffield United and Burnley, available to back at 2.98 and [3.8] respectively to go down.


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