The fixtures are now out for the 2017/2018 Premier League season and punters will be quickly trying to work out who has the easiest starts and ends to the season and who have the toughest games in those periods. To me it is a bit pointless, how can we possibly predict that away at Watford might be an easier game than away at West Ham with three matches left? Will Tottenham and Man Utd be too far behind Chelsea again so that the last three games are irrelevant?
One thing that we can be sure of is the first few games of the season so if you go through the opening six fixtures and feel that one of the top sides has a massive advantage then you could be in a trading position by backing them pre-season and laying back after a few games for a green book or profit on that selection. The same can be done on sides to be relegated but be aware that the market for that may not be as strong.
The other problem we have at present is that we have no idea who teams are going to sign or lose, Arsenal being the best example. If they keep Sanchez and make a couple of quality signings like Lemar and Lacazette then they would look better on paper than if they lost him and bought in just a couple of average signings. Can Tottenham keep the squad together from last year and add further quality? Man Utd need to replace Ibrahimovic and look like making Morata from Real Madrid his successor?but will still need a couple of others to add to Lindelof as they are in the Champions League next season. Chelsea look like losing Diego Costa but Conte knows what he is doing and will have a replacement lined up; they have a strong squad anyway so will not need to be too busy buying. That leaves Man City and Liverpool of the big six and for me, a lot will depend on the quality of their signings. Man City were maybe a couple of players short last season, a defender for sure and expect Guardiola to sort that. Liverpool are a team I cannot decide about, at times they looked fantastic last year but then in the same game looked laboured. Personally I think they need a World class centre forward as I cannot see Sturridge playing enough games especially with the Champions League on the agenda. Henderson remaining fit is also a must as they do not look the same side without him.
Of the other sides, Everton will probably again flatter to deceive and will probably need to win one of the cups and sides like Southampton, Leicester and Stoke will again aim to finish top half. The three new sides will be under pressure from day one, Huddersfield and Brighton are predicted to struggle but Newcastle with their vast resources can surely get enough quality in to ensure survival. Of the others, Watford, Burnley and Swansea will probably be involved in a relegation fight and I fear for Burnley who had a shocking end to last season and but for their early season form, would have been relegated.
At this early stage I will be keeping my powder dry but will have a small interest on Burnley to be relegated at 7/5 (2.40), a price which I am sure will shorten as their first five away are at Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City!!