12th Aug 2017 | Premier League

PL Top 3 In Any Order Tip: Man City/Chelsea/Spurs

The battle for the top spots in the Premier League may be more intense than ever. But we think things will change less than the bookies surmise.

The great thing about the Premier League is that, as we get started, if you asked 10 different people to name the top four in order, you’d probably get 10 different predictions.

That’s great for entertainment, tough for tipsters! But we can give ourselves a fighting change by tipping a top three in any order. Skybet give us 10/1 on Chelsea, Man City and Spurs comprising the top three come next May - the exact same names which ended there in 2016-17.

The summer ‘silly season’ creates all sorts of crazy expectations, the common theme being that only spending lavish sums of money will make everything better. This leads many to make Man City favourites and Spurs outsiders. But in reality, spending doesn’t always change the established order as quickly or as dramatically as people like to think.

Let’s start with Tottenham. They racked up an excellent 86 points last term, finishing a full 10 points clear of 4th spot, and they have kept hold of all their key assets, unless you count Kyle Walker, which I don’t. Mauricio Pochettino knows what he’s building there and the Wembley factor is the only thing which could derail another title bid. But this team were the highest scorers with the meanest defence last term. Top three for a third year running? Absolutely.

Based on the odds I don’t need to spend much time persuading the majority as to why City and Chelsea can finish top three again. Curiously there may be more doubts surrounding the reigning champions at this moment, but Conte has done nothing to be distrusted, even if consecutive titles looks a stretch.

Let’s consider who I’m backing to miss out on the big places. I must confess to thinking Arsenal could go close without Champions League distractions but Europa League is still one of those and that defence just isn’t up to scratch.

Man Utd will be fascinating to watch, in terms of progress, if not in style. Mourinho delivered trophies in his first campaign but they finished sixth in May, 17pts behind Spurs and a whopping 24 off Chelsea. Just 54 goals scored was the reason, leading to far too many home draws and I’m not convinced that won’t be a problem again even with the new squad additions.

Finally there’s Liverpool. The Coutinho situation is a nightmare on the eve of the season and besides, much like Arsenal, the defence continues to look below true contender level.

So more of the same at the business end of the table, most likely in a different order, will do us just fine at double figure odds.

Odds correct at time of publishing: 09:54 12th Aug, 2017 but subject to change