12th Sep 2020 | Premier League

Premier League Top 4 Exact Order Tip

Retaining league titles is notoriously tough as champions struggle to maintain that same edge. We're backing City to reclaim their crown with Laporte back and Ake signed to ease concerns in central defence. Meanwhile, Arsenal look like dark horses for a Champions League spot as Arteta's revolution kicks on.

Opening weekend of the season is a great time to predict how the top four will finish up with a high chance of looking foolish by mid-2021, and quite a high probability of looking daft even by Monday!

But we’ll take our chances with Skybet offering 28/1 on the order concluding as 1st: Man City, 2nd: Liverpool, 3rd: Man Utd and 4th: Arsenal.

Let’s start with the top two who have looked a class part since early 2018, when Europe is factored in as well. It’s hard to see the pack making up 15pts on 2nd, with City clearly capable of accruing far more than 2019-20’s disappointing 81pt haul.

We’re backing Pep’s boys to flip back closer to the standards of the previous two campaigns when they notched 100 and 98pts. They are still scoring goals on a prodigious scale but crucially the defence will surely be better again.

If Laporte stays fit they will be far tidier but the arrival of Ake gives some depth to the heart of that defence regardless.

The stats would suggest that retaining the title is incredibly tough, with it only happening once (with Pep’s City) since 2009. Liverpool may suffer from a slight drop-off after the long-awaited glory and that’s all it takes at the highest level.

We’re backing Manchester Utd to consolidate in 3rd place having snatched that spot on the final day in July. The Red Devils went 14 matches unbeaten through till the end of the top flight season with improvements at both ends of the park. Expect a lot more than 66 league goals in 2020-21, especially if Sancho adds to the youthfully exuberant competition for places. Maguire may have had a dodgy summer but he and Wan-Bissaka have made a telling difference in terms of clean sheets over time.

Our dark horse selection is Arsenal to improve markedly to snatch 4th spot and leave their London rivals in despair. There is a real sense of Arteta redefining the club with some backbone and he showed they could beat the big guns on their day in the FA Cup.

Chelsea may rue the day they allowed the Gunners to strengthen by taking Willian off their hands. If his fellow-countryman Gabriel settles well then there could be some grit in defence at last while Saka could really breakthrough operating with the prolific Aubameyang.

Lampard’s lot will still be great going forward but they conceded a whopping 54 league goals last season, the worst record in the top half of the table. That isn’t sustainable for Champions League football and while concerns continue over the goalkeeper, they may go backwards domestically.

Spurs will be thereabouts but doubts persist as to whether Mourinho can truly get the best out of a squad defined as being at the end of its cycle.

Odds correct at time of publishing: 05:24 12th Sep, 2020 but subject to change