THE NEW FOOTBALL SEASON IS IN ITS EMBRYONIC stage and won’t really start taking shape until the end of the month. And while the market begins to firm up, now is the time to strike our ante-posts for the season ahead. The Premiership is hardly a betting proposition as like most commentators I believe it to be a two-horse contest between Liverpool and Manchester City with the blues prevailing by an acceptable margin. However, the relegation index is revealing and any 8-1 still available on SOUTHAMPTON to be relegated just has to be taken. In any event 5/1 is readily available. The Championship though is most illuminating and I definitely think the 8/1 readily available about MIDDLESBROUGH has to be taken.
Similarly in League One I would suggest a token interest on FLEETWOOD, each way at a quarter of the odds 1-3 at 40/1 is a must. What with Joey Barton at the helm and, more importantly, a proven goalscorer in Ched Evans at a much higher level, I think they are a certainty for the first three. My only other bet would be on the winner of the National League in AFC FYLDE at 12/1 upsetting the fancy dans of Salford City. Away from the domestic action, Europe’s premier competition begins in September, the Champions League. As mentioned many times before, this only becomes interesting come February with the knockout stage and as sure as eggs are eggs the usual suspects will invariably all qualify for the last 16.
However, I was very impressed last year with JUVENTUS who really should have beaten eventual and serial winners Real Madrid at the Bernabeau, and I can’t help but feel that the signing of prodigious goalscorer Ronaldo from Real can only improve their chances. Obviously the markets have been wise to this acquisition and the Old Lady’s price has contracted from 14/1 to around 7/1 but I still feel this is a tremendous price. Put your euros on this while we are still in the EU. Naturally Pep at the Etihad will be salivating over MANCHESTER CITY’S chances this year and although I feel the 6/1 available today will still be available come February, they are my second choice. Meanwhile six into four just doesn’t go! - in that only four members of the big six in the Premier League at a maximum can qualify for the Champions League in the following season. And in recent years one automatic way of qualifying is in winning Europe’s secondary competition – the Europa League.
Reference Liverpool devoting a strong squad to that competition in 2016 (before coming up short against Seville in the final) and Man United last year winning the competition as a failsafe for not qualifying via the Premier League. Fast forward to 2018 and CHELSEA should use this competition to guarantee riches in 2019/20. Factor in a new manager who would like a trophy, and all in all 7/1 readily available about their chances just has to be taken. Football aside, September is a huge month on the sporting front, notably the Ryder Cup due to be staged at the end of September in Paris. And what are the Americans doing being priced up at 11/10 to win the competition and 5/6 to retain it? THERE IS NO BIGGER CERTAINTY FOR ME THAN AMERICA BEING TRIUMPHANT AND I SUGGEST A LARGE WAGER FOR BIG HITTERS. Just look at the world rankings to show the comparison. Just look at the golfers in form between the two sides.
Just look at the fading European stalwarts to further your resolve. BACK AMERICA NOW. Speaking of America, the new NFL Football season begins in September, of which more next month, but for today my initial bets will be on the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at 25/1 and the SAN FRANCISCO 49-ERS at 20/1. Lastly in this jam-packed edition, Europe’s premier allage middle distance race – the Prix de L’arc de Triomphe is run on the first Sunday in October and although prices will change during the month with various trials, I think that the 7/1 currently available on CRACKSMAN just has to be taken. It’s likely to be run on good to soft at the
very least; there are, as of today, doubts over the favourite Enable and I think we could be made to look very foolish if we don’t back Cracksman now.