Right now, even though the table says otherwise, there are two betting favorites to win the Premier League title in May.
Manchester City and Liverpool
The two teams have won the last three titles, and also had the epic battle to the finish two seasons ago; right now, neither is in particularly good shape, either in the table or due to injuries, but that has not deterred the sports books from keeping them at the top of the odds.
So if one of the two is going to win the title, which one will it be?
Here is a look at the chances of both.
Manchester City (Current odds, +160)
So you are telling me the team that currently sits 10th in the table after nearly a quarter of the season is the betting favorite to win the title?
The Cityzens clearly have the deepest squad, have a game in hand, and have already all but qualified for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, which means in the coming weeks they can rotate in that competition and get back into the fray in the league.
The bookies have this as a two-horse race between City and Liverpool, and the reigning champions have players dropping like flies on a daily basis. Which team are you going to go with over the long haul, the one with the fresh squad, or the one who has as many players in the treatment room as on the pitch?
The argument against the Cityzens, though, is that they have already dropped points in four games, echoing what happened last season after two nearly perfect campaigns.
Liverpool (Current odds, +185)
When healthy, this is a devastating lineup. But this team is currently a mess, especially at the back, healing into the busiest period of an already crazy calendar (some of which is probably the issue with the fatigue injuries).
Both of the Red’s first choice center backs, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, are currently out for the season (and maybe longer) with significant knee injuries. Both outside backs are banged up, the midfield is less than full strength, and Mo Salah is currently in the COVID-19 protocol.
The bookies still like their chances, though, so maybe Jurgen Klopp can cobble something together. But my gut says that two long runs in the UEFA Champion League in 2017-2018 and 18-19, plus the grueling Premier League title race from 18-19 and the emotional drain from last season’s championship, might have taken its toll on this high energy side.
Verdict & Prediction:
If you are trying to decide between the last two champions, I would have to side with the healthier, deeper, and probably more talented squad, Manchester City. But check back on January 1, and we will see where we are with the table.