Manchester City are now favourites to win the 2017-18 Premier League following the unveiling of the season’s fixture list – but Arsenal have drifted out to 11-1 after being handed a Europa League nightmare.
Pep Guardiola’s men were favourites last season, but failed to keep pace as Chelsea ran away with the title, winning 30 of their 38 matches.
However, with the Spaniard again spending heavily this summer – Portuguese schemer Bernardo Silva and Brazilian keeper Ederson have already arrived – allied to a somewhat kind start to the campaign, Guardiola’s men are now favourites.
City open their campaign at newly-promoted Brighton, before hosting Everton the following week. From there they meet Bournemouth (a), Liverpool (h), Watford (a) and Crystal Palace (h) in their opening six fixtures.
Indeed, of their opening 15 games next term, the trip to Chelsea on the seventh weekend of the season is City’s only trip to one of last term’s top seven before December 9.
It offers Guardiola the perfect bedding in process for his new signings, after what is likely to be a summer of upheaval.
Local rivals United are 10-3 second favourites, with champions Chelsea a 7-2 shot; the Blues finished 10th in their last Premier League title defence before storming back to claim the crown under Antonio Conte last term. Question marks concern whether they can balance domestic and European affairs.
That ability has seen Arsenal drift to 11-1 shots, with Arsene Wenger’s men set for five of their six matches, after Europa League group stage encounters away from home.
The first of those is a trip to take on champions Chelsea, on the weekend of September 16. That fixture will now take place on either Sunday September 17 or Monday September 18, depending on TV coverage.
There are also trips to Everton, Burnley and Southampton immediately after European excursions. Those fixtures will all be moved from their current Saturday matches to Sunday slots. Additionally the Gunners head to City after their fourth Europa group game, with Pep Guardiola’s men set to have at least an extra 24 hours rest after their Champions League clash in the same midweek slot.
At the other end of the table, a nightmare end to the season has put newly-promoted Huddersfield as heavy favourites for the drop.
The Terriers secured promotion through the playoffs, winning both the semi-final and final on penalties.
But David Wagner’s men are expected to be firmly up against it and their final foursome of Chelsea (a), Everton (h), Man City (a) and Arsenal (h).
Huddersfield are the only odds-on shot for the drop, at 8-13, with Brighton (6-5) and Burnley (7-5) the next best.
Premier League winner odds (via Betfair)
Manchester City 2/1 (Fav); Manchester United 10/3; Chelsea 7/2; Tottenham 15/2; Liverpool, Arsena 11/1; Everton 100/1; Leicester, Southampton 250/1; West Ham 500/1; Swansea, Stoke, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Newcastle 750/1; West Brom Burnley, Watford 1000/1; Brighton 1500/1; Huddersfield 2000/1
Top Four Finish
Manchester City 1/6; Chelsea 2/7; Manchester United 3/10; Tottenham 4/6; Liverpool 5/6; Arsenal 10/11; Everton 12/;1 Southampton, Leicester 20/1; West Ham 50/1; Stoke 80/1; Newcastle, Crystal Palace 100/1; Bournemouth, Swansea 150/1; Watford 200/1; Burnley 250/1; Brighton, Huddersfield 300/1
Huddersfield 8/13; Brighton 6/5; Burnley 7/5; Watford 13/8; Swansea 23/10; Newcastle 7/2; Crystal Palace 9/2; West Brom 5/1 Bournemouth 11/2; Stoke 6/1; West Ham 15/2; Leicester 14/1; Southampton 22/1; Everton 90/1; Chelsea, Manchester United. Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City 500/1