7 Surprising Facts About The 2017/18 Premier League Season So Far.

International break is almost over and many of us are looking forward to getting back to the good old ways of cheering for club football. But before you do that – we’re letting you in on a few secrets so you can jump back into the Premier League frenzy a little bit better informed. We compiled this data from our friends at FootyStats’ Premier League stats data.

  1. Arsenal have 100% Home Win Record.

It’s always hard to tell how Arsenal is doing because they can quickly go from good form to bad form in matter of minutes. So are they inconsistent or consistent? Well, surprisingly Arsenal have won 5 out of 5 matches at the Emirates Stadium this season – but true to Arsenal traditions they’ve only won 1 out of 6 matches at away fixtures. Their next match is at home – a London Derby against Tottenham Hotspurs who is in a hot streak of form after defeating Real Madrid in the UCL. Can Arsenal keep their perfect home record? We will find out.

  1. Manchester United is Even Better – 100% Win Record at Home and All Clean Sheets

A true Mourinho style trend here. We’re not sure how long Jose Mourinho and his squad can keep this up – but it’s indeed his style to have a stellar defensive record at home. United have even scored 15 goals in 5 matches – that’s an average of 3 goals per match. Fearsome indeed. United play an out-of-form Newcastle next.

  1. Watford Scores Significantly Less Goals at Home

Watford FC has a strange definition of Home Advantage – in that the advantage is with the away team. Watford has scored an average of 2 goals per match at 6 away fixtures this season – yet they’ve only average 1 goal per match at home. Strange to think that a team can play so poorly at home compared to away. They also concede 2.2 goals per match at home compared to 1.67 at away – what is going on!?

  1. Newly Promoted Huddersfield has the 4th Best Defence in the PL

Huddersfield has really impressed us in their debut season – but nobody expected them to defend like champions either. Huddersfield has kept a clean sheet against West Brom, Burnley, Southampton, Newcastle, and Crystal Palace. Sure they’re all teams with poor form but how do we explain the 2-1 win against Manchester United? Surely that’s no luck at this point of the season. But they do have a poor Failed-to-Score record at 6 in 11 matches. If they can sign some top attackers in January this story might sound very different.

  1. Newcastle is 4th in the League if we End the Game at Half-Time.

Newcastle’s 11 match run is at 4 wins, 2 draws, and 5 losses. This changes into 3 wins and 8 draws if we only consider first-half results. Yes – Newcastle is technically on a unbeaten run in the first half of the game. We’re not sure what’ Rafa Benitez tells his squad during half-time but he better change it if he wants to start winning again.

  1. Crystal Palace has Not Scored in 9 out of 11 Matches This Season.

No surprise that Palace makes this list one way or another. Christian Benteke and his friends at Palace front line really has their work cut out this season. Palace has scored exactly 0 goals at all of their 6 away matches this season and kept no clean sheets. Translation – they lost all of them. Benteke used to score a goal every other game at Aston Villa – he hasn’t scored in his last 500 minutes of football.

  1. Southampton has the cleanest foul record

 

Believe it or not Southampton is the only team to receive less than 1 yellow card per match on average. Premier League matches often end with more than 3 or 4 yellow cards given in the 90 minutes of play – but an average of 0.91 goes to Southampton each match. On the other hand West Ham has the worst disciplinary record in the league with 2.55 cards given to them every match. Ouch.

Did you enjoy our 7 surprising facts? We were inspired by Football Daily’s videos. Facts and football stats/data like these are interesting to see to identify current and upcoming trends. Let’s hope next week’s PL brings us more for us to talk about.

Potential Premier League Winners

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We are only 8 games into the 2017/2018 Premier League and already people are changing their minds on a weekly basis.

The biggest football poll by BBC (56,000 people) only 4 weeks ago had 60% selecting Manchester United as their choice for winning the league. Jose Mourinho has a record of winning the  league in his second season at a new club, can he do the same?

Four weeks later people are now choosing Manchester City to be the number 1 side in the league. We discuss the people that could be in with a chance of winning this season.

Chelsea

The current Premier League champions have not made any major signings and have released Diego Costa. However with a near identical team to last year it would be hard to back against Chelsea from mounting a challenge. However based on form and having lost 3 games already this season people have dismissed them already.

Manchester United

Whilst Manchester United started the season perfectly winning 6 out of eight and remaining unbeaten, it appears the other team in Manchester have a slight edge. Drawing away to both Stoke City and Liverpool can often been seen as good results however this season they might not be. With an excellent squad of players and Lukaku and Pogba playing fantastically these will be sure to push the other title contenders all the way. Our prediction is that they will come top in May 2018.

Manchester City

Fans and pundits already believe that the football played by Pep Guardiola’s team is some of the best in Premier League history. Scoring 25 goals in 8 games and only drawing 1 (winning 7) means that goals for the team are not an issue. BBC Sport stated only 4 weeks ago only 18% of fans believed the Citizens would win the league, we await the results of a more recent poll and we expect it to have increased 4 fold.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham are now likely contenders in the league with both Manchester clubs. With only 3 points separating them and Manchester United, Spurs have started a strong campaign. With Harry Kane in excellent form it appears they could bring Silverware back to the club. Whilst they are currently playing at Wembley Stadium for all home games it appears this has not affected them too much compared to last season.

Arsenal

It seems already that Arsenal fans conceded the race for the title. With a record of 4 wins and 3 losses can they come back and mount a challenge before the teams above them create space. If they are to mount any challenge then their star players will need to perform especially Sanchez and Ozil. We expect them to finish in the top 4.

Liverpool

Whilst Liverpool are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the League, this doesn’t win leagues. On several occasions this year already they have been in a dominant position in a game for their defence to concede goals.

Only 7% of fans in the poll believe that Klopp’s Liverpool can challenge the other teams.

Drawing 50% of all Premier League games this season means they have to start converting their chances if they want their name to be on trophy for the first time in 27 years.

Odds Round-up

  • Current Champions Chelsea have odds at 18/1.
  • Manchester Utd have odds at 7/2 for this season’s league.
  • Manchester City are current favourites at 2/5 to win outright.
  • Tottenham have odds of 14/1 to win outright.
  • Liverpool have odds at 50/1 to win outright.
  • Arsenal have odds 66/1 to win outright.

This year there has been an increase in the number of bets, especially on who will win the premier league (For more info about betting apps click here)

Only 2 seasons ago Leicester City shocked the world and won the Premier League against all predictions. Do you think we have missed a team that could potentially win?

Qualifications For the Russia World Cup

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A Messi Hat-Trick ensured Argentina were the latest team to qualify for the World Cup.  An upset this tournament was how a late win by Panama ensured they were on the plane to Russia and U.S.A will be miss-out.

Before we look at the teams who have the opportunity to still qualify we look at the teams who are guaranteed to be in the biggest football tournament next June.

Hosts Russia automatically qualify and the other 22 teams are as follows:

Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, England, Nigeria, Poland, Egypt, Iceland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Panama.

Who else still has a chance?

There are still 9 places left up for grabs for the World Cup. For a detailed list and summary on who has qualified see the BBC report here. 

The European play-offs

The following teams will play a 2 game match against the determined opponent with the winners guaranteeing their place in the World Cup.

Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Sweden and Greece.

South America 

The biggest upset in this group was how Chile managed to miss out on qualification all together. Peru managed to get a play-off place and will face New Zealand in November to see who qualifies for the tournament.

Concacaf

panamaw-world-cup

Honduras managed to get the final play-off place for the Concacaf group. The Central American team will now face Australia over two legs with the winner on their way to the 2018 Russia world cup. 

Asia

Australia’s Tim Cahill’s ensured they will make the play-offs after his extra-time header meant they beat Syria 3-2.  Australia will now play Honduras for a place in the finals.

Africa

Nigeria booked their spot in the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Zambia. The biggest upset was how current Africa Cup of Nations Champions Cameroon missed out. Unlike other groups, there are no play-offs in Africa.

Each way betting in football – Facts you should know

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A popular betting strategy, each way (E/w) gives punters the choice to select amongst several outcomes possible for a particular event. Such a bet is based on two similar but equal-sized bets, one which supports the win (often called the win bet) and the other which supports the selection to be either amongst the ‘places’, or to finish well or to be higher up. On the  SBAT football predictions page, you will find not just endless tips, detailed statistics, but the best bets of the day and more

Each way betting has mostly been associated with horse racing. Such betting is possible when the racing track has at least four runners and riders. In such cases, bookmakers usually offer one-half, one-third, one-quarter or one-fifth on the odds on the selection, depending on the number of runners on the field at the time of the event.

 

Each Way Betting in Football

In terms of football, each way betting is fairly common, particularly in the outright betting markets. In tournaments and league formats, ‘places’ can be easily based on positions depending on how clubs have been ranked in the domestic league table or as winner or runners-up in a match. A good way to keep up with this is through staying up to date with the latest news!

Example

Let us try to understand each way betting with a simple example. If you were to  believe that  Everton is likely to be this year’s champion or finish much higher up in the Premier League then you can go for each way betting.

Let us assume that the odds for Everton to win the Premier League are at 14.0, where the bookmakers are providing 1/3 odds for a 1-2 finish. This means that we can be guaranteed payback using each way betting provided Everton either wins the championship or comes second in the league. Let’s say you place £10.00 (E/W) Each Way bet by placing £20.00 in total.

Win Bet

If Everton wins the Championship then the winning returns with the preliminary stake would be £140.00. In case Everton does not make it as a champion in the Premier League then the £10.00 bet will be a lost bet.

Each Way Bet

Let us now see how each way bet benefits you even better: In case Everton finishes either first or second, then based on £10.00 wager placed on it at one-third winning odds @ 14.00, the winning returns including the preliminary stake would be £30.00. However, if Everton does not finish either first or second then the £10.00 betting amount will be a lost bet.

If Everton is declared champion, then both bets are won with a return of £150.00 (£140.00 + £30.00) from a preliminary stake of £20.00.

Thus, each way bets should be used when you firmly believe that the odds are either equal to or greater than 2.00. If you believe that each way odds are likely to be less than 2.00 then you’d be better off going for the win.

Paris St-Germain attack Running Rampant this Season

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Paris St-Germain spent a record transfer fee to bring the Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr from the Catalan giants Barcelona. The Qatar-owned club spent a total of £349.8 million to sign Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. That is several top online casino jackpots.

PSG attack is already making a statement to the world that they are the real deal. Amazing combination of Kylian Mbappe, Edison Cavani, and Neymar now called MCN by some football lovers is demolishing every opposition they meet.

PSG is without a defeat in all competitions and the trio has scored 19 goals in 8 games this season. The first team to taste PSG’s attack was the Scottish champions. Celtic was demolished 5-0 in front of their home and was its heaviest defeat in the history of the European competition. New and improved attacks look like the real deal as it continued to impress in their last matches in the Ligue 1.

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The French outfit looks dangerous every time and their firing cylinders are up to the task this season. Some critics said PSG should face tougher tests to prove its rampant attack. Recently, Paris St-Germain welcomed German champions Bayern Munich to their home. Bayern is one the best teams in the world. PSG ran riot on Bayern Munich to win convincingly 3-0 in the second Champion’s League Group B match.

Dani Alves, Edison Cavani, and Neymar were all on the score sheet while Kylian Mbappe made his presence felt with two assists. PSG opened the scoring with only two minutes into the first half. PSG added another goal in the 31st minute when Cavani converted Mbappe into the top corner. No doubt Mbappe was the best player on the pitch; he dribbled past Bayern’s defense to find Neymar who tapped in the second goal on 63 minutes.

PSG remains unbeaten in their last nine Champions League matches at home and the French outfit is topping the Group with 6 points.

 

For more football news then visit our E-Soccer news section here.

How will the wantaway Premier League stars cope in the season ahead?

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This summer’s transfer window witnessed a number of high-profile moves which never got over the line, and now the players involved with them will have to carry on with their tails between their legs. It will be interesting to see how Alexis Sanchez, Philippe Coutinho and Riyad Mahrez proceed for their respective clubs in the weeks and months to follow.

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Source: Riyad Mahrez via Facebook 

Sanchez was perhaps the most surprising non-mover in the transfer window, as it had long been publicised that the Arsenal ace wanted out of the failing Emirates side. Manchester City were desperate to sign the Chilean, he has only one year left on his contract, and Arsenal have a habit of selling their best players to Premier League rivals, so how did this deal not materialise?

Arsene Wenger stood firm for once and managed to keep hold of the star man, but perhaps the Frenchman will live to regret this decision. After all, Sanchez’s heart may not be in it for the Gunners anymore, and getting a deal over the line early on could have paved the way for the North London outfit to sign Monaco’s red-hot youngster Thomas Lemar. On the other hand, if Sanchez puts this business behind them and acts professionally, he could end up forming a deadly allegiance with new signing Alexandre Lacazette.

Riyad Mahrez may find that he will be left out in the cold now at Leicester City after spurning them and trying to force a late move away from the King Power Stadium. The 2015-16 PFA Player of the Year seemed to think that he would be able to sign for Manchester United on deadline day, despite the fact that there hadn’t been any public reports of Jose Mourinho having an interest in the player.

Roma, who are 16/1 in the Serie A betting to win the Italian top flight, were the only side to have genuinely tried to sign the Foxes winger. But Eusebio Di Francesco was shocked by Leicester’s £50 million valuation of the player. There is no doubt that Mahrez is still one of the best attackers at Craig Shakespeare’s disposal, but will the Algerian now be out of favour with the manager?

The other major player whose move never came to fruition was Liverpool’s Coutinho. The Brazilian tried to push for a move to Barcelona, who were ready to pay the Reds eye-watering sums of money in the region of £138 million for the 25-year-old’s services. But the Anfield club managed to stand firm, knowing that with two years left on his contract, they would still be able to sell for a lot of money next summer. Liverpool have looked strong without the midfield magician in their ranks. But if Coutinho can recapture his form of last season, when he returns to the fold Jürgen Klopp’s side could become unbeatable.

These players all have a duty to continue performing for the clubs for whom they are still contracted to play. But whether they all manage to put their troubles behind them and work well for their respective teams remains to be seen.

Premier League Season Preview

premier league

The new Premier League campaign got underway on August 11, with Arsenal recording a come-from-behind win over Leicester City. Manchester United have been impressive at the star of the 2017/2018 season, but the likes of Man City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool should not be written off just yet, speaking of the title race. We teamed up with Timothy Steel of FootballPredictions.com for this special Premier League prediction preview for upcoming season.

Manchester United were struggling in the Premier League last season, with the team finishing the process in sixth place in the standings. However, Jose Mourinho’s team won both Europa League and League Cup last term and they are now on a quest to regain the domestic trophy. The Red Devils made a flying start to the season, with the team rolling over the likes West Ham United and Swansea City in the first two rounds and it is more than obvious that summer signings Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku are going to help the team improve their game. Jose Mourinho has always been successful in his second season at the helm and he is eager to continue the trend of the second-year success.

Chelsea, on the other hand, will be without important players Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa in the 2017/2018 season, but their performance in a 2-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley Stadium is certainly giving fans a reason for optimism. Key man Eden Hazard will soon return to contention and, no doubt, the Blues are capable of defending their trophy. New recruit Bakayoko produced a fine display in the 2-1 win over Spurs and the former Monaco midfielder is likely to play an important role in Antonio Conte’s team this season. Many people believe that Alvaro Morata is not going to prove to be an adequate substitute for Diego Costa, but it is still too early for us to draw the conclusions.

 

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola is focused on strenghting the team’s defence. The likes of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo joined the Etihad Stadium outfit earlier this summer, with Eliaquim Mangala ending his loan spell with Valencia. Yet another defender Jonny Evans (WBA) could join the club before the transfer window closes, but Man City have been struggling in front of goal at the start of the season. Pep Guardiola’s men failed to impress in a 2-0 win over Brighton on the opening day of the season and they dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with Everton on Matchday 2. Given the quality of Man City squad, the Citizens have been playing below expectations of late and they will have to make great progress if they are to win the Premier League trophy at the end of the season.

 

Liverpool did well to book their place in the Champions League group stages and playing on four fronts could prove to be the biggest problem for the Reds in the 2017/2018 season. Philippe Coutinho doesn’t want to play for the club anymore, but his replacement Mohamed Salah has already started paying off. Anyhow, I do not believe that Liverpool are capable of matching the likes of Man Utd, Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea, speaking of the title race.

 

Spurs will be welcoming their rivals at Wembley Stadium in the 2017/2018 season and it seems as if they have yet to adapt to the new surroundings. Mauro Pochettino’s men were beaten by Chelsea in their first home game of the season, with the Blues putting an end to Tottenham’s 14-game winning run on home soil. It is more than obvious that Spurs are not as sharp at Wembley Stadium as they were at their White Hart Lane and that is the main reason why I do not believe the capital club will win their first Premier League trophy since 1961.

 

The good news for Arsenal fans is that Alexis Sanchez has recovered from his injury and the Chilean superstar is likely to help the Gunners improve their game. Big-money signing Alexandre Lacazette has already proved his worth in the English top flight and seeing that coach Arsene Wenger is likely to stick to his rotation policy in the Europa League, there is every chance the capital club will secure a top-four finish at the end of the season.

Relegation

Speaking of the relegation battle, Brighton are seen as No. 1 candidates to drop to the Championship and fellow newcomers Newcastle United could experience all sorts of problems in the 2017/2018 Premier League campaign as well. The likes of Swansea City and Burnley are also considered favourites for relegation and, taking everything into account, the battle for survival should be as interesting as the title race in the English top flight this term. Thanks to Timothy for providing us with such a great season preview. If you are looking for more premier league predictions, do not hesitate to check out their EPL section.

How to Stay Healthy by Playing Sports

playing soccer

Staying healthy should be the first priority in our life and there are a lot of things you can do for that. You will be surprised to know that there are certain games which you can play to stay healthy and they are the best time pass too. Following are few games which keep you physically and mentally strong:

Physical health:

Football:

Football is one of the best games that you can play in order to stay healthy. It is one of the best games that are played at the international level. If you don’t know about it, this game is played with two teams and each has almost 11 players. They play on the rectangular ground. At each end, there are goals and the main purpose of both teams is to kick the ball towards the goal. This game has many health benefits. It will not only make your muscles strong, but it will also make your bones strong too.

Playing football can also help you with your cholesterol if you are a regular player. Most people who play football in school and colleges are stronger than the children who don’t. If you do not want to go to the field and want to enjoy gaming and betting online just go for Sportingbet Welcome Bonus. Here you will get welcome bonus on betting.

Cricket:

One of the famous and interesting games is cricket. Cricket is played with a bat and ball and both players hit the ball with the bat on their turn. It is one of the top games on the international podium and many countries train their players for the world cup.  It is played at all the levels, school, college and universities.

Badminton:

Badminton is the game which both women and men enjoy to play. Most women like to play it in schools and colleges. It is a racket and a shuttlecock game with a net in between in a badminton court. The players have to strike it across the net without making it fall. Badminton is very good for health in the sense that it will help the muscles of your arms and legs to stay in shape. This is one of the best exercise and time pass with your friends too. You can lose your weight in no time.

Table tennis:

Table tennis is beneficial for the health of your muscles of hands and arms. It is an indoor game which means that you can play it anytime.

Mental health:

Chess:

If you want to talk about a game which only geniuses can play, chess is the top one. This is a board game which is played by two players and it is the best way to improve your mental skills. This game has certain rules and you have to checkmate the other player by trapping his king. This is a quite complicated game and not everyone can play it efficiently. See a list of the top 10 best ever Chess players. 

Carom:

Carom is the other game which depends upon your positioning skills. This is also a strike and pocket game in which you have to strike more in order to win.  If you are good with the angles and positions, you are best for this game.

 

The Top 5 Football Podcasts

men in blazers

The start of the Premier League is upon us once again, with teams spending more than the biggest lottery jackpot winners on players whose names most of us can’t even pronounce, said players releasing on-brand messages on their Instagram accounts, and clubs releasing third strips that look like they were designed in a dimly lit basement. In order to make sense of the madness, it’s nice to have an aural accompaniment to cut away all the nonsense and tell it like it really is.

That’s where a really good podcast comes in, and we are going to point you in the direction of five of the best.

The Football Ramble:

No podcast reproduces the sound of mates bantering about football in their local pub more accurately than the long-running Football Ramble podcast. There is a fair deal of rambling in between the football chat, which is not for everybody, but the four hosts (Pete, Luke, Jim and Marcus) have an easy charm and a clear off-pod friendship that carries it off.

Second Captains Football:

This Irish pod has grown a cult following in the UK, thanks to its intelligent and deftly humorous approach to football chat. Presenters Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early and Ciaran Murphy have graduated to national TV and radio appearances in Ireland, but the podcast remains their strongest achievement to date.

Expect a quirky approach, with no guff and no time for the pretensions and hype which football can sometimes attract.

Football Weekly:

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One of the elder statesmen of the podding world, Football Weekly from the Guardian tops many people’s lists of the best soccer podcast out there. Host James Richardson brings his cultured urbanity to proceedings, with long-serving wingman Barry Glendenning providing light relief. With the ability to call upon a pool of Guardian football journos, Football Weekly easily mixes japery with serious football chat.

The Game:

Another old-timer, The Game is brought to you by a rival UK paper in the form of The Times of London. Gabriele Marcotti is the host, offering a drily assertive counter-weight to some of the more earnest contributors. As with Football Weekly, there is a strong roster of experienced sports journalists to call upon, although The Game tends to take a generally more serious approach than its counterpart at The Guardian.

The Big Interview with Graham Hunter: This is a relatively new podcast compared to some of the others on our list, although host Graham Hunter is a long-established and respected football journalist. This show is a long-form interview, often over two parts, giving Hunter the chance to drill down into the history of his guests. Normally the podcast features retired pros so this is not the place to come for info on the current season, but the conversations often throw up interesting revelations.

That’s our five-a-side of top footy podcasts, but if you want to go for the full eleven then here are six more that finished just outside our list:

Honourable Mentions:

Men in Blazers: Wildly popular US-facing soccer podcast.

The Football Show on Off The Ball: Another Irish podcast with a relaxed and humorous style. The 2 Robbies: former players Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle deliver the punditry.

The Magic Sponge: Every-bloke ex-pro Jimmy Bullard plus two comedian pals chat footy.

The Spanish Football Podcast: Sid Lowe and Phil Kitromilides analyse La Liga.

A Team of John O’Sheas: Answering the football questions that no-one is asking!

The potential surprise packages of the 2017/18 Premier League

There are just a matter of days until the 2017/18 English Premier League (EPL) campaign gets underway and already the anticipation is palpable. Hundreds of millions have been spent by the title contenders in pre-season, with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola already spending over £200m in a bid to bring the trophy back to the Etihad.

However, it didn’t take hundreds of millions for Leicester City to become champions back in 2015/16. Some may call it a fluke, others may say it was simply perfect timing while their rivals had an ‘off’ season. Regardless, it’s difficult to argue that the EPL hasn’t become tougher in recent times.

The parachute money that is filtering down from the top flight into the Championship is making the English second tier stronger in many ways and this is ensuring that the promoted sides that come into the EPL are better prepared than before to compete at the highest level.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three sides that could potentially spring a surprise on the rest of division and gatecrash the top half of the EPL table in 2017/18:

Brighton & Hove Albion

The Seagulls are returning to England’s top flight for the first time since 1983. Albion have been knocking on the door of the EPL for many seasons and following a string of failed Championship playoff campaigns, boss Chris Hughton eventually took them up last term, finishing second to Newcastle.

The club’s Falmer Stadium is fit for EPL football and Hughton has been quietly adding to his squad over the summer, without making wholesale changes to those who earnt the club promotion. Holding on to enigmatic wide man Anthony Knockaert will be key, while it promises to be interesting to see how on-loan Chelsea front man Izzy Brown fares following a successful loan spell in the Championship last term with playoff winners Huddersfield. Albion are attracting interest in the Premier League odds markets to stay up and are already as big as 5/1 to finish last.

AFC Bournemouth

While it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise to see the Cherries in the top half again given their ninth-place finish in 2016/17, Bournemouth are doing what they can to become firmly established in the EPL. Young boss Eddie Howe has been given the wherewithal to splash the cash and reinforce his squad for 2017/18, including a £20m purchase of defender Nathan Ake following a good loan spell last term. Experienced top-flight goal-getter, Jermain Defoe returns on a free transfer for a second spell with the club, adding further firepower to complement Josh King who smashed home 16 league goals last season.

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Jermain Defoe” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by OliverN5

Combine that with the attacking flair and directness of wingers Ryan Fraser and Jordon Ibe, and the Cherries are likely to be well amongst the goals again this season. A top-half finish is certainly not beyond them, while the ambitious Howe may even consider European qualification as a goal, either through domestic cup success or through finishing in the top six.

Crystal Palace

It’s been all change at Selhurst Park this summer, following the departure of Sam Allardyce at the end of 2016/17. The Eagles only secured top-flight status in their final home league game of the campaign, routing relegated Hull City 4-0 at Selhurst Park. Survival wasn’t deemed a success in south-east London, however, and with Allardyce seemingly keen to spend some time out of the EPL spotlight, Palace moved to appoint their first ever foreign manager, Frank de Boer, who signed a three-year contract with the club.

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Ergün Penbe, Frank de Boer, Abdullah Er…” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by l3o_

The former Ajax and Inter Milan head coach has already been relatively busy in the transfer market. His Dutch connections have seen him return to his homeland to capture promising defender Jairo Riedewald from Ajax, while Chelsea’s versatile youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek has signed a season-long loan deal at Selhurst Park.

There is a clear emphasis on youth and player development this term and with a number of players boasting the power, pace and strength that’s now required to prevail in the EPL, it would be no surprise to see de Boer transform Palace into top-half contenders in 2017/18. Much may rest on what de Boer can get out of Belgian centre forward, Christian Benteke, who is a 50/1 outshot for the EPL 2017/18 golden boot.

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