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Who Are Contenders or Pretenders in the Current Premier League Title Battle?


It has been an extraordinary Premier League title race so far and it is amazing to think that we are now a quarter of the way through the season. In the past few years, at this point of the season, one or two teams have emerged as the title contenders, with others a fair way behind, but this season has been very different with no team opening a clear lead and a whole host of teams in genuine contention as we move into the next stage of the season.

Things are so close at the top of the table in the Premier League that on some weekends, we have seen the leaders change hands on three or four occasions as results come in. There is no doubt that the packed fixture schedule has influenced this but there is no doubt that it has made for a much more interesting Premier League race this season.

So in this article, we are going to take a look at the teams who will still feel they are in contention for the top spot in the EPL this season and we’ll check their current outright winner odds with bet365, before deciding whether they are a genuine contender for the title, or a pretender who may drop off the pace as the season progresses.

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Let is now take a look at the teams in contention for the Premier League title this season, their current odds with bet365 Sport and whether we think they are a genuine title contender, or a pretender who are likely to drop off the pace over the remainder of the season.

Premier League Odds

All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 10.10am on Tuesday 1st December 2020.

  • Manchester City – 7/4 favourites
  • Liverpool – 2/1
  • Chelsea, Tottenham – 11/2
  • Manchester United – 20/1
  • Leicester City – 40/1
  • Arsenal, Everton, Wolves – 150/1
  • Southampton, West Ham – 250/1
  • Leeds United – 300/1
  • Aston Villa – 400/1
  • Brighton – 1,000/1
  • Crystal Palace – 1,250/1
  • Newcastle, Burnley – 1,500/1
  • Sheffield United, West Brom – 2,500/1
  • Fulham – 4,500/1

Premier League – Pretenders

First of all, I am going to rule out any of the teams you can see in the list above rated at 1,000/1 or higher for the title. You can also add to that list, I believe, Leeds United and also Arsenal after the somewhat dismal start the Gunners have had. These teams, I believe don’t stand any chance of impacting the top of the table this season.

Others though may just be a few points off the top spot, but I do feel that there are some teams that will fall away over the course of the season. Both Aston Villa and Everton, who were table toppers at the start of the campaign have lost four of their last five games in the Premier League and I think Villa will eventually settle in mid-table with Everton perhaps recovering to make a challenge for the Europa League spots.

I can see Wolves also challenging for thos positions too. I think Southampton and West Ham will find the pace a little harder going over the remainder of the season and like Aston Villa, I think they will eventually drop into mid-table positions.

Now to the more controversial additions to this section on pretenders and I would put both Leicester City and Manchester United in that section. Both teams have stuttered this season, and both have had some real problems with their home form, which is never a great sign. Both are capable of beating any of the top teams on their day, but by the same token, they also look likely to slip up against anyone too and that inconsistency means that the best they can hope for is a shot at one of the four Champions League qualification places, or a spot in the Europa League next season.

Premier League – Contenders

For me, there are just four genuine contenders for the Premier League this season, the current top three of Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea, plus Manchester City, who lie 11th but who could move as high as fourth if they win their game in hand.

I think both London teams have their best chance to do something in many years. Jose Mourinho has Spurs going the right way and in Gareth Bale he has added an extra dimension to their attack which I think elevates Spurs chances a great deal, especially when you consider how strong they are there already.

Chelsea’s strengthening in pre-season has also improved their chances and like Spurs, they look very tough to beat. Frank Lampard though does lack the experience of his counterparts in this group and that may be an issue over the latter weeks of the season when the pressure on the managers really starts to mount up.

Manchester City are the favourites with the bookies despite lying 11th in the table and there is no doubt no squad has as much depth or quality as City’s which is probably why they are favourites still. Their form though this season has been well below their usual standards in the main which is a concern for those backing them.

Current Champions Liverpool were thrashed by Aston Villa and have lost several key men to injury over the last few weeks. Despite this, and despite having played Everton, Man City and Chelsea away from home (three of their most difficult fixtures in a standard season), the Reds are still second on goal difference only and at 2/1, I think with players coming back from injury and the likelihood of a defensive signing in the January transfer window, they look a very good bet to me.