France will barely have enough time to celebrate their second World Cup triumph in 20 years before players are back with their clubs and preparing for the latest domestic campaign. The French came into the tournament in Russia as one of the favourites for the crown and, having seen their competitors fall by the wayside, rarely needed to be at their very best to take the trophy.
In an entertaining finale, France beat Croatia 4-2 with teenager Kylian Mbappé getting on the score sheet. Alongside a certain Pele, the PSG forward is now only the second forward to score in a World Cup final before reaching the age of 20.
First things first
Before we proceed any further, head on over to the Oddsshark website, select your favourite betting agency and get your account up and running using your credit card. As a new customer and a full season of Premier League football about to get underway, there should be several promotions and offers available.
Where should I be investing my money ahead of the new campaign?
Put shortly, Manchester City look very much like the team to beat once again. Coach Pep Guardiola boasts one of the most scintillating styles of football around, and last season that was not only easy on the eye but enough to saunter to the title ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Champions League finalists Liverpool.
City won no fewer than 32 out of 38 games on their way to the title, amassing 100 points and scoring at a rate close to three goals per game in the process. If they are to be stopped by anyone this season then it will most certainly take some doing.
It therefore comes as little surprise that the Citizens are the red hot favourites to pick up their second league crown in as many seasons. You can back Guardiola and his side to finish top of the pile at a price of just 1.57, according to Oddsshark .
Their nearest competitors would look to be Liverpool, who have bought early in the transfer market as they prepare for the upcoming season. Coach Jurken Klopp could boast a new look midfield this term with both Naby Keita and Fainho brought in, and the Anfield Road outfit are at 6.00 to win a first ever Premier League title.
One man who will be under pressure to make a marked improvement will be Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. The Red Devils finished a massive 19 points behind their rivals last season and, despite a 3-2 win over City towards the end of the campaign, never really looked liked the better side over the course of the campaign.
United are at 7.50 to win a first Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and have already spent big money on bolstering their midfield. Brazil midfielder Fred has already been added to the roster and could make his debut in their Premier League opener against Leicester City on the evening of 10 August – the first fixture of the new Premier League campaign.
But when it comes to opening day fixtures they don’t come much bigger than Arsenal v Manchester City. The current champions travel south for what will be Unai Emery’s first league game in charge of the Gunners.
Arsenal went seriously off the boil in the latter years under Arsene Wenger and Emery’s main job will be to try and restore the Gunners to some of their former glory. Arsenal finished sixth last season thus missing out on Champions League football, but you could possible triple your money by backing them for a top four finish this season at 3.00.
In this first game, however, Arsenal come in as the underdogs. They are at 3.50 to make a winning start to the season, while City are at just 2.00 to do the same.
There is not only excitement at the top end of the table, though. The dogfight to avoid the drop can be every bit as gripping, and there are a number of clubs who look like they will be scrapping for survival come early May.
The best placed of the promoted teams would look to be Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are at the long price of 7.00 to face the drop. Huddersfield Town, who performed miracles to stay up last season, are at just 2.20 to face relegation this time around, while Cardiff, at 1.72, are the clear favourites for the drop.
Premier League Round 1 fixtures
Friday, 10 August
(1.36) Manchester United x Leicester City (9.00); draw (4.50)
Saturday, 11 August
(3.60) Newcastle United x Tottenham Hotspur (2.05); draw (3.40)
(2.00) Bournemouth x Cardiff City (3.60); draw (3.50)
(2.30) Fulham x Crystal Palace (3.10); draw (3.30)
(7.00) Huddersfield Town x Chelsea (1.50); draw (4.00)
(1.90) Southampton x Burnley (4.00); draw (3.40)
(2.20) Watford x Brighton (3.30); draw (3.25)
(2.25) Wolverhampton Wanderers x Everton (3.20); draw (3.30)
Sunday, 12 August
(1.28) Liverpool x West Ham United (11.00); draw (5.00)
(3.50) Arsenal x Manchester City (2.00); draw (3.60)