The Team to Beat: Why Man City remain odds-on for the Premier League title


The Premier League is just seven games into the new season but the table is starting to take shape and Manchester City remain odds-on to retain their crown with

Pep Guardiola’s side now famously came up short in their quest for Harry Kane and have faced questions on whether they can once again romp to the title without a recognised number nine.

But Gabriel Jesus’ early form has helped allay fears. The Brazilian has been involved in six goals in his six Premier League starts for Man City this season (two goals, four assists), with his four assists as many as he managed in 29 appearances in the competition last season.

Bernardo Silva Gabriel Jesus Man City 2021-22

Jesus’ versatility to operate both centrally and out wide has helped paper over any cracks and with 14 goals in just seven games so far, City appear to have the requisite firepower to top the table come the end of the campaign.

But it’s at the other end of the field that might just lead them to the promised land, with captain Ruben Dias fast looking like one of Pep’s best signings since arriving in Manchester.

City have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four at the Etihad, winning three of those games 5-0. Moreover, no team has conceded fewer goals in the Premier League this season than the three Man City have let in to date, with all three of their goals conceded coming in the second half of games. 

Pep’s side have also faced fewer shots (42), fewer shots on target (10) and have the lowest xG (expected goals) against total (4) in England’s top flight this season.

But they will face some stiff competition, with current league leaders and reigning European champions Chelsea looking formidable. The Blues did find their number nine this summer as they brought Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge and are second favourites with SBD at +275.

Lukaku will no doubt be among the league’s leading scorers this term and Thomas Tuchel certainly has goals elsewhere in his team.

Romelu Lukaku Chelsea 2021-22

Chelsea have had more different goalscorers than any other Premier League side so far this season (12, excl. own goals). They also have the best shot conversion rate in the Premier League this season (15.3%), as well as the best difference between goals scored (15), and expected goals (11.8 - +3.2).

Liverpool, too, seem to be back on track. After losing six of seven Premier League games between February and March, Liverpool are now unbeaten in their last 17 in the top flight (W12 D5) and are +360 with SBD to reclaim the title.

Manchester United, meanwhile, remain outsiders at +1200 with SBD but the return of Cristiano Ronaldo could yet leave them among the contenders.

The Red Devils have the player with the most overall chances created (Bruno Fernandes, 23), the most chances created from set plays (Luke Shaw, 11) and the most assists (Paul Pogba, 7) in the Premier League so far this season. And with Cristiano to fire those bullets, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be there or thereabouts.

However, Man City are, without doubt, the team to beat.

Manchester City are clear favourites for the Premier League.