Manchester City are 13/20 to secure a third successive title in bwin’s Premier League winner predictions after the fixtures were released on Thursday.
City and Liverpool went toe-to-toe last term but it was Pep Guardiola’s side who came out on top to successfully defend their title.
And we are focusing on the battle at the top of the table to see who will be crowned the Premier League champions.
Last season proved to be a two-horse race for the title after Tottenham’s valiant effort eventually crumbled in February and March.
It was left for Liverpool – in search for their maiden Premier League crown and first league title since 1990 – and the defending champions to battle it out for domestic glory.
City topped the table in November but found themselves seven points behind Liverpool following three defeats in four games for Guardiola’s side before the two teams met at the Etihad Stadium on January 3.
Victory for the Reds would have sent 10 points clear and give City a huge mountain to climb, but the reigning champions hit back with a 2-1 triumph to record Liverpool’s only league loss of the season and cut the deficit to four points.
The Etihad victory sparked a run of 17 wins from their remaining 18 Premier League matches for City – with a defeat at Newcastle their only blot on the copybook – as they won the title with 98 points, with Liverpool desperately close just one point adrift.
City and Reds still way out in front
And we reckon it will a battle between Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Guardiola’s City once again.
City, who went on to become the first side to win the English domestic treble, are aiming to replicate rivals Manchester United in becoming just the second team to win the Premier League title in three consecutive seasons.
They are the odds-on favourites to do so and we fancy them to match their rivals’ record courtesy of a favourable run-in to finish their campaign.
City start with a trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham – where they won 4-0 last season – before their first big test at home to Tottenham.
Trips to Bournemouth and Norwich and clashes at the Etihad against Brighton and Watford follow in their first six matches.
If they are top heading into the last six games, then it will be extremely difficult to look elsewhere as they face five teams who finished in the bottom half last season before rounding the campaign at home to promoted Norwich.
Liverpool are their closest rivals in the league winners market at 5/2 and should get off to a winning start when they host Norwich in the opening game of the season on Friday August 9.
However, they could be playing catch-up with clashes against top-six rivals Arsenal and Chelsea in their opening six fixtures, while the 2019 Champions League winners face the Gunners and the Blues in the third and second-last matches of the season – which could end their title tilt.
Tottenham will need to invest to improve on their fourth-placed finish last season but, with Chelsea’s impending transfer ban, Spurs are best of the rest with odds at 14/1.
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