Covers' resident footy expert Soccer Authority takes a look at the Big 4 of the English Premier League, focusing on strengths, weaknesses, transfers in and out and where smart money should be when betting Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City during the new Premier League campaign.
Transfers In: Petr Cech (GK)
Transfers Out: N/A
Home form. The Gunners scored the second most Goals at home this season, second only to Manchester City.
Alexis Sanchez. One of the players of the year last year with an impressive tally of Goals and Assists. If the Chilean can replicate the form he showed last season, Arsenal will be looking good for another title challenge.
Arsenal still lack consistency. Last year, we saw a handful of poor performances against much weaker opposition at the start of the season which ruined their title chances.
Getting wins against the "Big 4" hasn't been easy for Arsenal in recent years, expect them to struggle against the likes of Chelsea, Man City, and Man Utd this season.
When betting on Arsenal games this season, keep an eye on the Over 2.5 Goals. If you had bet on Overs in every Premier League game last year, you would have had roughly a 8-10 percent return on investment.
Transfers In: Begovic (backup GK), Radamel Falcao (FW)
Transfers Out: Didier Drogba (FW), Felipe Luis (LB), Petr Cech (GK)
Chelsea’s one weakness last season was their depth in the striker position and this was evident whenever Diego Costa got injured. The arrival of Radamel Falcao should resolve that problem. He has had many critics since arriving in the Premier League but we believe Jose Mourinho can get the best out of this player.
Jose Mourinho knows how to win titles and will do whatever it takes to retain the Premier League title. Expect Chelsea to have another rock-solid defense this season with emphasis being put on winning more that style.
There are not many weaknesses in this side, but with John Terry turning 35 this year we may see his form start to slide.
Chelsea ‘To win to Nil’ at home was a market we profited from a lot last year. Eleven of their 15 home wins last season were ‘To Nil’ as they conceded just nine home goals in total and six of the wins were 2-0 scores
Transfers In: Raheem Sterling (FW), Fabian Delph (CM)
Transfers Out: James Milner
Sergio Aguero was the League’s Top Goalscorer last season with an impressive 26 Goals in 33 appearances. If he can repeat this form next season there’s no reason Man City won’t be challenging for the title.
Like Arsenal, Man City have an impressive record at home. Since 2011-12 they’ve won 63 of 76 home games with just five defeats!
City’s form on the road was ther downfall last season with points dropped against weak opposition including Burnley and Crystal Palace. Since 2011-12, Man City have only won 51 percent of away games, if they are to challenge for the title they must improve on the road.
Over 3.5 Total Goals - Since Pellegrini became coach, City’s games have averaged 3.42 goals per game with 47 percent having at least four goals.
Transfers In: Matteo Darmian (RB), Bastian Schweinsteiger (CM), Memphis Depay (FW), Morgan Schneiderlin (CM)
Transfers Out: Robin Van Persie, Radamel Falcao (Loan)
Man Utd were fantastic against the Premier League elite clubs last season with an average of 1.8 points picked up per game against the “Top 6” The only team they failed to beat were Chelsea.
Squad Depth. As always Man Utd have a wealth of talent in most positions and with the addition of this summers tranfers we should see a notable improvement this season.
Man Utd’s defense last season was the weakeset part of their game, and without the heroics of David De Gea we wouldn’t have seen them finish in the Top 4. If they’re to challenge for the title this is one area of their game that must improve.
Goals scored. United struggled in front of goal with both Van Persie and Falcao failing to impress. Last season Man Utd only scored 62 Goals, their worst total since 2005.
Under 2.5 Goals when playing away from home. United scored just 11 goals in their last 12 away games last season as 11 of their 19 away games had fewer than three goals'