In a week that saw the Premier League fixtures for 2016/17 released, kick-off to the season feels closer than ever. With the first games scheduled to take place on 13th August, it promises to be one of the most intriguing battles for the title in history.
Whilst Chelsea will be managed by Antonio Conte after the Euro 2016 tournament – in which his side have impressed with their togetherness and tactical discipline – Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are taking charge of Manchester City and United respectively. On top of this, Jurgen Klopp will have had a full pre-season and a large transfer budget to mould his squad into challengers for a top four position – without the distraction of European football.
Conte’s Chelsea start their campaign with a home game against West Ham at Stamford Bridge. By then, the squad is likely to look massively different. During the Italian’s spell at the national team and Juventus, he favoured a 3-5-2 formation which requires discipline from all players in the system – particularly the wing-backs. This could mean that Juan Cuadrado has a future at the club, despite struggling under Mourinho which meant he was loaned out.
With such an exciting campaign expected, one of the best ways to take advantage is to join in with the best football odds. Coral have a massive selection that will include every fixture throughout the 2016/17 season. This includes outrights such as to win the Premier League, where Chelsea are rated at 6/1, and are joint fourth favourites along with Tottenham. They also host in-play odds, whilst the West London club are 6/10 to win in Conte’s first game. Looking further ahead, Coral allow fans to bet on odds on him staying with the club for his contract duration until 2019.
Other players linked to Chelsea include Italian centre-back Leonardo Bonucci, who has improved massively in recent seasons and is now one of the finest defenders in Europe. He could be seen a long-term replacement for John Terry who is likely to be entering his 19th and final season at. Radja Nainggolan who plays for Roma is another player who has been continually linked with moving to the club.
To add to this, Conte’s management style relies on total group unity, which means that he may let players leave if they would rather play for a club in the Champions League – even if it was a key man such as Thibaut Courtois, who is admired by Real Madrid. The Italian’s methods always seem to pay dividends, and he won three consecutive Serie A titles during his time at Juventus. Both he and fans will be hoping that the turmoil of the past season will soon be forgotten, starting against West Ham.