Given the financial gulf between the billionaire-backed pairing of Chelsea and Manchester City, it would be a stretch to back anyone outside of this exclusive twosome to challenge for the title but the battle for the top four could throw up some surprises.
The Citizens are 15/8 joint favourites with the Pensioners to pick up the Premier League title with Manchester United and Arsenal next in the betting at a distant 5/1 and 13/2 respectively.
Read on for the lowdown on the five teams battling to claim Champions League football next term.
The arrival of Louis van Gaal along with big-money reinforcements in the form of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera has seen United emerge as strong favourites for an immediate return to the top table of European football.
But while the chances are likely that the Dutchman will enjoy more success than David Moyes at Old Trafford and benefit from a lack of European football to distract them, that is by no means a guarantee and the price of 3/10 looks too short for a team that finished 7th last term and has yet to make a marquee summer signing.
A dependable presence in the top four for well over a decade, Arsenal are the closest thing to a banker in this market, having spent well this summer on the likes of Calum Chambers and, more notably, Alexis Sanchez.
The 3-0 win over Man City in the Community Shield may have the fans purring but it remains to be seen as to whether they have what it takes to go head-to-head with the billionaire big boys over an entire season. But at the very least they look nailed on for a top four and could even finish third.
We do not yet know how Liverpool will fare without the highly influential Luis Suarez this term, but they still look a tempting prospect for a top four finish, having recruited a number of big names this season, including three of the players that enjoyed such notable success at Southampton.
Much could depend on Daniel Sturridge, who enjoyed a great campaign last term and looks more than ready to step out of Suarez’s shadow.Steven Gerrard will need to bounce back from a difficult couple of months but with international football not a concern, we could even see an improvement.
Surprisingly placed above Everton in the top four betting, Tottenham are the team to avoid in this market following a summer in which Spurs have missed out on several transfer targets. Mauricio Pochettino must be given time to get the best out of the squad but that is a luxury at White Hart Lane, with Daniel Levy wielding the axe at an alarming rate over the years.
Give the Argentine two years and another striker or two and we could be talking about a team with top four potential.
Priced as outsiders to finish in the top four despite coming so close to achieving just that last term, Everton are in the best position going into the new season, with the pressure well and truly off and manager Roberto Martinez free to impart his attractive style of football on the Toffees players.
The Spaniard has done well to keep hold of highly rated stars like James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman while the likes of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar look likely to remain as consistent as ever. Throw in the permanent signings of Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry as well as Christian Atsu on loan and all the ingredients are there for Everton to upset the odds.
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