Sunday’s Community Shield means the Premier League campaign is agonisingly close to starting up again, so there’s money to be made in identifying tidy anti-post wagers.
The top four looks locked up (Manchester United are 1/4 fourth-favourites), so the value could be in Ladbrokes’ top-six market, with one team in particular attracting an astonishingly big quote.
Tottenham may continually disappoint their army of fans, but the Lilywhites have finished no worse than sixth every season since 2008/09, and went one better during their first term under current coach Mauricio Pochettino.
With that in mind, Spurs at 4/6 to manage as much for the seventh successive season looks a stonking wager.
Compared to Chelsea at 11/8 to retain the Premier League title this bet ranks as a no-brainer, as the Blues’ 2014/15 triumph was their first for five years after a period of Manchester dominance.
Pochettino hasn’t spent big this summer, but the Argentine has done some canny business, shipping out deadwood such as Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Younes Kaboul while bringing in three new faces so far, the best of them being Belgium international centre-half Toby Alderweireld.
More will no doubt follow through the door, as Spurs have been linked with a host of wide-forwards and holding-midfielders, positions where Pochettino’s squad clearly lacks depth.
However, what makes this bet a belter is that the teams directly below the north Londoners in the betting to make the top six can hardly claim to have strengthened at all.
Southampton (5/2) have lost Nathaniel Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin and Alderweireld, who was on loan at St Mary’s from Atletico Madrid last term, with Everton (3/1) adding only free transfer Tom Cleverley and £4m winger Gerard Deulofeu, a pair that hardly set the heart a flutter.
With no other team given much of a chance of gate-crashing the top six (Swansea are next best at 14/1 with Ladbrokes) you can’t go wrong with Spurs at 4/6.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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