Betting Special: Expect Mourinho to lead Chelsea to the Premier League title

This year’s title race should be one of the most open for many years, but Al Hain-Cole expects the Blues to benefit from their manager’s vast experience of collecting silverware

With the new Premier League season kicking off on Saturday, fans seem set for one of the most unpredictable title races in recent memory.

The retirement of inspirational Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has blown the league wide open according to the bookmakers, and the champions currently find themselves third favourites at 5/2 (3.50) to defend their title.

This would have been almost unthinkable in previous years, and is down to the uncertainty surrounding new boss David Moyes’ ability to compete at the very highest level, as well as a failure to significantly strengthen the squad.

Conversely, Jose Mourinho’s return to the club where he won two league trophies in three seasons during his first spell in charge, has seen them rise above United to 9/4 (3.25) in the odds, and his track record certainly suggests this is where the sensible money lies.

The Blues’ star-studded squad have underperformed since Carlo Ancelotti’s departure, and the Special One is as adept as anyone at helping players fulfil their true potential, while the prospect of more expensive signings before the transfer window closes means the current odds should be seized upon before they get any shorter.

Having already spent more than £60 million on adding three players to the squad that relinquished their title last season, Manchester City are the favourites at 11/5 (3.20) to finish top of the pile, but with a new boss in command that price is not particularly tempting.

Manuel Pellegrini may be extremely highly regarded for his achievements in Spain, but is unfamiliar with the English league and will therefore be up against it to best Mourinho’s men in his first season.

Experience is no issue for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, but a lack of significant action in the transfer market has once again left their fans frustrated this summer, and unless anything dramatic changes before the beginning of September then any bets on them winning the league at 10/1 (11.00) will look extremely optimistic.

Liverpool have been suffering the opposite problem as they struggle to keep hold of star player and Gunners target Luis Suarez, and odds of 28/1 (29.00) hardly seem generous enough on them following a seventh-placed finish with their elusive 19th title after 23 years.

In fact, Tottenham appear the more viable option for those who fancy a long shot at 33/1 (34.00), as their impressive acquisitions could make them a force to contend with this campaign, particularly if they manage to retain Gareth Bale’s formidable talents.

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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