Man United best backed

  • Last Updated: August 14 2014, 18:28 BST

Manchester United are the best backed side to win the title heading into the new Premier League season, with Sky Bet reporting 33 per cent of stakes on Louis van Gaal’s men.

Louis van Gaal: New Man United boss has inspired punters
Louis van Gaal: New Man United boss has inspired punters

Despite finishing a lowly seventh last season, United have attracted almost twice as much money as the second most popular side, Arsenal, and more than four times as much as champions Manchester City.

That interest has seen United cut to 9/2 third favourites, leapfrogging both the Gunners (6/1) and Liverpool (11/1) in the outright market.

Chelsea have captured favouritism heading into the new campaign at 15/8, with bookmakers impressed by their summer business, while City have drifted slightly from 7/4 to 12/5.

In Sky Bet’s relegation betting, it is Southampton who are by far the most popular following their summer sales, attracting 38 per cent of all stakes.

The Saints have been cut from 14/1 to just 9/2 due to the departures of several key players, meaning they are now a shorter price for the drop than Sunderland, who finished last season with 18 points less than the south-coast outfit.

Burnley are the odds-on favourites for an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship but have attracted modest backing, with far more interest in West Brom (5/2), Crystal Palace (11/4) and West Ham (11/2).

In the top goalscorer market, 100/1 outsider Bojan Krkic is Sky Bet’s biggest liability, while Wayne Rooney (12/1) has attracted more stakes than any other player.

Sky Bet Football Trader Jamie Munro said: “Our punters have certainly been caught up by the summer changes, with Van Gaal’s appointment catching their imagination.

“The Southampton gamble is perhaps somewhat of an over-reaction as they’ve still got plenty of quality in their squad and have been busy acquiring reinforcements, while still making a healthy profit."