Our team have a range of ante-post football accumulators to check out as the domestic and European leagues prepare for the new season.
It's the time of year to start scouring over the leagues you think you know best and come up with speculative league winner and/or promotion accumulators which could reap huge rewards come May.
Our team of experts have put their pre-season research to (hopefully) good use by coming up with five eye-catching accas you may fancy a small flutter on, with prices ranging from a 'conservative' 150/1 to a mind-popping 4000/1 which even the boldest of punters will only back each-way!
(Listed in odds order, starting with the shortest priced acca)
Marseille to win Ligue 1 without PSG, PSV to win Dutch Eredivise, Barcelona to win La Liga, Man City to win the Premier League & Derby to win promotion from the Championship - 150/1
By Chris Hammer
Firstly get the two class acts in the field - Man City and Barcelona - in your accas straight up. At worst City won't win the league by as many points as last season while a Ronaldo-less Real Madrid will struggle to get a lot closer than the 14 points they finished adrift of Barca.
Marseille are ranked as the marginal third favourites to 'win the Ligue 1 title without PSG' but while they finished fourth last season, their squad has so far taken less of a hit than their rivals. Monaco, who finished three points ahead of the Europa League runners-up, have sold the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar and Fabinho for huge money and the jury is out as to whether the new recruits can match that departed quality. It's been a summer of change for Lyon too and a more settled Marseille can go close.
PSV are second favourites to defend their Dutch title, with rivals Ajax slightly more fancied having secured the signings of Daley Blind and Dusan Tadic from Man United and Southampton respectively. However, they did let Justin Kluivert go to Roma while PSV's most high-profile departure - Santiago Arias - has been replaced by a promising right-back Denzel Dumfries.
Finally Derby for promotion? A lot depends on how well Frank Lampard takes to management but I think he's got the right characteristics to inspire a crop of players who finished sixth last season while he's also made some encouraging signings to ensure they can stay in the hunt.
Bristol City to be promoted from the Championship, Plymouth to be promoted from League One & MK Dons to win Sky Bet League Two - 500/1
By Gareth Jones
The sale of Bobby Reid and Aden Flint means many will write off Bristol City. But, while not direct replacements, Jack Hunt and Andreas Weimann are astute signings - bring in vital Championship experience, quality and a thirst to win. This looks the most open Championship for many seasons, with a lot of clubs in flux with ownership or managerial changes, or enduring financial and transfer problems. It means The Robins could be rewarded for their years of steady building and continuity.
Twelve League One wins from January 1, saw Plymouth go from four points above the relegation zone, to missing out on the play-offs by one place and three points. Plymouth have had one of the busiest transfer windows, which does raise a question of whether last season’s momentum can continue. However, the additions of Scott Wootton, Peter Grant, Joe Riley and Conor Grant means this squad feels much stronger, and physically even tougher. In Derek Adams they have an impressive manager, whose tactics out thought the league’s “bigger boys” last term.
League Two always proves to be the most unpredictable and competitive when choosing a winner. MK Dons have appointed intelligently, following their relegation, in Paul Tisdale as their manager – a man that boosts so much League Two experience. A manager that continually overachieved with Exeter will now feel he has the resources to start moving up the leagues. He’s boosted his squad with proven fourth tier quality in Robbie Simpson, Jordon Moore-Taylor and Ryan Hartley - crucially players he knows and trusts from his Exeter team.
Liverpool (+7) to win Premier League on handicap, Stoke to be promoted from Sky Bet Championship, Peterborough to be promoted from League One, Notts County to be promoted from League Two - 750/1
By George Pitts
Liverpool have shown steady improvement since the Jurgen Klopp's arrival in 2015 and now his squad looks just about ready to take the challenge to Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title. Last season they were close and up there on their day, but the Reds now have much more strength in depth and they could be a force to be reckoned with.
While Nottingham Forest have spent well and now have an excellent manager in Aitor Karanka, it is hard to look past Stoke as near-certs for promotion. In Gary Rowett, the Potters have got a manager who knows this division well and they have recruited excellently, bringing in the likes of Benik Afobe and Tom Ince who are more than capable of succeeding at this level. They should probably go up automatically, but backing them for promotion at 13/8 still looks a good price and gives you the added insurance of the play-offs.
Love him or hate him, Peterborough have an excellent boss in Steve Evans who knows all about the Sky Bet EFL. Big things will be expected in his first full season at the ABAX Stadium, despite losing star players Jack Marriott, captain Jack Baldwin and Gwion Edwards. Evans has recruited well across the board and he should make sure his side bounce back after missing out on the play-offs last term.
Kevin Nolan has done his business in good time and recruited well, placing his Notts County side as favourites to win Sky Bet League Two. The Magpies will be keen to bounce back after play-off disappointment last term and experienced midfielder David Vaughan and goalscorers Kane Hemmings and Kristian Dennis could prove excellent acquisitions.
Portsmouth to win League One, Notts County to win League Two, Salford to win the National League, Ross County to win the Scottish Championship - 1000/1
By Tom Carnduff
Sunderland may be fancied to bounce straight back to the Sky Bet Championship but Portsmouth have enough about them to secure promotion into the second-tier. The experienced Tom Naylor comes into their midfield whilst Louis Dennis is an intriguing addition given his significant impact for National League outfit Bromley where he scored 13 goals and assisted a further eight.
The signings of Kristian Dennis and Kane Hemmings will give Notts County the best striker duo in the league, whilst David Vaughan has a wealth of experience at international level. Kevin Nolan has built an incredibly impressive squad at this level and will be able to improve on their play-off finish last season.
Salford City’s hefty spending in the National League should help to propel them into the EFL for the first time. Adam Rooney is the headline signing after he scored ten goals for Scottish Premiership outfit Aberdeen last time out. He’s just one of eleven additions made by Salford, with Danny Lloyd also finding the net for Peterborough in League One during the 2017/18 campaign.
Finally, Ross County have enough about them to return to Scotland’s top flight as they line-up in the Scottish Championship. They’ve lost Andrew Davies and Jason Naismith, but have seen eight new faces added to the squad with Jamie Lindsay turning his loan move into a permanent switch this summer. Stuart Kettlewell will also have a full season in charge after taking over the mess left by Owen Coyle back in March.
Manchester City to win Premier League, Nottingham Forest to win Championship, Luton to win League One and Swindon to win League Two - 4000/1
By Dave Ord
You don't need me to tell you why Manchester City should be included as the safe pick in this acca for more Premier League glory while Nottingham Forest should challenge strongly in the Sky Bet Championship given their summer of spending.
Luton were full of goals when finishing runners-up in League Two season and with Danny Hilton still on board expect them to be among the high scorers again this term. They look a value call at 14/1 given their momentum.
Phil Brown's Swindon have recruited well and the manager will be looking to build on a few promising signs after taking over in the spring. They’ve added both steel and creativity to the midfield and have a manager who knows how to get out of this division.
Pre-season football betting previews
- Sky Bet Championship
- Sky Bet League One
- Sky Bet League Two
- Premier League package and tips will follow soon