We gaze into our Sporting Life crystal ball to see who will win all the major prizes in 2019 including the Premier League, Champions League and Golden Boot.
Premier League title race
- 8/15 Liverpool
- 7/4 Man City
- 25/1 Tottenham
- 80/1 Chelsea
Can the Reds handle the pressure? That is now the question after they’ve built up such a healthy lead at the top of the table and are odds-on to end their long title drought. We’ll get an early idea of the answer as Liverpool face Man City on January 3.
A City win will all of a sudden put a huge amount of pressure on the Reds and Jurgen Klopp better ready himself for questions about handling the pressure of a title run-in to come thick and fast at almost every news conference.
It does look like a straight fight between the top two at the turn of the year, but if City lost on Thursday then Spurs could be one point above and Chelsea one point below the champions if they both take three points in midweek.
That would admittedly leave Liverpool well out in front, but there is still plenty to play for with the chasing pack even if the suspicion is that Chelsea and Tottenham are both just a step behind the two big guns.
Tottenham’s squad is perhaps just a bit thin to go all the way, but they should get a boost from moving into a new stadium, eventually! Chelsea, meanwhile, are almost always only as good as Eden Hazard is and that over-reliance on one man will see them fall short.
- 9/4 Kane
- 5/2 Salah
- 7/2 Aubameyang
- 8/1 Aguero
- 16/1 Hazard
It’s a three-way battle between Mo Salah, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Harry Kane so far, with that trio on 13 premier League goals and three ahead of Eden Hazard who has been in scintillating form but highly unlikely to be able to keep up with the true goal scorers ahead of him.
Sergio Aguero is four goals behind the leading trio but can score goals in bunches and you couldn’t rule out a late run in the second half of the season, but the top three show no signs of slowing down.
Kane is favourite and he traditionally scores a hatful of goals towards the latter stages of the campaign, while Salah just seems to be finding top gear after what many had called a slow start – if you can ever call 13 goals from 20 games a slow start.
Aubameyang was our pre-season pick and we're standing by our man even if he hardly got a kick at Anfield. He’s been brilliant the rest of the season and statistically has the best conversion rate of the lot this year – he could well pip the two favourites to the Golden Boot.
- 3/1 Man City
- 9/2 Barcelona
- 13/2 Juventus
- 7/1 PSG
- 9/1 Liverpool
- 11/1 Real Madrid
There’s the suspicion that the Man City hierarchy would prefer to win the Champions League over the Premier League if push came to shove – that’s why Pep Guardiola was brought in and he too has a point to prove in the competition having ‘only’ won it with a Messi-inspired Barcelona.
By the time this tournament starts up again City may well be some distance behind Liverpool and, while he’d never say it outwardly, Guardiola may focus on conquering Europe this time around. Similarly Liverpool may look to prioritize ending their long wait for a league title.
Juventus will be dangerous with Cristiano Ronaldo brought in specifically to win this tournament as the Old Lady are cruising again at the top of Serie A, while Barcelona are always dangerous with Messi, Suarez and Coutinho around and they’d be the preference at present.
- 100/30 Man City
- 6/1 Chelsea, Liverpool
- 13/2 Tottenham
- 7/1 Man Utd
- 9/1 Arsenal
The usual suspects are again leading the way and it's likely that the winner will come from the market leaders although a lot depends on the draw going forward and what kind of teams are selected. A comfortable mid-table side such as the likes of Everton, Leicester and Bournemouth should really be targeting this trophy, while Wolves at 40/1 would fit the bill perfectly but for being drawn against Liverpool - but if Jurgen Klopp fields a second-string side at Molineux then the hosts could well find themselves in the next round, which will see their price tumble.
Man Utd and Arsenal at the prices look like the best way forward right now as Unai Emery is a decent cup manager and will no doubt understand how much breathing room a trophy will bring him as he develops his side at the Emirates, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed the Red Devils.
Although they got battered at Anfield, Arsenal can match anyone on their day and have numerous options up front so can go a long way in this one. Being involved in the Europa League is a big negative, but right now they look like a decent bet just ahead of United.