After Opening Week, Liverpool Seem to be Man City’s Biggest Challenger for the Title

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Week one of the Premier League is now in the books, and thus we’ve had a chance to get a first 2018-19 impression of every team in the English top flight. The weekend’s results really didn’t show anything that would contradict the book makers’ preseason sentiment on who could win the league title.

Manchester City, coming off a historical championship winning season that saw them break league records for title winning margin, points, goals, wins and goal differential, are the heavy favorites. Liverpool, last year’s fourth place finisher who finished fourth last season, have the most favorable odds of anybody else in the league by a healthy margin.

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According to Odds Checker, City are being backed at 8/13 by almost all the leading book makers, while Liverpool are receiving odds of 10/3 or 7/2 generally. If you’re looking to wager on the title race this season, take advantage of this signup offer from Mintbet, and when you look at the odds, you’ll notice a massive drop-off to the team with the third best league title odds, Manchester United, and everybody else below them.

The Red Devils are a big long shot, as almost all of the bookies are currently backing them at just 12/1 or 14/1.

It was City won the only all top six match-up of the opening week, very comfortably beating Arsenal 2-0. As impressive as City looked yesterday, manager Pep Guardiola says there is still room for improvement.

MANCHESTER CITY

“I said many times, of course our average level is high, but I have a feeling, still, that we can improve,” Guardiola is quoted by ESPN.

He’s right- as World Cup stars David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, the latter of which was PFA Best XI and Player of the Year runner-up last season, weren’t even a part of the victory. When they are fully re-integrated to the team- watch out!

As for Liverpool, they put in what was probably the most complete game of opening weekend. They utterly thrashed West Ham United 4-0, and they did it by getting major contributions from multiple players and every position group.

Their star men on Sunday included the high flying attackers that you’ve grown quite familiar with- Mohamed Salah, Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane, but there were some unlikely heroes in James Milner and Daniel Sturridge too. New acquisitions Alisson and Naby Keita were crucial to the Reds success as well.

Overall, they look like a deep and balanced side, and the kind of squad that can challenge City for domestic supremacy in 2018-19.

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Of course, the odds are still against them. Everybody is a long shot when they are trying to dethrone City. Perhaps Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said it best, his side is like Rocky and City are similar to Ivan Drago from the 1987 film “Rocky IV.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud and YouTube. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to any and all of his.

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