Can any London club topple Manchester power for Premier League glory?
Holly Thackeray | August 6, 2016
Capital clubs jostling to compete with Manchester giants
One quick glance at the Premier League outright market shows Coral customers two clear front runners in title race betting – Manchester City (5/2) and Manchester United (3/1).
These cross-city rivals may contrast in most aspects – history, managerial style, club colours – but one thing the glamorous Northwest giants do have in common is their hunger for glory.
There may be no love lost between the two but, with Man Utd in the red corner and Man City in the blue, Manchester is really living up to its billing of being the Northern Powerhouse – at least in the football sphere.
When not trading blows with each other, they certainly put a dent in London’s claims to be the sport’s capital.
In fact, with one of Coral’s cracking Premier League specials, punters can plump for an odds-on 10/11 price for a Manchester club to win the title. But, there is better value to be had away from the Rainy City – especially considering this term’s favourites finished fourth and fifth respectively in 2016.
So, can the capital seize back control of the silverware? And will there be a London champion crowned come May 2017?
Northern dominance in Premier League era
It may have been two terms since the Premier League trophy last resided in Manchester, when the Sky Blues pipped fallen giants Liverpool to the post in 2014, but that stat belies the city’s dominance in recent decades.
Since the Premier League era began in 1992, with England’s top division officially renamed and rebranded, 15 of the past 24 title wins have been in Manchester.
Of course, Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils can take plenty of plaudits for this, with a tremendous 12 (a terrifyingly successful half of all PL trophies) paraded on the hallowed Old Trafford turf.
But, since the great Scottish tactician hung up his coaching boots, it is the financially boosted Sky Blues that have picked up the slack, benefiting from big investment to be anointed league champions twice – including two of the last five Premier League trophies to rest in Mancunia.
So, while the balance of power may be swinging back and forth between the red and sky blue quarters, it hasn’t shifted from the North despite the two-year Premier League medal drought.
Seven of the last 10 English top-flight titles have landed in Manchester, with Leicester City’s incredible but unlikely to be repeated feat the first time the division silverware has gone to a club outside London or the Rainy City since 1995, when Lancashire club Blackburn Rovers bagged the medals.
Leeds United were the last to lift the top tier title in Yorkshire, just before the Premier League era began in 1992, while Liverpool of course previously kept the Northwest in power, though the Reds have been waiting since 1990 for further glory.
London looks a good shout for the season ahead
Plenty of capital clubs have attempted to topple the Red Devils and later Sky Blues across the 1990s and 2000s, with sporadic success, breaking up the Manchester monopoly.
And, with both under new management as well as trying to bed in a host of expensive new arrivals, there has never been a better time to keep the Premier League title away from Cottonopolis, another Manchester nickname giving a nod to its proud industrial heritage.
The Big Smoke has celebrated PL silverware with Chelsea most recently, as the wealthy west London side previously enjoyed a win in 2015 with now Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho.
Owner Roman Abramovich’s Stamford Bridge cash injection has seen the Blues bag four Premier League era titles, while in the north of the English capital Arsenal last tasted triumph in 2004, with noisy neighbours Spurs enduring a long first division drought since 1961.
So, with Coral, customers can get their hands on sublime special odds of 6/4 for a London club (one of Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, West Ham United or Crystal Palace) to lift the Premier League this term.
Which capital club to back?
The beauty of this bet is that punters don’t have to pick just one side from the Big Smoke, but can hedge your wager with all five English capital clubs included.
So, whether you fancy Chelsea’s riches, Tottenham’s young talent or the Gunners’ guile to come out on top, we’ve got you covered. West Ham and Crystal Palace may be big outsiders compared to that top trio, having both best placed third in bygone top-flight eras, but should they make a Leicester-style title tilt you need not fear.
Antonio Conte has landed at Stamford Bridge and his tactics are already shaking up the Blues, with the Italian well situated to surpass managerial superstars Mourinho and Pep Guardiola after his heroics while in charge of Italy at Euro 2016.
Chelsea may not have hogged the transfer headlines as prominently as their Manchester peers, but have made quietly canny acquisitions in dynamic midfield terrier N’Golo Kante and exciting striking talent Michy Batshuayi – with more puzzle pieces to potentially come.
As for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger continues to be shrewd and avoid panic buying, with Granit Xhaka looking a cracking piece of business to add much needed mettle to the middle of the Emirates park. Having finished second last season, the Gunners may need minimal tinkering to go one step further.
While, there is plenty of investment and promise for West Ham after they moved house to the Olympic Stadium and continue to chase a star signing just like Palace, but Spurs are the best of that pack – as Mauricio Pochettino has added smart buys and depth to a squad which finished third.
So, watch out Manchester, London’s calling…