Premier League 2017/18 review

Premier League

Manchester City made most of the headlines in the Premier League by smashing record after record on their way to the title, but Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah was the standout solo performer.

The Citizens were crowned champions with a record 100 points, scoring a record 106 goals, as they finished 19 points clear of neighbours Manchester United.

Their free-flowing style of play under former Barcelona and Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola won them high praise from most quarters, with City rated amongst the best sides to have played in the Premier League era.

Manchester City 1.63 to win 2018/19 Premier League title

New recruits are reportedly already close at hand to try and improve the City squad still further and it is little surprise to see them trading at 1.63 to be crowned champions again next season.

Meanwhile, United at times failed to impress despite an obvious improvement in finishing as runners-up and more will be expected of January recruit Alexis Sanchez next season.

The Red Devils are 7.50 to claim the title next season and they will need a bigger return than 16 goals in 34 games that they got from £75million striker Romelu Lukaku this term.

That point is only highlighted further when you consider the exploits of Liverpool ace Salah, who found the net an amazing 32 times in 36 league appearances to set a new record for a 38- game season.

He along with fellow forwards Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane caused headaches for all defences and the 4-3 win over City in January – the first league defeat of the campaign for the champions – showed what the Merseysiders are capable of.

Liverpool 6.50 to win 2018/19 Premier League title

The big-money recruitment of centre-back Virgil van Dijk also helped shore up the defence and there is genuine belief that next season could be one to remember, with Liverpool 6.50 to end their lengthy wait for the title.

Salah’s exploits meant that Tottenham ace Harry Kane missed out on a third Golden Boot in a row, despite scoring 30 Premier League goals, with the Londoners eventually finishing in fourth place and 15.00 to be champions next season hints that things will be no easier next term.

Meanwhile, both reigning champions Chelsea and Arsenal missed out on a Champions League spot, with the Blues enduring a season of uncertainty under coach Antonio Conte which at least finished on a high with victory in the FA Cup final.

Arsenal 3.25 to finish in the top four in 2018/19

The Gunners, meanwhile, marked the end of an era as their manager of the last 22 years, Arsene Wenger, left the club at the end of the campaign.

The reins have been handed to Spaniard Unai Emery and he has one huge bonus to look forward to, with his side 3.25 to secure a top-four finish in 2018/19.

Big-money January signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the ground running after joining from Borussia Dortmund, scoring 10 goals in 13 league appearances for his new club.

Finishing just behind Arsenal in seventh place were Burnley, who enjoyed a super season as they secured a place in the Europa League next term.

That extra challenge is certain to put more strain on a small squad at Turf Moor and the Clarets are 4.50 to be relegated next season.

On their return to the top-flight Newcastle United ended in 10th place, an indicator of just what a difference the influence of an experienced manager such as Rafa Benitez can have on a side expected to be battling against the drop.

Just below the Magpies were Crystal Palace, who enjoyed a similar effect to the Tynesiders when Roy Hodgson took over as boss after the Eagles lost their opening seven games without scoring a goal.

Key to the Palace revival was mercurial winger Wilfried Zaha, who is 1.65 to still be at the club when next season gets underway.

Amazingly the Londoners did not earn a single one of their 44 league points without Zaha being on the pitch.

Huddersfield 2.25 to be relegated in 2018/19

Also ending the season safe from the drop, alongside fellow newly-promoted side Newcastle, were Brighton and Huddersfield Town.

While the Seagulls impressed in finishing six points clear of the drop zone, the Terriers were in danger almost up until the final day, before they claimed superb draws at both champions City and Chelsea to ensure top-flight football for another season.

However, a joint league low return of 28 goals scored shows where Town will need to improve, as is reflected in them being 2.25 to be relegated next term.

With Southampton doing just enough to escape the drop to the Championship, it was left to Swansea City, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion to suffer relegation.

The Swans paid the price for being as shot-shy as Huddersfield were, while a no doubt talented Potters squad failed to do enough, despite a slight upturn in form following the arrival of Paul Lambert in mid-January.

Stoke are 3.10 to earn an immediate return to the top-flight, with the Swans 3.90.

It was left to West Brom to suffer the ignominy of finishing bottom of the pile in the Premier League, with both Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew leaving the club during a dismal campaign which featured a mere six league victories.

However, the season ended on a positive note under caretaker boss Darren Moore – now given the job on a permanent basis – as the Baggies lost only one of their last six games, claiming wins over Manchester United and Tottenham, as well as a 2-2 draw at Liverpool.

Those results have left Albion 8.75 to win the Championship next season and 3.65 to secure a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.