Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.
We are just two weeks away from the opening gameweek of the 2022/23 Premier League season and the hype is building in the footballing world.
Manchester City are looking to become just the fifth team, and only the second in the Premier League era, to win three successive top-flight titles in England.
I tipped – and won – the Citizens to take the crown in each of the last two seasons but can Pep Guardiola’s side fend off a Liverpool side that have pushed them so hard over the last four years?
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Premier League 2022/23 winner prediction
Liverpool at 5/2
Make no mistake, Manchester City do look to have the strongest squad but after winning the Premier League by just a single point last season I think they are far too short at 8/13 to justify backing them.
Manchester City and Liverpool have been almost inseparable over the last four years, posting an incredible 358 and 357 points respectively and averaging fewer than 25 dropped points per season.
Of course, the arrival of Erling Braut Haaland complicates things and has clearly shifted the odds, but there are legitimate concerns to consider – which I will get into a little later – and it is not necessarily the case that Haaland’s arrival instantly improved Pep Guardiola’s side.
Manchester City aren’t the only side to improve, though. Liverpool may have lost Sadio Mane but they have a full season of Luis Diaz to enjoy and the arrival of Darwin Nunez, who scored four in their friendly against RB Leipzig this week, should be enough to mitigate Mane’s departure.
There is more positive news for Liverpool fans, too.
They lost both Mane and Salah for a month last season as the two led their respective countries all the way to the African Cup of Nations Final. This year, Salah will have a six-week break after Egypt failed to qualify for the World Cup, while Luis Diaz’s Colombia also will also miss out on Qatar.
Salah’s normally irrepressible form took a nosedive after his AFCON campaign and it is hardly surprising considering he played almost every available match over the course of the season, with Liverpool reaching the final of every competition. This extra break could be huge when it comes to maintaining his high standards all the way to the end of the campaign.
Of course, Manchester City’s extra squad depth means that a few injuries harms Liverpool’s season much more than the Cityzens and could derail their campaign, just like it did in 2020/21.
However, that is the only season in the last four they have been more than a point behind their new-age rivals. Jurgen Klopp’s side have been utterly relentless in their pursuit of Manchester City and they represent much better value at 5/2.
Haaland and City – A match made in heaven?
As previously mentioned, Erling Haaland’s arrival at the Etihad has thrown a very large, 6ft 5in Norwegian hammer in the works.
He is the bookies’ favourite for the Golden Boot and Manchester City will be big favourites if he hits the ground running, but that is a big if.
Pep Guardiola will need to completely change their attacking setup to accommodate Haaland and play to his strengths. The Norwegian star has proven most effective when running in behind defenders and using his unparalleled pace and power, something which the high-paced systems of RB Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund were a perfect match for.
The same cannot be said of Guardiola’s possession-based, patient build-up play. The departures of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, both of whom have been utilised as false-nines, suggest that Guardiola is planning a shake-up in attack.
It could take time for Haaland and the rest of the Manchester City attack to adapt to this system, and when margins are so fine between them and Liverpool neither team can afford to start badly.
This has proven to be the case in the past, too. Zlatan Ibrahimovic only managed 16 goals in 29 games in his ill-fated spell at Barcelona under Guardiola, while Robert Lewandowski’s first season at Bayern Munich saw him score 17 goals in 31 games.
Haaland has talent and youth on his side and he will almost certainly prove a fantastic signing overall, but there is no guarantee of instant success. He will be adapting to a new system and a much tougher league, while injury problems, which saw him pick up three separate muscle problems that caused him to miss 16 games last season, could rear their ugly head.
It is also worth noting that no Manchester City player has won the Premier League Golden Boot since Guardiola took charge.
Premier League top 4 & top 6 predictions
Spurs to finish 3rd at 3/1
Tottenham edged their North London rivals Arsenal to the final top four spot last season but I expect a more comfortable journey into the Champions League spots in 2022/23.
Antonio Conte took the reins at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November 2021 after Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked and he made an instant impact.
Spurs earned 56 points in his 28 games in charge, putting them behind only Manchester City and Liverpool and some seven points clear of last season’s third-place finishers Chelsea.
Harry Kane and Heung-min Son remain the benchmark for striking partnerships after another incredible season, while Conte’s summer business has been very positive.
Richarlison, plus a full season of Dejan Kulusevski, offers plenty of depth in attack while Yves Bissouma is a fantastic addition to the midfield.
Conte has averaged 2.2 points per game across almost 300 Premier League and Serie A games and has finished outside the top four in just one of his last eight seasons in management.
He can keep pushing Spurs onwards and I think a comfortable third-place finish is well within their capabilities.
Premier League top 4 – 1st: Liverpool, 2nd: Man City, 3rd: Spurs, 4th: Chelsea
Leicester to win without the Big 6 at 11/2
Newcastle are the bookmakers’ favourites for this market but Leicester and West Ham have good enough squads to make it a three-way battle.
Leicester offer the value to me at 11/2. They suffered a number of damaging injuries last season, including Wesley Fofana missing most of the campaign, yet still only finished four points behind West Ham despite also juggling European commitments.
The Foxes have no European football to contend with this term and have won this market in two of the last three seasons, so I’m backing them to reclaim their title as best of the rest.
A small punt on them to make the top six at 5/1 is worth considering, too.
Premier League handicap winner – Liverpool +4 at 15/1
The handicap market is a great place to look if you want to level the field, with the premise being that you apply each teams’ points handicap at the start of the season and whoever ends up top wins the bet.
Manchester City are the baseline with no headstart, while my value pick, Liverpool, have a four-point headstart. You can see all 20 teams’ handicaps below:
- Man City +0
- Liverpool +4
- Spurs +14
- Chelsea +15
- Man Utd +19
- Arsenal +20
- Newcastle +31
- West Ham +33
- Leicester +36
- Aston villa +37
- Brighton +39
- Crystal Palace +41
- Everton +44
- Wolves +44
- Leeds +46
- Brentford +46
- Southampton +46
- Fulham +50
- Nottingham Forest +51
- Bournemouth +56
Barring the three promoted teams, Liverpool covered the spread on all of these teams last season and they were 70 points clear of bottom-placed finishers Norwich.
They may have only won the Premier League in one of the last four seasons but on two of the three occasions they have lost it it has been by a single point and in three of the last four seasons they have been at least 18 points clear of third place.
In 2019/20, the season they won the title, they are 33 points clear of third place and a huge 18 clear of runners-up Manchester City.
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