PAUL POGBA, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho – three reasons why Man United should win the Premier League.
But it’s not going be that simple and two men likely to be standing in their way as Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte make their English managerial bows.
This season’s Premier League title race promises one of the best but it’s also one of the toughest to work out.
Mourinho hasn’t spent fortunes on Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly to finish second but Guardiola didn’t leave Bayern for Man City for the runners-up spot.
And Conte hasn’t flitted from Italy to Chelsea to be a bit-part player.
But at the end of the season there will be one winner and two losers – assuming no one else is in the mix.
Leicester will go well again – and top six or seven would still be a success for the champions – and Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs will compete for the fourth Champions League spot.
Picking a winner out of the top three in the betting is almost impossible but if forced to back on it would be United simply because they’ve made the best buys.
If Ibrahimovic scores his quota and Pogba dominates in midfield they’ll be tough to stop. United are second favourites at 18-5 with sportingbet.
Guardiola won three titles at Barcelona and Bayern and his presence in the dugout can’t be underestimated. Ilkay Gundogan and Leroy Sane are superb signings and the likes of Sergio Aguero, Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva will improve under the Spanish boss. That’s why they are bookies favourites at 13-5 with Betfred.
Conte took Italy close to the Euro 2016 semi-finals after winning three titles at Juventus and like his rivals is a winner.
Their big capture is N’Golo Kante from Leicester but they’re a bit short up front which is why they’re desperate to re-sign Romelu Lukaku while Riyad Mahrez remains on their radar. Chelsea are 13-2 at Paddy Power but that will drop if they splash the cash.
Arsenal’s biggest signing is holding midfielder Granit Xhaka who will be big hit but that’s it at the moment and their main aim could be to again finish above Spurs.
Like all of their rivals Liverpool have a top foreign boss in their dugout but unlike the bi three it’s a second season in charge for Jurgen Klopp but his best chance of silverware will be in the cups.
Leicester have been boosted by Claudio Ranieri and Jamie Vardy signing new deals and while Kante has gone he’s been replaced by Nampalys Mendy and forward Ahmed Musa has looked good in pre-season.
Not sure how they’ll handle juggling Champions League football with their domestic chores but the good news for Foxes fans is: You’re not going down.
Vardy should be banging in the goals again and is worth a look each way at 18-1 with Paddy Power and Coral to top score. To top this market I’m looking at Aguero at 7-2 with firms such as Betfred and William Hill – if Pep can make him better he’s got some player on his hands.
At the other end of the table the three promoted sides are being tipped to go down – and all could. I’m sure Hull and Burnley will drop out but both are odds on while Middlesbrough, with the best chance of survival, are 9-4 at Paddy Power.
Of the rest the side I fear for most are Swansea who have just sold skipper Ashley Williams to Everton. They are 7-2 at Paddy Power.
Let’s hear your thoughts before the big kick-off on Saturday.
Bets to Consider
Chelsea ew (Paddy Power – 3 places)
Hull to finish bottom
Hull to be relegated
Burnley to be relegated
Aguero top scorer
Vardy top scorer ew
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