THE Premier League window has slammed shut and nothing happened to make me change my thoughts on the title race.
Last season I tipped a Man City-Liverpool one-two and I'm backing a repeat.
City, despite losing skipper Vincent Kompany, strengthened in the window with the signings of Rodri and Jaoa Cancelo while Liverpool have done a Spurs and bought no one.
Jurgen Klopp will say a side that finished one point behind City last season can go again but if you stand still in the transfer market you usually stand still in the league and that's been a problem for Spurs for a couple of seasons.
Kompany's departure will deny City a leader and weaken them defensively but they have so much talent up top they can outscore most rivals – even though Leroy Sane has been ruled out for around seven months.
City are generally available at 1-2 to defend their crown with Liverpool 3-1 at Betway. Spurs, 20-1 at Betway, are likely to be the nearest challengers with Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United – all 50-1 and above- chasing the fourth Champions League spot.
Man City, Liverpool and Spurs to finish top three in that order pays 5-1 at Sky Bet.
Big-spending Everton can be best of the rest and are 10-3 with bet365 ahead of 7-2 shots Leicester and Wolves.
At the other end I fear for the promoted sides but only once in Premier League history have all three gone straight back down while two staying up is about average.
Norwich were a breath of fresh air as they lifted the title but conceded 57 goals and can't be that open. Sheffield United are defensively stronger but lack firepower and there's every chance both will return to the Championship.
Aston Villa battled up through the play-offs but have spent big – around £120million – and kept John McGinn so look well placed to survive although the loss of Tammy Abrahams is a blow. Villa are 4-9 at bet365 to stay up.
Burnley are third favourites but I think they'll be OK and I'd worry more about Brighton although £20m Neil Maupay is a quality signing.
Newcastle had been well backed for the drop after Steve Bruce took over but they've spent a few quid and key to their survival could be how record £40m signing Joelinton performs. If he doesn't hit the ground running – and Bruce has lost 62 per cent of last season's goals – they could be in trouble and best price is 9-4 at BetVictor.
Harry Kane and Mo Salah head the top scorer market ahead of Sergio Aguero but I'm taking a chance on Raheem Sterling ew. He netted 17 league goals last season and is finishing keeps improving.
City should start with three points at West Ham as they aim for 15 league wins on the spin.
The Hammers have strengthened and could score so best bet here is City and over 2.5 match goals at 7-10 with Coral.
I like Bournemouth at 21-20 with BetVictor to beat Sheffield United although crocked David Brooks could be a big miss for Eddie Howe and Everton can take advantage of Wilfried Zaha being refused a transfer to the Toffees by winning at Crystal Palace. They are 29-20 at BetVictor.
Spurs v Aston Villa at tea-time should be a cracker and I can't resist both to score at 11-10 with Betfred.
Spurs v Aston Villa at tea-time should be a cracker and I can’t resist both to score at 11-10 with Betfred. Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min are missing for Spurs so take Kane to score first at 4-1 with McBookie.
In the Championship go easy until you see form. Last week was tough but Leeds looked good at Bristol City but are no bigger than 4-7 at BetVictor in the early kick-off.
West Brom impressed at Nottm Forest and are 10-11 with Ladbrokes at home to Millwall.
In League One Fleetwood were the surprise guys last week with victory at Peterborough and Joey Barton's side are 9-10 with Marathonbet to beat Wimbledon at home.
Plymouth also started well at Crewe and should beat Colchester at home in League Two. They are 5-4 at Sky Bet.
Premier League Anteposts
- Man City/Liverpool straight forecast (5-4, bet365)
- Man City/Liverpool/Spurs top 3 in order (5-1, Sky Bet)
- Norwich to be relegated (11-10, Paddy Power)
- Everton without big 6 (10-3, bet365)
- Sterling ew top scorer (14-1, Ladbrokes – 4 places)
- Bournemouth to beat Sheffield Utd (21-20, BetVictor)
- Everton to win at Crystal Palace (29-20, BetVictor)
- Spurs v Aston Villa btts (11-10, Betfred)
- West Brom at home to Nottm Forest (10-11, Ladbrokes)
- Fleetwood at home to Wimbledon (9-10, Marathonbet)