As most gear up for this afternoon’s Premiership final day deciders for the 2018/2019 season, some punters appear to be focusing their gaze on the odds for the 2019/2020 season instead.
And whilst Oddschecker is reporting that the unsurprising favourites of Man City (8/13) and Liverpool (13/5) are drawing in the lion’s share – around 22% each – of all bets submitted to the market, the punters’ favourite from the remaining pack has emerged as something of a surprise for observers of the Premiership’s predictive markets.
Ahead of Tottenham (8%) and Chelsea (7%) lies Sheffield United, representing a whopping 10% of all bets submitted to the market, having just been promoted back to English football’s top tier – after a twelve year absence – as the runners-up of this year’s Championship.
Comparison with Leicester
It is unclear what explains the popularity of the bet amongst punters, but the odds of a Sheffield United Premiership scalp – 2500/1 – may have something to do with it.
Some observers are making (or, more likely, hoping for) comparisons with Leceister City’s memorable feat of lifting English football’s top prize in 2016.
The Foxes, however, had already been battle-hardened with one campaign of Premiership football behind them as they headed into the 2015/2016 season and carried high-profile names such as Mahrez, Vardy and Schmeichel amidst their ranks – and this during a season in which Man City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all struggled to move into a higher gear.
The Blades / Foxes comparison appears, then, to be one of wishful thinking at best – particularly as the newly-promoted club will need to think how it finances the season ahead for a campaign in which English football may now be at its zenith – as witnessed with four English teams in the two upcoming European finals. Simply to stay up, “everyone we sign this summer will need to break the current transfer record,” observed one fan.