Sportsbooks favor the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United to win the 2017-2018 English Premier League, but teams need more than favorable odds to get the job done.
Manchester City needs a good goalie
The Citizens have a question mark under the goalposts. There is a three-way competition for the starting goalkeeper position between Joe Hart, Claudio Bravo and Ederson – well maybe not so much Bravo. The City signed the latter at a pretty penny from Benfica, and he certainly the goalie of the future, but at 23 years of age it is not quite clear whether he is the goalie of the present. Ederson has yet to make a senior international appearance and has only one season as a starting goaltender in a top-ranked club. Then again, if Josep Guardiola brought it him, there may more to Ederson than meets the eye.
Manchester Utd needs Paul Pogba to have a breakthrough season
Paul Pogba was good last season, but not great. And MUFC needs him to be great. Maybe manager Jose Mourinho did not utilize him well, but the team did not embrace him, maybe he feels homesick. That can’t be the only reason that United paid a ton of money for Romelu Lukaku, but the fact remains that he is a good friend of Pogba and Mourinho hopes their association will translate well to the football pitch.
Chelsea needs a center-forward
Antonio Conte future-endeavored Diego Costa presumably before finding out Lukaku was leaving for Manchester, and as a result the champions and sportsbook faves have a hole in that position. Conte may have his sights set on Alvaro Morata but he’s a totally different beast than either Costa or Lukaku and would take some getting used to. The other alternative would be Michy Batshuayi, who’s already there but not quite ‘there’ yet in terms of skills.
Arsenal needs a creative midfielder
The Gunners lost their playmaker when Santi Cazorla injured his ankle in October – an injury from which he is still recovering. Francis Coquelin, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all have something to offer but none is the whole package. Which leaves Arsene Wenger hoping that Jack Wilshere will finally breakout ten years later. Bottom line is someone has to get the ball to Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Tottenham needs to remain healthy
The Spurs are building a new stadium so they don’t have a lot of spare change to spend on additions to the roster, which is a shame because the roster is pretty thin. In games where manager Mauricio Pochettino didn’t have some of his best men, such as Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, Tottenham struggled mightily.
Everton needs to get lucky
Everton is taking the sportsbook approach, placing safe bets like Wayne Rooney and Michael Keane, but also gambling on the likes of Jordan Pickford, Sandro Ramirez, and Davy Klaassen – all brought from elsewhere, which could hinder the development of homegrown talent such as Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.