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Manchester United Lead Pack to Lift Trophy in 2012


As Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United prepare for this weekend, needing just one point against Blackburn to be crowned this year’s Premier League Champions, the odds on them retaining the trophy next year have been slashed down to 7/4 (bet365).

At the final whistle of his side’s emphatic 2-1 victory over Chelsea this past Sunday, the thunderous roar from the Stretford End of Old Trafford was enough signal that his team had done enough to fight off any last minute challenge from the current holders to this year’s crown.

Chelsea finished the 2010 Premier League season on 86 points, one ahead of United, and will be ultimately disappointed that they haven’t been able to retain the coveted trophy this year. Carlo Ancelotti, who won the Italian League with Milan back in 2004, may not be around next year to try again. His failure to bring success in the Champions League may ultimately result in owner Roman Abramovich replacing the Italian, bringing in Chelsea’s seventh manager in as many years. This uncertainty aside, the Blues are around 9/4 (Blue Square, William Hill) to bring the trophy back to London next year.

Arsenal, off the back of a terrible end to the 2010/2011 campaign, will be looking for a return to winning ways under Arsene Wenger next season. As prices such as 11/2 (bet365) and 4/1 (William Hill) would suggest, they are not to be considered an outside bet as many pundits would have you think – with a squad full of promising young talent, they may just be a few experienced names away from putting together a serious challenge for first place come next May.

There are other teams in the running, all looking to lift the Premier League trophy for the first time since its introduction in 1992. Manchester City (4/1 with Blue Square and Bet365) could be a good outside bet, with manager Roberto Mancini having a full season under his belt, his side will be in the best position financially to challenge for the crown. They will, however, need to eradicate the inconsistent performances and in-fighting that has eroded their campaign this year. Liverpool (12/1 and 14/1) have ended the season superbly under club legend Kenny Dalglish, and if the wily Scotsman is rewarded with a full-time contract, his beloved team could surprise many and really push for a top finish that has eluded them for so long. Spurs hold the least favoured position in the odds race (33/1 from most bookmakers), and Harry’s boys would need serious strengthening for a Premier League trophy to be considered a possibility.

Over the summer months on this blog I shall look at each club’s chances individually, but from the early forecast, it looks like a 20th league win for the dominant Manchester club is the bet to beat.