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Premier League Predictions – Balotelli to fire Manchester City to the Title?

He might not even play in the Premier League – yet – but this quiet chap could well win the Premier League Golden Boot

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PALO ALTO, CA - JULY 19:  Mario Balotelli #45 of Inter Milan looks on against Club America during the World Football Challenge at Stanford Stadium on July 19, 2009 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The birth of a new Premier League season is the time of year when each one of us tries our hand at soothsaying.

Predictions abound in the newspapers, the pubs, the interweb and even the bingo halls about who is going to do what, how it’s going to be done and whom it’s going to be done to. Ok, so I may have got a little side-tracked there but you catch my drift.

Going hand-in-hand with making sweeping predictions to your drinking buddies, your Facebook friends and your bingo-loving grandma is putting your hand in your pocket and money where your mouth is and having a flutter on the beautiful game itself. For the more discerning punter, why not try your hand at matched betting and grab a free bet for literally pennies courtesy of the bookies. Whatever may happen, the guys at freebets4all can certainly make sure that your wallet remains healthy this season, offering risk free matched bets to lock in a profit on any game as the premiership giants battle it out.

There are a few sneaky good value bets to be had with Manchester United available to regain the Premier League crown at 11/4. The emergence of Manchester City has lengthened the odds of the usual suspects and even champions Chelsea are available at a tempting 13/8. Arsenal are commonly listed as fourth favourites at 7/1 while their north London neighbours Spurs can be backed at 40/1 but even Harry Redknapp himself might not bother sticking anything on that. City, by the way, are a faintly ludicrous 11/2 but, then again, as the old saying goes, it’s a funny old game.

The top goalscorer market is always interesting and not always as easy to predict as one might think. Ok, so the top two last year were Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney – hardly shock contenders – but Marcus Stewart and Kevin Phillips have both picked up the award in the last decade as if to prove my point.

Drogba and Rooney are available at a best priced 11/2 and 6/1 respectively though Robin van Persie’s goalscoring record of one every two games could be backed to finish top of the pile if he can stay fit for the entire season at a tempting 12/1. A nice leftfield candidate is Mario Balotelli who, as yet, does not even belong to an English club. But he can be backed currently at 20/1 and if he does join City and they are to make a title push then those could be very long odds indeed.

The relegation and managerial departure markets are a little depressing – I mean it’s a bit much to crack open the bubbly when someone loses his job – but Wigan could well be worth backing in both of these. The Latics are 9/4 to be relegated which looks particularly long even if they did manage to beat both Chelsea and Arsenal last season.

Wigan chairman David Whelan may have talked about his manager Roberto Martinez in glowing terms ever since his arrival but he is not an idiot. Whelan will not stay loyal for the sake of it as he knows relegation could prove disastrous to the club’s long term future. A prolonged run of poor results at the start of the season could see the Spaniard out on his ear. At 8/1 that’s got to be a decent bet.

Good luck with your gambling but don’t blame me if all my tips go south!

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