Premier league Individual player bets
Online betting is always more fun when you have a little betting running on your favorite teams and players, read our expert preview for the main online bets for the 2015/16 season, pick your favorites and follow them through the year. You can also read our PL teams preview. You can also click here to find the best online bookies and the best bonuses for the 2015/16 season.
Everyone loves to see a goal, whether it is headed, volleyed, powered or passed into the net. It's what we all watch football to see, and so it is no surprise that the Top Goalscorer market is one of the most popular antepost bets going. It was an interesting market to follow last season, with Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero battling it out for the majority of the season, before Harry Kane put up a late challenge after his induction into the Spurs first team.
Costa and Aguero understandably lead the betting again this year, and are the two big favourites with the bookmakers at this stage. Costa could come under some threat from new signing Falcao this year, and it will be interesting to see if Mourinho plays them both together or rotates them throughout the season. Aguero seems more of an indispensable member of the City squad, and his ability to play in different forward positions will mean he will start every game. The problem with Aguero has always been his fitness, with the Argentinian rarely playing a full season without at least one major injury.
Away from the favourites the most interesting option appears to be Wayne Rooney, with van Gaal stating that he will play as the club's main centre forward - the last time he did so he scored 34 times. With little in reserve for Rooney, his pristine injury record and with more expected from United following a good summer of recruitment I think the 16/1 on offer the talismanic striker is worth considering. Elsewhere, Kane could be backed to repeat his heroics of last season or Benteke to find the goals lost with Suarez at Liverpool, but for those that really like an outsider I'd take a look at new Newcastle signing Aleksandr Mitrovic, fit again Southampton dangerman Jay Rodriguez or Mame Diouf at Stoke, who went under the radar during a successful first season in the Premier League.
PFA Player of the Year
Last year Eden Hazard one more of the closely contested PFA Player of the Year awards from recent times, but still was a fairly conclusive winner by the time the season came to an end. Other players who gave notable performances were Alexis Sanchez, John Terry and Harry Kane, while top scorers Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero could have figured more strongly had they had a bit more luck with injuries. The same kinds of names are being thrown around as you would expect, with Hazard favourite to defend his honour, though it is rare that a player wins this award two seasons in a row (perhaps because recent winners quickly moved to Spain after their superb campaigns).
The key here is finding which players are in a position to improve significantly on their performance last season. Sanchez is likely to perform even better after bedding in last season, and could be a very good shout from the early favourites, while Rooney’s elevation to United’s number one striker could see him get the kinds of goal and assist numbers to give him a chance. David Silva and Cesc Fabregas are both capable of the magic that can amaze and astound, while Yaya Toure, on song, can be an inspiration to his team. Alternatively we could have someone come out of nowhere, Harry Kane-style, and sweep us off our collective feet. Overall it’s a hard market to call without seeing any football, but I like the look of the odds on offer for Sanchez and Rooney, while I’ll also be keeping my eye out to see how Roberto Firmino starts off at Liverpool.
More and more attention is being given to the players that provide the goals rather than score them, and the Top Assists market is becoming more and more popular as a result. With the Premier League moving further away from the direct wing play which characterised its beginning, the role of the creative winger is becoming ever more important, while a three-pronged attack behind a lone striker is becoming the foundation of most Premier League tactics. Each team tends to have one player who creates more than any other and it is from here that we are likely to find out assist king.
For Man City, that has long been David Silva, though the possible acquisition of Kevin de Bruyne could lift some of the burden from the Spaniard. Even so, for the little wizard to be as long as 9/1 astounds me given that he has the most assists of any player in the Premier League over the last four seasons. Cesc Fabregas started the season with a flurry of assists for Chelsea last year, before a slight lull, but clearly has the capabilities to win this award as well, though is a much shorter price, especially considering Chelsea’s scoring rate in comparison to Man City’s. For Arsenal, Cazorla and Sanchez could be considered, though, due to the number of creative players in their midfield, it seems more likely that the assists will be shared around. An interesting outside bet could be Christian Eriksen at a generous 16/1. He is the prime creator in a Tottenham team that scored plenty last season, and if they can find the goals again this year he should be there or there abouts. Alternatively, looking down the league, there could be arguments for Tadic at Southampton, who has looked excellent during pre-season, or Sigurdsson at Swansea, providing new signing Eder can finish the chances the Icelander is bound to create.
There are already plenty of quality additions to the Premier League this summer and while some will inevitably fall short of expectations, others will flourish and it is always worth keeping an eye on the progress of the new stars. Premier League stalwarts like Rooney, Silva and Hazard are sure to be popular in the markets above, but there are always players who come from nowhere to put themselves in the reckoning come May. For me the main man in the race for the Golden Boot is Rooney, while I’d back Silva for the top assists and Sanchez as the PFA Player of the Year. While they would be my picks now, though, there will be plenty of developments as the season progresses and it is never too late to make your pick when a player catches your eye. Remember, however, that form is temporary, and class is permanent.