Football fans spent the long summer days enjoying international football, with the delayed Euro 2020 tournament proving well worth the wait. Italy upset England in the final with a win on penalties at Wembley Stadium in July. It was a stunning climax to what had been a dramatic competition, but there could be no denying the Italians were worthy champions.

While Italy celebrated, supporters of the Three Lions were left behind to lick their wounds. The national team has never won a European championship title, and their World Cup success in 1966 when hosting the tournament remains the nation’s only glory. Former world champions is not to be taken lightly, of course, but 1966 now seems a long time ago.

Football fans across the world now look ahead to the return of club football, and the English Premier League 2021/22 season is scheduled to begin in August. Traders at all major betting sites have had their say on how the season will play out with sportsbooks in London to the standout Canadian betting sites all throwing their support behind Manchester City.

 

Cityzens return to the top

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have failed to win the UEFA Champions League, but they have dominated English football in recent years and enter this season as defending champions. The Cityzens briefly lost their grip on the game in England when Liverpool won a season interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Many pundits predicted Jurgen Klopp’s Reds would kick on from there and enjoy a golden age, but the team from Anfield’s success was short-lived. It took less than 12 months for Man City to wrestle the title back and return the trophy to the cabinet at the Etihad Stadium.

They strolled to the Premier League prize in spring when finishing well clear of runners up and derby rivals Manchester United. Stats of 27 wins, five draws and six defeats gave a points tally of 86, which was a dozen clear of the Red Devils. Liverpool finished third with 69 points on the board ahead of Chelsea, who completed the top-four following a late flurry, collecting 67 points. Leicester City and West Ham dropped out of the running during the closing stages and will look back on a missed opportunity.

Each of the top four teams enters this season’s Champions League, where they will be eager to continue English football’s impressive form on the continent. Man City are early favourites with most bookies to finally get their hands on European football’s grand prize. Still, it’s a competitive market and followers of the club know nothing can be taken for granted at that level. Chelsea defeated Man City 1-0 in the 2021 final in Porto. Will Pep’s men go one better in the campaign ahead?

Photo Credit: Stuart Grout

Back with a bang

Week one of the 2021/22 Premier League season begins on Friday 13 August when newly-promoted Brentford host Arsenal from 20:00 GMT. The action continues on Saturday when seven matches make up the schedule, but Man City fans must wait until Sunday to see their team in action.

Man City open with a mouth-watering trip to London, where they’ll face off against Tottenham Hotspur from 16:30. It may be the opening round of matches, but with both teams holding hopes of winning the league title this season, neither side will want to drop points at the first opportunity. That will make for a thrilling clash that keeps fans on the edge of their seats for the entire 90 minutes. By the end of this game, we’ll have a better understanding of how good this new-look Manchester City team is and the chances of Tottenham improving on last season and forcing their way back into the top four.

The Cityzens and Spurs met three times last season with mixed results. Tottenham won the opener at this venue with a 2-0 league victory in November thanks to goals from Heung-Min Son and Lo Celso. Man City battled back with a 3-0 win at the Etihad in February before winning the final match in April on EFL Cup duty. The latter produced a famous 1-0 win for Pep’s boys, the winning goal that day scored by Laporte with 82 minutes on the clock.

 

(Header Photo Credit: ФК ШАХТЕР)

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