We sat down with LV BET’s UK and Ireland brand ambassador, Jason McAteer, to get his pick for the upcoming 21/22 Premier League Season
JASON’S PICKS OF THE WEEK
Manchester City vs Arsenal
- Manchester City to win at 1/4 (1.25)
Aston Villa vs Brentford
- Aston Villa to win at 1/1 (2.00)
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Everton
- Draw at 11/5 (3.20)
Newcastle United vs Southampton
- Draw at 22/9 (3.45)
Norwich City vs Leicester City
- Leicester City to win at 7/8 (1.88)
West Ham United vs Crystal Palace
- West Ham United to win at 3/5 (1.60)
Liverpool vs Chelsea
- Draw at 23/10 (3.30)
- Jason McAteer Special: Manchester City and Leicester City to win and Liverpool vs Chelsea to draw at 15/2 (8.50).
Premier League Winner
Great to be back after the Euros!
I’m really looking forward to the Premier League season. It just seems like a fresh start in football.
The Euros was a great competition, the month we had was brilliant. Italy were fantastic winners who did it the hard way, but having fans back in the ground and seeing the manner in which players rose to the occasion and the level of performance they all put in was remarkable. I think it’s all going to filter back into football across Europe, and I think we’re in for a treat with the Premier League.
There’s so much excitement going around. Teams are starting to spend money in the transfer market. New managers too, Patrick Viera gets his chance in the Premier League with Crystal Palace, and Rafael Benitez – one of the most controversial managerial appointments in football – we’ll have to see how he goes.
Liverpool get all their squad back. I’ve been following them closely through the pre-season, and seeing them get their injured players back – Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – is brilliant for them.
Arsenal – how many more excuses does Mikel Arteta have? Wipe the slate clean. All the excuses are now gone. He’s got to get his team to perform. No European football for them, which might be a help. They still need a few players to come in, although Ben White for €50 million was a good acquisition, but a bit overpriced I think.
Manchester United have done great business. Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho are two remarkable singings. I’d have liked to see Sancho at Anfield, but Manchester United got his signature – and that’s really going to help them going forward. Defensively, Varane is one of the best defenders in the world. He’s like a Rolls-Royce; he’ll be a fantastic acquisition for them.
Manchester City singed Jack Grealish. We’ll have to see where Lionel Messi goes with City being one of the only clubs that can afford him – but it looks like Paris Saint-Germain are going to be the front runners.
I know it’s a bit of a long-winded answer, but I’m so excited for the Premier League.
I think the winners… It’s a tough one. You can throw Chelsea into the mix. They’re going to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City.
I’m going to go for my boys. I just feel that after a month away together, Liverpool are a very strong unit with an ambitious manager who doesn’t rest on his laurels after winning the Premier League and Champions League a couple of seasons ago. Jurgen Klopp is hungry for silverware, and I know the players are as well. You listen to their interviews and see the manner in which they are going about things.
I think they will push Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all the way. I think it will be so close, but Liverpool should have enough to get over the line. They’ve got goals. Defensively, they’re going to be solid again. They’ve got this renewed ambition. The fans who have played a huge part in Liverpool’s success are back into the ground. I just think it’s going to be soo tight. I’m going with Liverpool.
I rate Pep Guardiola as being one of the greatest managers. He’s a fantastic coach. I feel it’s about hunger and desire once you’ve done it and keeping the players’ motivation high. He’s brought in Jack Grealish after Kevin De Bruyne had a rocky season due to injury. Aguero is gone too.
I’m talking about Liverpool winning the title, but if Manchester City acquire Harry Kane, then the complexion might change, and City might have enough to get it over the line.
I’m going to go with Manchester City coming second, Chelsea third and Manchester United fourth.
- Liverpool to win the league with Manchester City coming second is available at 8/1 (9.00).
- Manchester City are at 2/33 (1.06) to finish in the top four.
- Chelsea are at 1/4 (1.25) to finish in the top four.
- Manchester United are at 2/7 (1.28) to finish in the top four.
I think it will be the usual suspects.
Possibly Leeds. I’ve been reading up on Leeds the other day. Marcelo Bielsa has not had a vacation. We know he’s a workaholic looking on improving every season. He’s brought in a few players. Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford are still there, and they’ll want to impress again.
It’s all about their second-season syndrome. It’s going to go one way or another. They’ve got enough to go in a positive way and climb the table. If you’re looking at a team to break into that top six, Leeds are a possibility.
Brendan Rodgers will want to improve. He stayed at Leicester City – I’m sure his name would have been on the lips of a number of clubs looking for new managers, but Leicester have kept him there. He knows the club’s heading in the right direction. He’s done a lot of work there, and he’ll want to improve. He’ll be looking at Champions League places, and he won’t be flustered by the challenge ahead of him and the teams around him spending millions. He’ll believe in himself and his squad. Brendan will be looking for Champions League places and, failing that, a Europa League place.
I think Tottenham under Nuno Espírito Santo have problems. Does Harry Kane stay? I can’t see it now after he stayed away from training. It will be difficult to replace him. Danny Ings might have been the solution, but Aston Villa have acquired him.
I think Mikel Arteta knows how important this season is for Arsenal and their progression. Without European football, they’re going to have a spaced-out season with regards to fixtures. They’ll be able to manage the squad better, and the demands won’t be as tough.
Arteta knows he has to bring success to the club. It is a stepping stone for Arsenal, who are in the shadow of the clubs ahead of them, certainly in the markets and at a footballing level. Success for Arsenal will be European football, and I hope he gets it. I really like him. Arsenal are a bit of guilty pleasure – I don’t know why. Maybe because of Highbury and scoring a few goals against them, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Arsenal. So I’m hoping Arsenal nick one of those places.
- Arsenal are at 9/2 (5.50) to finish in the top six.
- Leicester City are at 9/2 (5.50) to finish in the top six.
- Tottenham Hotspur are at 4/1 (5.00) to finish in the top six.
- Leeds United are at 12/1 (13.00) to finish in the top six.
Brentford, Watford and Norwich have come up. If you look at the three, you’ll know that Norwich have had a taste of the big time in recent years, so have Watford – who are being managed differently now.
We’ve seen Watford when they’ve come into the Premier League and thrown millions at it, and it didn’t quite work, and they fell back down.
It’s all fresh for Brentford. Fans are excited, they’ve got a small ground, and the manager plays exciting football. Whether that can carry through into the Premier League remains to be seen. They’ve got a tight-knit bunch. Ivan Toney, their centre-forward, has been tagged as an England prospect after scoring 31 goals last season. They’re going to need his goals, and they’re going to need to keep him fit and confident. He looks like a confident boy, so they could be alright if they can get him firing and scoring a few goals.
The teams you worry about are obviously Brentford because they don’t know this scenario. They haven’t been here before – as opposed to Watford and Norwich – who I think, one of them could go down. I’m looking at Norwich.
There are other teams to throw into the mix, Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., Newcastle – can Steve Bruce pull a rabbit out of the hat again?
Crystal Palace with Patrick Viera. Although he’s managed for a few years with OGC Nice – where it didn’t go too well for him and in America where it wasn’t great – he’s a bit of an unknown quantity. He’s got to get the best out of the likes of Benteke. He’s also lost a few players too, Andros Townsend, Patrick van Aanholt and Bakary Sako. He’s got some youths coming through, and it’s all about how quickly he can bed them in and how quick some of his young singings can adapt to the Premier League. It’s going to be a tough ask for Patrick Viera – and I hope it works out for him and Palace.
I’m going to go with Brentford, Norwich and I’m going to throw in a surprise and say Newcastle.
There’s so much quality in the Premier League.
We don’t know Harry Kane’s future, so if he does sign for a team like Manchester City – with the chances they create – I don’t think you can see past him. For Harry Kane not to finish on top of the bunch would be down to him and injuries, I think, certainly, if he gets that move to Man City. Let’s just play it with where he’s currently at, Tottenham.
The other contenders are the likes of Mohamed Salah and Gabriel Jesus that you can throw into the mix. Dominic Calvert-Lewin could also have a really good season at Everton under Benitez. Although Rafa is quite pragmatic, I still think Calvert-Lewin could get the goals. You know, if Harry Kane moves from Tottenham, maybe that money might be freed up, and I think he’d be a fantastic signing for the likes of Tottenham.
Chelsea need to sign a striker. You know Romelu Lukaku has been heavily linked. If Lukaku comes, he’s going to push.
As we stand today going into the season – as I fancy Liverpool to win the league – goals pay the rent, and I’m going to go with Mohamed Salah again to be the Premier League Golden Boot winner.
- Mohamed Salah is at 9/2 (5.50) to win the Golden Boot.
- Harry Kane is at 33/10 (4.30) to win the Golden Boot.
- Gabriel Jesus is at 16/1 (17.00) to win the Golden Boot.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin is at 25/1 (26.00) to win the Golden Boot.
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing.