Just How good Has the Premier League Been Over the Last Few Years?
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Well, it looks very likely the English top-flight has now cemented itself as the best league in the world again, after a decade of Spanish dominance.
On Saturday, May 29, just hours after the Premier League finds out who will be its third promoted team via the EFL Championship Playoff Final, Chelsea and Manchester City will compete in the UEFA Champions League Final to figure out which is the best team in Europe this year.
If we are only going on the eye test, Manchester City has to be the favorite in this game, and the odds from the various sportsbooks show this to be true. The Cityzens have odds of +100, with Chelsea +290 and the draw +235, according to the betting site bet365.
However, those odds have come down: Manchester City was even more heavily favored after the semifinal results set up this final.
In that time, Chelsea has beaten City twice: once in the F.A. Cup semifinals, and once in the Premier League, a result which set up Chelsea to finish the season in the top four.
Despite those two losses, the signs all still point to Manchester City for me. The sole goal of this team, since the time Pep Guardiola was appointed five years ago, has been to win the Champions League. Yes, the Cityzens have won three of the last four Premier League titles, along with a host of Carabao Cups and a F.A. Cup or two.
But this has been the holy grail for the owners: to buy their way into the European elite, something Chelsea has already done with its Champions League title in 2012. And now, City is just 90 minutes away from doing that.
If the Cityzens win, people might forget that they were actually supposed to be banned from this competition for two years due to flagrant violations of the Financial Fair Play rules. The two-year ban City got was overturned by the CAS, but most have seen the evidence that the club was participating in financial doping of some sort. At this point, though, none of that matters: they were allowed to play, and now sit on the precipice of their first Champions League title.
There is no way Manchester City, which struggled mightily as favorites in the quarterfinals over the last few years, will have gotten to this point only to fall in the final.
Manchester City will win the title, and the +100 odds are good value right now for bettors to back the Cityzens. If you think Chelsea will win the contest, you can also get the Blues at almost 3-1, which would be tempting. I don’t see it, though.
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