This year’s UEFA Super Cup will throw up a massive battle. The game is pencilled in for Friday, August 30th and it will be played at the Eden Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. Stepping out to duel for the title, which was formerly the European Super Cup, will be UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich and UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea. It is a mouth watering clash between two of Europe’s heavyweights and for the first time in the last four year’s there won’t be a Spanish name on the title. Barcelona and Altetico Madrid had spilt the last four editions between them at two each.
It was Altetico Madrid who destroyed Chelsea in last season’s UEFA Super Cup, then with Chelsea as Champions League winners, and the Spaniards holding the UEFA Europa League title. A tremendous performance from Atletico’s Radamel Falcao saw the English Premier League club get shot down 4-1 on the night at the Stade Louis II, where the Super Cup had been held for the previous fifteen years. It is a match which will now go its travels, with the 2014 edition at the Cardiff City Stadium, and the 2015 showing at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium.
Former Barcelona man Pep Guardiola is now at the helm of the German powerhouse side, and they are trading as favourites to win the 2013 UEFA Super Cup. Interestingly though, history is not particularly on their side here, as they have been to the UEFA Super Cup three times before, in 1975, 1976 and most recently in 2001 and they lost all three of those appearances. That is in contrast to Chelsea who have won one and lost one of their two appearances. But with the power that Bayern Munich displayed last season on all fronts, producing a stunning style of play, an immense defence and immense prowess in front of goal, they are favourites.
Chelsea were in this position last season, as mentioned, when they went up against Atletico Madrid. The Spaniards didn’t give the Blues a chance in the game. But there is of course this time around, the Jose Mourinho factor who is back in charge at Stamford Bridge again. The Blues haven’t been splashing big cash around during the summer, as many had expected them to do. They did draft in a big German name though in the form of Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen, and were actively trying to lure Wayne Rooney away from Premier League rivals Manchester United.
This match up will bring back memories of the last time the two clubs met, which was in the final of the 2011/12 Champions League. With a 1-1 draw on the night in Munich, Chelsea were totally outplayed by the German side, yet it was the English side who prevailed in a dramatic penalty shoot out after having their backs to the wall. The previous meetings between the two sides before that came in the 2004/05 Champions League, with both sides winning their respective home matches. Over the summer, Bayern Munich were trading at 5/6, favourites, with Chelsea out at 15/4 in 2013 UEFA Super Cup betting odds.
The race for the Golden Boot in the Premier League starts all over again in mid-August 2013 and there is a clear front runner in the market. That will be Manchester United’s goal machine Robin van Persie and the Dutchman top scored last season with a great 26 goal haul. Three of those were from the penalty spot, but just his overall prowess leading the Red Devil’s front line, and pretty much having the sole responsibilities on his shoulders with Rooney out of form, got him there. In the previous season as well he fired in 30 goals as top scorer with Arsenal. With the Red Devils not looking to bolster their forward line in the summer transfer window, and new boss David Moyes saying that Rooney will likely be back up, it should be the Robin van Persie show again.
Where are the other main options? Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero has been second favourite in the Barclays Premier League top goal scorer market, even though he didn’t even finish as City’s top scorer last season. He was outshone by Edin Dzeko, albeit because of injury issues, but with the Citizens now under the guidance of Manuel Pellegrini, who has promised to make them an even more attacking and stylish side, Aguero could flourish again. But City also have the new option in Stevan Jovetic after the prolific Fiorentina club joined up with the Premier League side club. But just to throw a third name into the mix, they also have the goals and straight forward attacking talent of Alvaro Negredo to look for as well.
After a 21 goal haul last season, Tottenham’s Gareth Bale is priced around the same mark as Negredo and Wayne Rooney to finish top scorer. During the summer, this is where a bit of uncertainty comes in. With Bale being linked heavily to Real Madrid in the summer, will he even be around to get among the Premier League top goal scorer race? The same can be said of Wayne Rooney. Should he stay at Manchester United he could be second fiddle to Van Persie, but if Jose Mourinho gets his way at Stamford Bridge and signs the England striker, the entire focus of attack will be on his shoulders and he could very well flourish. But wherever he plays, will he have the guns to outshoot Van Persie over the course of a season?
Two players who went very well last season, Luis Suarez and Christian Benteke could be worth a look for some. However, with the uncertainty over Suarez’s future itself at Liverpool, combined with the fact that he will be missing a bunch of games at the start of the season, make punters hesitant over him. One new name who could be heavily in the race this season to finish as top scorer could be Roberto Soldado. The Spain international secured a move to Tottenham in the summer given his prolific results last season for Valencia in La Liga, combined with the fact that Spurs, heading towards the new season will only have Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe as other options, could be a decent dark horse shot. Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku following his great season for West Brom could be in a prime role at Stamford Bridge this season and flourish even more.
Premier League Odds – Premier League Betting
There are plenty of active markets on top goal scorer betting for the individual clubs in the Barclays Premier League next season. Not only will the chase to be the Premier League’s top goal scorer for the season be in force, but you can break the whole thing down into twenty individual chases and look at the top goal scorer for each club. Now, ahead of the new season there will still be some grey areas here because of transfers. The summer of 2013 has really been about three of the league’s top goal getters, Luis Suarez, Wayne Rooney and Gareth Bale all being linked with moves. But still, with that in place there are is still some value around.
For example the Arsenal Top Team Goal scorer market has been opened with Theo Walcott as valuable 15/8 favourite, ahead of striker Olivier Giroud in at 5/2. Walcott top scored for the Gunners last season a couple clear of Santi Cazorla on his debut season in the Premier League. With the Gunners chasing hard for Liverpool’s Luis Saurez though, the market could change on this one. So to the positions at Chelsea and Manchester United, with the future of England striker Wayne Rooney in doubt. The Stamford Bridge outfit have been interesting in luring the unsettled Rooney away from Old Trafford.
At Chelsea, the bookmakers have been split between Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku, who have been trading as joint favourites to top score for Chelsea. Lukaku had a tremendous season out on loan with West Brom last term and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho could keep him around, especially if they don’t land Wayne Rooney. Lukaku, much in the mould of Didier Drogba, is the big powerful forward that Mourinho likes. Options behind them are Frank Lampard at 4/1 and Demba Ba at 6/1. At Manchester United things are a little more clear, with Robin Van Persie, last year’s top scorer in the league, the short priced, yet outstanding value.
Over at Swansea, there could be fascinating race to be the top scorer at the club, with Michu being joined by Wilfried Bony this season. If they click together quickly there could be a lot of goals in the league season for both of them and you could take either for around a price of Evens to deliver. There will be new expectations at Goodison Park under new manager Roberto Martinez as he has brought in Arouna Kone to bolster their offence alongside Kevin Mirallas and Nikica Jelavic. Will it be a straight forward case of Christian Benteke top scoring for Aston Villa? Will new Tottenham star Roberto Soldado beat out Gareth Bale at White Hart Lane for top scorer honours?
There should be plenty of goals flying in from Manchester City next season, thanks to new manager Manuel Pellegrini bringing in more attacking talent. Sergio Aguero will be under pressure from Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko in terms of goal scoring responsibilities. It should be a fantastic race there, but the proven talents of Aguero is favourite for next season, but it was Dzeko, dubbed super-sub for most of the term, who top scored for the club, netting two more than Aguero did. The packed race does make for some good value for club top goal scorer betting though.