Whilst the World Cup has everyone’s attention focused on Russia, Premier League clubs are preparing for their own campaign, a much longer tournament with far more thrills and spills than the three-week festival of football dominating the headlines.
Manchester City ran away with the title last season and there’s a strong suggestion they’ll do so again. With most of their key players over in Russia, much of what they’re doing right now is transfer preparation Liverpool will be amongst the favourites, too, with their talisman striker also featuring in the World Cup. Will his form have bookies thinking Liverpool’s challenge is on the skids?
Manchester United will be delighted with the start one of their stars has made too as it could it give Jose Mourinho hope for the upcoming Premier League assault. Spurs will be delighted with Harry Kane’s start to the tournament, amongst the goals and highlighting his own ability. As the tournament progresses you’ll find the odds of success changing at Ladbrokes football betting, rising and falling gently with the players’ performances.
Which of the key players are likely to come back rejuvenated from Russia, hungry for success and eager to fire their team to glory? Which players absence from the big event might also be significant?
Harry Kane – Spurs
Kane must be the first one who will take heart from his performances. Like Gary Lineker before him, he’s in line to secure a Golden Boot for England and is carrying the hopes of a nation on his shoulders. If that continues, Spurs chances of lifting the Premier League title will surely continue, too. If England go all the way, though, will Kane be suffering burn-out by the time the season kicks off?
Mohammed Salah – Liverpool
The World Cup has been a disappointment for the Egyptian, as his side failed to win a point and his impact was minimal. For Liverpool, that is perhaps the best thing that could happen. He now gets a break before the big kick-off and that could help them immensely.
Leroy Sane – Manchester City
As Germany struggle with a mediocre group, Leroy Sane sits at home watching on TV. It’s criminal he isn’t in the German squad, but Manchester City will be delighted. Sane won’t have fatigue from a summer of football, that is for sure. Germany will be expected to be involved right up until the dying embers, meaning their squad will get little recovery time.
Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United
Manchester United will be needing their big striker to come up with goals and he’s done just that for his country. The ideal scenario for United would be a last sixteen exit for Belgium, or perhaps a quarter-final defeat, so they get Lukaku back for a rest, but still benefit from him having found a vein of form. One thing he’s always suffered from is an inability to turn international form into domestic success, though, so Mourinho will be watching carefully.
Eden Hazard – Chelsea
It seems odd to think of Chelsea as outsiders in the title race, but that is exactly what they are now. Eden Hazard is their talisman but if his good performances continue, they could be in danger of tempting big bids from abroad. They won’t want him returning on the back of good form, they just want him to return – full stop.