Five Premier League Football Bets That Are No Longer Good Value

Louis van Gaal (Getty Images)

There are some Premier League football bets that looked, before the first two games of the season, to be good value. This was because of pre-season scores, new signings, or just a lack of understanding of what decisions would mean for teams. What has turned out is quite different - and here we look at some bets that were decent value, but are now not, for various reasons.

Diego Costa - Premier League Top Scorer

The Brazilian-born Spanish international was top scorer in the league last season, and after a summer off tournament football, many of us thought that the big man would pick up where he left off, before his hamstrings started to hurt. Instead, the striker seems to be struggling as are the remainder of the Chelsea squad.

This may be a temporary situation, but it's not aided by a player who needs good service and has a suspect injury record not being supported by substitute attackers who are on form. Patrick Bamford, the Championship Player of the Year at Middlesbrough last season, is on loan at Crystal Palace, while Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao do not look like solutions to the scoring problem.

Raheem Sterling - PFA Young Player of the Year

The odds for Sterling to win this particular award are actually pretty good - 13/2 is being offered by Paddy Power at the time of going to press. However, the former Liverpool star took a risk with his career by going to Manchester City, a team filled with stars. He's playing on the left win to accommodate the superior David Silva in his central playmaker's role from his former club.

Hence, Sterling isn't the main star of his team any more. In fact, he's one of a large number of game-changers, at a team where winning the league is the expectation, not a surprise. All this makes it less likely Sterling will stand out enough for his peers to vote him as the best young player of 2015/16.

Manchester United - Win the Premier League

This might seem a little harsh - we're only two games into the season, so how can we discount United from winning the Premier League? Louis van Gaal's signings so far have suggested a title push, however, reinforcements in defence and midfield have not been matched by an attacking replacement for Robin van Persie and Falcao, who were both allowed to leave in the summer.

This doesn't mean you should write United totally off; don't forget that Alex Ferguson's team won the 1992/93 title after an appalling start, when he bought Eric Cantona from Leeds United, a move which changed the course of the club. However, there are few available Cantonas these days, and the only equivalent player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, is too old and too expensive for United to sign.

It's likely United will challenge in coming seasons - but the development of a new team takes longer than has been allowed so far, and far more likely is a push for the Champions League.

Claudio Ranieri - Next Manager to Leave His Position

Many people, BookieSmash included, thought Ranieri to be a busted flush after his failure at international level as manager of the Greece national team. We could not understand why Leicester City would hire the Italian instead of club legend Martin O'Neill.

However, Ranieri is wily, and he knows that Nigel Pearson's team is not something to change, at least not while the key players ride the crest of a wave of confidence. Of course Ranieri might still be sacked, but Leicester's Thai owners will be pleased with the positive start to the season, and they have a reputation for patience with managers who fail in the short-term, if bad results come later on.

Sunderland - To Stay Up

Sunderland were tips to improve on their narrow escape from relegation, however the expected signings have not come to fruition, and the squad Dick Advocaat has to work with is shipping goals at an alarming rate. Unless something changes quickly in the club's culture, this could be the latest relegation calamity to befall a big club.

It's far less than the Black Cats' huge following deserve; these supporters have seen the team through thin and thinner, and won't want to be watching Championship football next season.