The football season is back in the UK and other countries across Europe, with Arsenal beating last season’s Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea during the traditional pre-season Community Shield game.
However, despite missing out on the season’s first silverware, it will be Chelsea that will triumph come the end of the season according to Brendan Poots, CEO of Melbourne-based sports hedge fund Priomha Capital, who runs strategies that invests in various sports events including football.
Poots shared his predictions with InvestmentEurope, International Investment’s sister title, noting that the usual suspects top the markets for the 2017/18 Barclays Premier League with Manchester City favourite in the betting world at US$2.90, followed by Chelsea (US$4.70), Manchester United (US$4.90).
Behind the trio remain three other contenders : Tottenham (US$11.00), Arsenal (US$13.00) & Liverpool (US$16.00).
“Our ratings have Manchester City and Chelsea sharing favouritism at around US$3.50. Given the current markets City are not value but we do not want to oppose them… our only BACK (long position) pre-season is Chelsea.
“Manchester United, by our ratings are closer to a US$7.00 chance, consequently we have taken a position against them pre-season. Tottenham, Arsenal & Liverpool all look fairly priced,” Poots explains.
Tough fight to stay up
Priomha Capital’s CEO says that a solid season can be expected from West Ham, Everton and to a lesser extent Southampton as they should finish in the top 10 this season.
“We expect West Brom to drop a few places from last season, and we expect Newcastle to be very competitive in their return to the Premier League,” he argues.
The sport hedge fund’s ratings see Newcastle outperforming the two other promoted teams Huddersfield & Brighton and place the Magpies close to mid table at the end of the season. “We are heavily in Newcastle’s corner,” comments Poots.
“Huddersfield are expected to go straight back down. We cannot disagree with that. Burnley are strongly favoured by the market to be joining them. We do not agree with the market’s opinion. Burnley was very solid at home last season and there is nothing in the key indicators to expect this to change.
“Their home form alone will be enough to keep them up. Our ratings expect improved away performances and this should be more than enough to keep them safe. We will be backing them to stay up. Newcastle will have no issues staying up, now that they are back. This leaves Brighton, Watford, Crystal Palace and Swansea to be fighting to stay up,” Poots argues.
The opening six
Priomha Capital’s CEO pinpoints that apart a couple of pre-season positions taken in the Priomha Cloney Multi-Sport strategy, the hedge fund will look to trade the opening six rounds as their own separate competition.
“Manchester City have a relatively easy opening to the season. Their potentially tricky matches (including Liverpool) are all at home. They are very likely to have at least 16 points after the opening six rounds. If this is the case then they will be trading close to US$2.00.
“Last year, after a solid opening they were trading sub US$1.60 (I pity those that took that price). We will take a small piece of the current US$2.90 on offer with a view to trading this during the opening stage of the season,” says Poots.
He pursues: “In the first six weeks, Chelsea has Tottenham (away) and Arsenal (home) as their toughest tests. We have them dropping points at Spurs but beating Arsenal. They will be on at least 15 points after the first six rounds. Their price will probably firm during this period but given that we already have exposure to them we will not be actively trading.
“Manchester United have a relatively easy run to open the season. They are a strong chance to be undefeated. Consequently, given that they are already very popular in the market we can expect them to be trading around US$3.00 or lower if they start as we expect.
A strong start has been accounted for in our pre-season ratings of Manchester United. We already have exposure to them pre-season. We will increase that exposure should they trade in the US$3.00 range by LAYING (short position) them again.”
Poots suggests that Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool will have harder starts to the season and anticipates they will be all in the 12-15 point range.
“Should this be the case their prices will not drastically move. We will not trade any of these sides during the first six weeks,” Priomha Capital’s CEO says.