Continuing with an overview of the outright markets on the Premier League provided by William Hill, I'll be considering the odds on the Highest Scoring Team in 2020-21.
In recent years the number of goals being scored in the Premier League by the top teams has skyrocketed thanks in large to the expansive football being played by Man City and the likes of Liverpool who have had to match them in order to mount a serious title challenge.
With heavy investment by the chasing pack likely during the close season, we could well be in for another high-scoring affair but which team will score the most goals over the 38 game Premier League season?
By far the favourites to retain their title as the highest scoring team in the Premier League are Manchester City and with good reason. The Citizens have been top scorers in the Premier League for the last 3 seasons and have finished as the most prolific side in 7 of the last 9 years.
The quite simple facts that underline their goal-scoring prowess are that they have had a higher % of possession and more shots on target than any other team in each of the last 3 Premier League seasons. With the squad that Guardiola has to choose from already and re-inforcements on the way to help sustain their attacking style of play, it seems unlikely that City won't be banging them in left, right and centre again in 2020-21.
Unlike some of the other sides in this preview, City are also not as dependent on any single goalscorer. Last year they had 5 players who notched double figures in terms of Premier League goals with Manchester United the next highest on that list with 3 players who scored 10 or more goals in 2019/20.
Furthermore, this City team doesn't seem to like to ease off. Once they taste blood in the water many of their matches turn into a real feeding frenzy with 11 of their Premier League games in 2019/20 seeing them score 4 or more goals which again is a significantly higher figure than any of their challengers managed.
Prediction: Liverpool have pushed City very hard over the last couple of seasons and while they may have come out on top in regards total points, they were still 17 goals shy of Pep's men in the total goal-scoring charts in 2019-20. While City undoubtedly need to have a rethink in regards their defensive strategy, I can't see Guardiola abandoning the style of play that often makes them a joy to watch for the neutral fan and as a result the goals will surely continue to flow.
Odds: Given the above Man City are rightly the run away favourites to be the highest scoring Premier League team of 2020/21. Even so, odds of @1.53 are more than decent value for a side that has been head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of attacking football for the past decade.
Liverpool's front 3 is a formidable attacking force and in the last 3 seasons has registered 84, 89 and 85 goals respectively leaving them 2nd only to Man City on each occasion. When you look at the historical scoring records for the Premier League, it's clear to see in the vast majority of its 28 year history, this Liverpool team would have been comfortably the top flight's most effective attacking force had it not have for City setting the bar so high.
The goal scoring of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane doesn't look likely to stop anytime soon but any ambitions that Liverpool have of outscoring Man City next year will probably depend upon either one of them returning to a 25+ goal season and/or a more productive campaign for Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian forward offers Liverpool much more than just goals but his tallies over the past 3 years have continued to fall from 17 to 12 and now just 9 Premier League goals last time out. Equally, Liverpool don't possess a major goal-scoring threat from midfield to rival the likes of Bruno Fernandes or Kevin De Bruyne.
Prediction: In front of The Kop, we know that Liverpool can match City in regards goals scored. The real difference in goals scored by the 2 teams has come away from home with Liverpool scoring 33 to City's 45 last season. However, with City losing 7 matches away from home there is every chance that they will need to revert to a slightly more conservative approach and that could allow Liverpool to close the gap.
Odds: A price of @2.75 is a good representation of Liverpool's chances of overcoming City on this front but I'm sure Klopp will be far more pragmatic in his approach to the season favouring defending his title regardless of number of goals scored.
Outside the top 2 the odds really start to drift but perhaps as we'll see there could be some excellent value here. Manchester United came out after lockdown and played with the kind of swagger that hasn't been seen at Old Trafford since Ferguson's glory days. They scored 22 times in their final 9 matches with only their city rivals finding the back of the net more often after the restart.
Chief amongst the reasons for United's new found appetite for goal scoring is the acquisition of Bruno Fernandes who scored 8 times and provided a further 7 assists in his first 14 Premier League appearances. With Paul Pogba slotting back into midfield next to him you feel that United have the pedigree in that part of the pitch to make a significant improvement on their goal returns next season.
Further forward and the form of Antony Martial should also not be ignored with the Frenchman finally finding a position and system that gets the most out of his predatory instincts. Martial has so far scored 10 Premier League goals in 2020, equal highest with Mo Salah and Danny Ings. Then of course comes young Mason Greenwood who has excited both United and England supporters first with his goal scoring cameos off the bench and more recently his role as a regular starter.
Prediction: United have finished as the Premier League's top scorers a record 13 times and if recent signs are anything to go by then perhaps a return to those glory days are not far around the corner. A continuation of their late season form though 2020/21 would see them breach the 90 goal barrier and put them in with a great chance of eclipsing their 2 bitter rivals mentioned above.
Odds: While questions will remain as to whether United can maintain their goal scoring form over the course of an entire season, the odds of @9.0 represent more than just a decent punt on them to do just that!
Chelsea had a patchy season under Frank Lampard delivering moments of brilliance and others of pure frustration for their new boss. In general though it was their away form that caught the eye with the Blues scoring 39 times on their travels making them the 2nd most prolific scorers away from home in the Premier League during 2019-20.
Chelsea conceded more Premier League goals last season than any other side that finished in the top half of the league but if their early forays into the transfer market are anything to go by then it appears that the West London club will be relying on attack being the best form of defence come the start of the new season.
In Timo Werner, Chelsea have secured the signing of man who they believe will deliver a minimum 20 Premier League goals a season and with a whole host of other young attacking talent in this squad then you would anticipate that Lampard's men will improve on their goal scoring tally of 69 from last season.
Prediction: Chelsea are strengthening throughout their squad but primarily in forward positions. How quickly some of their new signings settle into the Premier League could well define by how much they are able to close the gap on the top sides in terms of total goals scored.
Odds: Chelsea had the 2nd highest expected goals stats in the Premier League last season so if their young side and new signings can be a bit more clinical this time around then then odds of @13.0 might turn out to be a real bargain!
Fancy a bet on anyone else? Well then you are looking at some really long odds! Arsenal are the next shortest offering @51.0 and to see why you only need to consider the fact that they scored exactly half the goals that Man City did in last season's Premier League.
For more predictions and odds on the Premier League 2020-21 outright markets check out the following blogs
Odds on the 2020-21 Premier League Winners including detailed analysis on Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Man United's chance of being crowned league champions.
At the other end of the spectrum, you can read predictions and odds on relegation from the Premier League in 2020/21 including analysis on the fate of sides such as West Brom, Fulham, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.