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Focus on new bosses as Premier League football returns

Premier League football returns tomorrow following the international break. All eyes will be on two particular managers as their new clubs play their first encounters under their stewardship.

Liverpool play their first game under the charge of Jurgen Klopp with a visit to Tottenham. Sunderland, with veteran Sam Allardyce at the helm, will be seeking to escape the relegation zone with a trip to a West Brom side that is desperate to avoid slipping into the bottom three.

Klopp was brought to Anfield following a lacklustre start to the campaign, which saw Brendan Rodgers given the push. The German is refusing to assign blame for his squad’s past failings; instead, he wants his men to start proving themselves at White Hart Lane.

“It is not so interesting what happened a week ago or two weeks, only what the players can do now,” Klopp told the pre-match conference.

The football betting odds see Liverpool being given 7/4 against Tottenham’s 6/4, with 12/5 for the draw.

The bookies are being less kind to Big Sam’s Sunderland as odds are being offered of 14/5 against 21/20 for West Brom, 11/5 for a share of the points.

Despite their below-par start, Chelsea are odds-on favourite to beat visitors Aston Villa at 1/3. Table-topping Manchester City are favourites to see off the challenge of AFC Bournemouth also at 1/3.

Southampton are 3/4 favourites to gain the points when they meet Leicester, while Arsenal are being offered at 4/7 to gain victory at Watford. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace are odds-on favourites to win against visitors West Ham at 19/20.

Manchester United are given odds of 11/8 as their bid to reclaim former glories continues with a trip to Everton.

For the Sunday fixture, Newcastle are being given odds of 6/4 to gain the better of Norwich at St James Park, while Swansea are 21/20 to beat visitors Stoke in the Monday night game.

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Could a change of manager boost Arsenal’s title hopes?

It has been 12 seasons of hurt as far as Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes are concerned. Under manager Arsene Wenger, the Gunners have won the title three times, but the last time is now more than ten years in the past.

Arsenal might be perennial Champions League entrants, but even that pales into insignificance when compared with winning the world’s richest league. The football betting fraternity does not appear to have total confidence in the Gunners winning this season’s title.

Ladbrokes are currently offering odds of 12/5 to fans willing to bet on Arsenal ending the 2015-16 campaign as champions. That is the second best in the league; Manchester City are being offered at 4/5.

Following their below par start, current champions Chelsea are being given odds of 18/1 to retain their title, and their manager, Jose Mourinho, is undoubtedly already under pressure.

There are occasional rumblings about Wenger’s continued presence at the Emirates Stadium, but that is nothing compared to the pressure endured by Mourinho or that which led to Brendan Rodgers’ departure from Liverpool.

However, the Frenchman does have his detractors, especially among his peers, the latest being new Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce. Nevertheless, Wenger’s players remain loyal to him. Striker Danny Welbeck told The National: “Obviously, Arsene’s done a great job at Arsenal, and you can’t really fault what he’s done. When I’ve been there he’s been great with me and great with the other lads as well from what I’ve seen.”

If Wenger finally departs, who is his successor likely to be? The bookies were left wrong-footed when their favourite, Jurgen Klopp, moved to Liverpool instead. Another likely new Gunners manager being mooted is former two-time Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Could Arsenal’s hopes of ending their Premier League title drought be boosted if the likes of Ancelotti take over? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, however, Wenger remains in charge.