The first week of the Premier League season was littered with close contests, as home teams struggled to put away their visiting opposition.
Only two home sides managed to capture all three points in their opening games, with Arsenal and Liverpool winning by the slimmest of margins.
Here we take a look at the latest odds for who will prevail as Premier League champions this season, per Oddschecker, and rank the clubs by their early form and potential.
|Premier League 2014-15: Winner Odds|
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea exploded out of the blocks on Monday night, the only team to score three goals over the opening weekend of fixtures.
They put a marker down of their potential, beating promoted Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor.
Mourinho has re-evaluated his options from last season and added the fresh qualities his squad demanded, including Cesc Fabregas, who shone in his competitive debut for Chelsea.
Bleacher Report's Elko Born hailed the addition of Fabregas and questioned why Manchester United did not fight for his signature:
The inclusion of Diego Costa and Didier Drogba should ensure it rains down with goals at Stamford Bridge this season, making the Blues deserved title favourites. A home clash with Leicester is up next and shouldn't pose too many problems.
2. Manchester City
The Premier League champions started their new campaign in style with a clean sheet and victory at Newcastle, winning 2-0.
The match saw the reintroduction of Sergio Aguero from the bench after a multitude of injuries, and he will be vital to the charge this season. If Aguero stays fit the entire campaign, goals will never be a problem for Manuel Pellegrini's side.
Defence will be the key this year for City as they look to shut out opponents and squeeze the attacking areas. Eliaquim Mangala's summer introduction threatens to give them a domineering partnership alongside Vincent Kompany.
City showed their defensive quality in their first game against solid opposition, but Liverpool are their next challengers, providing a greater examination of their 2014-15 prospects.
Many believed Arsenal would destroy Crystal Palace in their opening gambit of the season, but the dogged team from south London pushed the Gunners all the way.
Arsenal won the match in injury time with a goal from Aaron Ramsey, and the Welshman will be pivotal in Arsene Wenger's title assault this season.
Arsenal have also heavily invested in the talents of Alexis Sanchez, and he may turn out to be the Premier League's most exciting player this term.
However, the Gunners still have defensive weaknesses, as shown against Palace, and that may cost them dearly in the next 12 months. Everton are up next, a trip Arsenal rarely relish.
It is difficult to know what will happen at Anfield this year, but Brendan Rodgers' team struggled to beat Southampton in their first match of the season.
The Reds prevailed because of their two biggest threats: Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge.
The Telegraph's Paul Hayward believes Sterling can be Liverpool's chief protagonist in the coming months:
The question is how far Sterling and Sturridge can carry the club after the departure of Luis Suarez. Rodgers has spent the summer strengthening his squad in all departments, but whether they can all jell immediately is debatable.
They showed great strength to overcome Ronald Koeman's team, but Manchester City will provide a true indicator of the Reds' expectations this term.
A year ago, Spurs lost Gareth Bale and used his transfer fee to refashion their squad, bringing in a host of names to replace their lost icon.
But the experiment failed, and the club have now turned to Mauricio Pochettino to revive their fortunes.
Spurs grabbed a win and a clean sheet away at West Ham to get their new season off to a perfect start despite playing most of the game with 10 men.
The team will be looking for great things from their new boss, who impressed last year with Southampton. He may be their best signing of the summer.
South Wales looked like it might be shrouded with doom and gloom this year, with Cardiff departed and Swansea weakened.
But the team didn't look weak against Manchester United in the early Saturday kick-off, scoring a wonderful 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.
Wilfried Bony will be the key to success this year, and the Swans must retain his services to kick on.
7. Aston Villa
After Ron Vlaar's heroics at the World Cup, there is a renewed optimism surrounding Villa Park.
The Midlands club got their campaign off to a solid start after a hard-fought victory away to Stoke, with Vlaar and new defensive partner Philippe Senderos locking the door and earning a clean sheet.
Expectations will not be high for Villa this season, and that will play into their hands. If Senderos can prove to be a reliable addition, Villa will be hard to score against.
8. Hull City
Steve Bruce's men have made great strides in the past 12 months, and their cup exploits have helped fortify their self-esteem.
They went to QPR on the opening day of the season and showed the Premier League new boys how to dispatch an opponent, winning 1-0.
If Bruce can continue to get the best from his squad, Hull could be the surprise package of the season. Expect a big-name forward to arrive before the deadline after the recent sale of Shane Long for £12 million.
There is no doubt Everton would have expected to collect three points against Leicester in their first match of 2014-15, but promoted sides often throw a spanner in the works.
Romelu Lukaku was signed for a huge fee in the summer after his exploits in the Toffees shirt last year, and Roberto Martinez will need the most he can get from his record buy.
However, Ross Barkley's long-term injury hurts Everton's prospects significantly, and their squad is not deep enough to cover such a loss.
10. Manchester United
Despite losing to Swansea recently, Louis van Gaal's team still have momentum going into their new campaign. The loss may serve to help United in the next few weeks as they look to bring in new faces before the transfer window ends.
United showed glimpses of form in their first game, but new additions are essential. If the club can do some solid business in the next two weeks, the team can challenge for a Champions League place.
Marcos Rojo's anticipated capture must be followed by one or two more names before the deadline, and it shouldn't be forgotten that United have, on paper, an easy start to the campaign.
They may not have managed to penetrate the Manchester City defence, but Newcastle look set for success this term. They have spent the summer adding new recruits and reshaping their roster, and that will surely bear fruit.
Siem de Jong's fitness will be key, as he provides the brains in a new-look attack.
They performed well at the weekend and would have pushed for a result against the champions with some additional luck.
If you had asked a Leicester fan for a point against Everton before the game, they would have jumped at the chance. And that is the result they earned, with a 2-2 draw against the Toffeemen.
Leicester showed that they have heart and determination, and they will cause many a Premier League foe issues this season.
Home form in front of a buoyant crowd will be integral to their fortunes come the end of the season.
Southampton have lost half of their first team during the summer, and expectations have plummeted at St Mary's for the new season. But they showed at Anfield that they will be a force to be reckoned with after a magnificent performance, which merited points.
Ronald Koeman is an astute tactical coach, and he will be able to pick up the ball dropped by Pochettino after his exodus to Spurs.
James Ward-Prowse and Dusan Tadic looked particularly dangerous for Saints, who must find new dangermen after the sales of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Co.
Gus Poyet has done a good job of reviving Sunderland since his appointment, and after their unlikely survival last season, the team now have the opportunity to thrive.
Connor Wickham will be the focus of the attack in 2014-15, but with a fit-again Steven Fletcher in the side, Poyet can look forward to seeing his team win matches.
Ideally, the Black Cats still need another source of goals—hence their long pursuit of Fabio Borini—if they are to avoid another relegation struggle.
15. West Brom
West Brom's stock has fallen in recent times, and they will be relegation candidates this season once again.
The Baggies earned an opening-day draw with Sunderland thanks to a brace from their prodigal talent, Saido Berahino. He is a wonderful player who can develop into one of the Premier League's most exciting attackers. The club's hopes rest on him this term.
Mark Hughes will be bitterly disappointed in his team's opening-day loss at home to Aston Villa, but their prospects look good after the addition of Bojan Krkic from Barcelona.
The Spanish international had an impressive pre-season for his new club, and he is sure to get goals in the Premier League if Hughes can ensure a strong pipeline of service for the diminutive talent.
The Britannia, as always, will be key to their form, so it was an unwanted setback that they got off to a losing start on home soil.
17. West Ham
It looks like tough times might be ahead for the Upton Park club this year. There is still some confusion as to Sam Allardyce's long-term involvement with the team and whether the fans are happy with his pragmatic style of play.
It did not work against Spurs, and the team sank to a 1-0 defeat despite enjoying a numerical advantage for long periods.
West Ham's overall prospects do not look as healthy as in recent times, although Enner Valencia's capture should supply goals.
18. Crystal Palace
Tony Pulis' involvement at Crystal Palace breathed new life into the Selhurst Park club in recent months, but that evaporated when the team parted company with their boss. Despite this, Palace went to Arsenal on the opening day and nearly shocked their illustrious London rivals, taking the lead before slipping to an unfortunate late defeat.
If Palace can make the right appointment to replace Pulis, they can consolidate and survive another season in the Premier League—but only just.
Right now, the heart has been sucked from the club, so the right leader is needed to appease players and fans alike.
Harry Redknapp's boys failed to net in their Loftus Road bow at the weekend, and the team will do well to stay up this season.
They may have recruited Rio Ferdinand and Steven Caulker to solidify their defence, but whether they have the depth to compete is yet to be seen.
However, the retention of Loic Remy will help matters if they can tie him down for the next 12 months.
The Turf Moor club was in delirium early on in their battle with Chelsea, taking the lead and celebrating wildly. But Mourinho's team moved swiftly through the gears and dispatched them.
How Burnley can survive a league of this quality is unknown. Every match will be an epic occasion for them, but they are likely to see Championship football once again after the current flirtation with the top division.
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