Manchester City will begin the 2012/13 Premier League season as favourites to retain their title despite Manchester United agreeing a deal to sign Robin van Persie, according to 888sport.

United confirmed an agreement with Arsenal over the signing of the Netherlands forward on Wednesday evening, and after missing out on a 20th league title last season on goal difference, Van Persie will be a valued addition to the Old Trafford front-line.

However, having won their first domestic title for 44 years last season, Roberto Mancini's side will go into the new campaign as favourites to make it back-to-back league championships.

Manchester City
City are favorites to win a successive league title.

City begin the season as 5/4 favourites to be champions, while rivals United, chasing a 13th Premier League title are at 9/4.

After making four additions during the summer, comprising of a raft of creative players including Eden Hazard and Oscar, Chelsea start the season as narrow third favourites to follow their Champions League and FA Cup double with their fourth Premier League crown.

Despite signing Germany striker Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud from Ligue 1 champions Montpellier to replace Van Persie, Arsenal are 14/1 to win their first title for eight years.

After bringing in new managers in Andre Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers, both Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are odds-on to miss out on qualification for the Champions League, and are 33/1 to secure their first Premier League title to the trophy cabinet.

Last season's fifth place side Newcastle United are 16/1 to finish in the top four, after last season's fifth place finish, while Everton, who have re-signed Steven Pienaar are 22/1 to qualifying for the Champions League.

At the bottom end of the table, newly promoted pair Southampton (5/4) and Reading (6/5), and Chris Hughton's Norwich City (6/4) are the three big favourites to be relegated into The Championship after the upcoming season.

Fellow promoted side West Ham United are at 2/1 to go down along with Swansea City, while West Bromwich Albion are at 4/1 and Queens Park Rangers are 9/2.

The 21st Premier League season gets underway this weekend following the most thrilling term in recent memory.