Chelsea the favourites for mouth-watering showdown

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A north London derby victory on Sunday, allied with Chelsea’s defeat to Aston Villa, have thrust Arsenal right back into an intriguing title race.

And indeed the Gunners will arguably be jostling for favouritism with the Blues for the Premier League crown if they manage to acquire maximum points against Jose Mourinho’s table-toppers at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

However, Arsene Wenger’s men are William Hill’s 3/1 outsiders ahead of the mouth-watering showdown while Chelsea are 21/20 at BetVictor to emerge triumphant, effectively putting paid to Arsenal’s title hopes and it’s 5/2 with bet365 to finish all-square.

That was the outcome when the pair met at the Emirates Stadium back in December and Ladbrokes mark 10/1 against a repeat of the goalless scoreline from that encounter.

However, prior to the victory at White Hart Lane, the Gunners had taken just one point from their previous three away fixtures and as the Blues are just so strong on their own patch, a slender home win gets the nod.

BetVictor chalk Chelsea up at 27/10 to shade it by a one-goal margin, they’re 13/2 at Winner.com to record a 1-0 victory and 4/1 (Stan James) to only secure the spoils following an inconclusive first period.

Pundits and bookmakers alike seemed to upgrade Liverpool’s title hopes from slim to realistic following the stunning victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, a result that saw the Reds slashed to just 10/3 by bet365 to top the pile.

Just four points adrift of the summit with a game in hand over leaders Chelsea, Brendan Rodgers’s rampant side are expected to collect another maximum haul this weekend as they head to struggling Cardiff, BetVictor installing them as 9/20 favourites.

Indeed, in-form Liverpool are capable of dominating so they might be worth an interest at 9/10 in Stan James’s handicaps, when starting a goal in arrears or alternatively, Paddy Power price the Reds at even money to be in front at the end of each half.

The fourth team in the race for top spot, Manchester City, can also enhance their chances, this time against Fulham. Manuel Pellegrini’s team are 1/7 (Stan James) to send the rock-bottom Cottagers home empty-handed and 15/2 with bet365 to notch twice without reply at the Etihad Stadium.

Everton maintained their pursuit of a Europa League berth with a hard-fought 2-1 success over Cardiff at Goodison Park last time out and they’re strong favourites at 3/5 courtesy of betway to get the better of more Welsh opposition as they entertain Swansea this weekend.

A victory could take them above Tottenham into fifth too as Spurs may have to settle for a point at home to Southampton, an outcome William Hill quote at 12/5.

At Upton Park, meanwhile, BetVictor’s 4/1 about a West Ham success over Manchester United looks huge given their opponents dismal performance against Liverpool and the same firm mark a generous 13/5 against the Hammers in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market.

Down at the bottom, Paddy Power offer 23/10 about Norwich and Sunderland dividing the points at Carrow Road, Hull (11/10, Skybet) can nick it against West Brom at the KC Stadium and it’s 17/20 with Winner.com for Newcastle to plunge travel-sick Crystal Palace deeper into trouble.

Finally, on Sunday, Aston Villa are 23/20 (Ladbrokes) to overcome Stoke.

Coming into the clash on the back of three successive victories, Warrington are William Hill’s 4/7 favourites for the points as they host Wigan (6/4, BetVictor) in tonight’s (Thursday) televised Super League showdown.

The mid-table Warriors have won two and lost two so far this term and it’s hard to see them overhauling the Wolves, who have recovered from a tricky start to the campaign to move into sixth spot in the table.

Moreover, the home side get the nod in the handicaps, where they’re 10/11 (bet365) to cover the visitors’ six-point start.

Mo Farah crossed the line in second place in the New York half-marathon last weekend before collapsing shortly after finishing but he’s still the second favourite at 4/1 via BetVictor to win next month’s London Marathon.

Wilson Kipsang, a winner in 2012 and fifth last year, is Skybet’s 9/4 favourite while William Hill rate defending champion Tsegaye Kebede at 7/1 to prevail once more.

All eyes however, will be on Farah, who Ladbrokes rate at 7/4 to finish second or third and 3/1 to end up 7th or worse in his first competitive marathon.

Bet of the week: West Ham to beat Man Utd – 4/1 (BetVictor).

Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com