Can City end the Gunners’ fading title hopes?

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This season’s title race has been one of the most intriguing for years and there’s still time for a few more twists and turns as the campaign enters the home straight with several of the teams bidding to be crowned champions, still to face each other.

Arsenal and Manchester City lock horns at the Emirates Stadium in one such showdown at tea time on Saturday and bookies appear relatively confident that the visitors will put paid to the Gunners’ fading hopes of topping the pile, Skybet installing Manuel Pellegrini’s men as 7/5 favourites.

The hosts are 2/1 chances with Stan James and BetVictor offer 5/2 about a stalemate, a price that will attract interest in north London; indeed, that’s probably a result both teams would have settled for earlier this term but with points at a premium at this stage in the piece, both are likely to go for it.

If that proves to be the case then City’s additional quality can give them the edge and bet365 chalk them up at 3/1 to shade it by one-goal margin.

Alternatively, Ladbrokes mark 8/1 against Pellegrini’s troops registering a 2-1 triumph, they’re 13/4 (betway) to come out on top without keeping a clean sheet and at the other end, Sergio Aguero is fighting to shake off a hamstring injury and if he wins that battle, the City front man will be well backed at 9/2 courtesy of Stan James to break the deadlock.

Rampant Liverpool have to be fancied at 1/2 with bet365 to stay in the title hunt by beating unconvincing Tottenham at Anfield, where Tim Sherwood’s charges are BetVictor’s 13/2 underdogs.

In the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane back in December, the Reds mauled Spurs 5-0, a repeat of which is as high as 40/1 (BetVictor) but while Rodgers’s side are prolific, that kind of scoreline is a touch ambitious and a better bet might be bet365’s 11/1 about a 3-1 Reds victory in match that’s a safe looking 8/13 via William Hill to see both teams find the net.

Struggling in attack, Crystal Palace are winless in five and it’s easy to fear for them as they prepare to entertain Premier League leaders Chelsea. quote the Blues at just 9/20 to make the short journey back to Stamford Bridge in possession of a vital maximum haul and as the Eagles have managed just one goal in five outings, an away success ‘to nil’ catches the eye at 13/10 (BetVictor).

Despite a turbulent term, Manchester United should be far too strong for Aston Villa at Old Trafford and Paddy Power agree, installing the outgoing champions as 4/11 jollies.

Everton meanwhile, still possess slender hopes of European qualification and are 5/6 at Stan James to enhance those by overcoming Fulham at Craven Cottage. The Toffees combine with United and Chelsea in a treble at 27/10 (BetVictor).

Elsewhere, Sunderland might have to settle for a share of the spoils (23/10, Skybet) at home to West Ham, Stan James price West Brom and Cardiff at 13/5 to be inseparable in their relegation six-pointer at the Hawthorns and bet365 post 11/4 against a stalemate as Swansea welcome Norwich to the Liberty Stadium.

Finally, offer a Stoke triumph at 5/4 ahead of their clash with Hull and Ladbrokes’s 4/5 shots Southampton should defeat Newcastle.

Struggling London are 10/1 with Stan James to grab their first win of the Super League season as they host high-flying Castleford (1/14, BetVictor) but it’s hard to oppose the Tigers, who are 10/11 at to cover the Broncos 22-point start in the handicaps on Thursday.

Meanwhile, it’s first against second on Friday as St Helens host Leeds, although it’s the Rhinos, at 4/9 (bet365) that are expected to topple the leaders.

Nevertheless, aided by home advantage the Saints will fancy their chances of preserving their hundred percent record and BetVictor give them a six-point cushion in the handicaps at even money.

Finally in Formula One, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished second in the Australian Grand Prix only to be later disqualified but his performance across the weekend means he’s overpriced at 20/1 (Ladbrokes) to prevail in Malaysia. Alternatively, BetVictor rate Ricciardo at 9/2 to finish on the podium and the same firm’s 10/1 about one of the Red Bulls qualifying in pole position is hard to ignore.

Bet of the week: Man City to beat Arsenal by one – 3/1 (bet365).

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