Chelsea should tighten their grip on top spot

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

The season is only a dozen games old yet Chelsea are already priced at just 1/6 by William Hill to clinch the Premier League title.

Six points clear of the chasing pack, the Blues look set to tighten their grip on top spot this weekend as they travel to Sunderland and bookies agree, Stan James installing Jose Mourinho’s champions-elect as 4/9 favourites to rack up an 11th victory of the campaign on Wearside.

Of course, the fact that the Black Cats have shared the spoils in seven of their 12 matches might lead to the odd speculative stalemate flutter at odds of 7/2 with bet365 but only the two Manchester teams have taken points from Chelsea so far and both were slightly fortunate so it’s hard to oppose the visitors.

Nevertheless, three of the Blues’ last four successes have been by a one-goal margin so it could potentially be a tight affair and BetVictor offer 5/2 about them shading it by one once more.

More accurately, Ladbrokes price the leaders at 15/2 to finish on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline in a fixture that’s a generous 11/10 ( to see both teams find the net and having struck before the interval in all but one of their wins so far, Mourinho’s men look the part at an identical 11/10, this time courtesy of Skybet, to lead at the end of each half.

Diego Costa, meanwhile, again heads the first scorer betting at odds of 3/1 (Paddy Power).

Southampton and Manchester City are the pair in pursuit of Chelsea and they lock horns at the St Mary’s Stadium.

The champions are Stan James’ 5/4 favourites but at no stage this season have they looked remotely convincing and on that basis Saints look overpriced at 5/2 via William Hill.

At the very least, when you consider their home record, Ronald Koeman’s troops are worth an interest ‘Draw No Bet’ at 6/4 with Skybet and bet365 give them a goal start in the handicaps at 3/4.

At Old Trafford, Manchester United look set to continue their decent, recent run, Stan James installing them as 1/3 jollies to overcome Hull and BetVictor rate the Red Devils at a generous 10/3 to seal victory following an even first period.

Defeated at home by United last Saturday, Arsenal are odds-on at 17/20 (Paddy Power) to bounce back by beating West Brom but the best bet at the Hawthorns is betway’s slightly skinnier 3/4 about both sides getting on the scoresheet.

High-flying pair West Ham and Newcastle’s collide at Upton Park and are quoted by Stan James at 5/2 to cancel each other out.

It could also be inconclusive (5/2, BetVictor) at White Hart Lane where Tottenham entertain Everton.

It’s almost 11/1, in a double, at bet365 for both of those matches to finish all square.

Elsewhere, Paddy Power post 4/6 against out-of-sorts Liverpool getting back on track at home to Stoke, BetVictor consider Swansea to be odds-on at 4/5 to see off Crystal Palace and the same firm rate QPR at 11/8 to card a crucial triumph against fellow strugglers Leicester.

At Turf Moor meanwhile, bet365 price Burnley and Aston Villa to be inseparable and it’s 8/1 (William Hill) to be goalless in that one.

England got back on track last weekend as they saw off Samoa 28-9 and that should stand them in good stead as they prepare to welcome Australia to Twickenham for their latest autumn international.

Stuart Lancaster’s side are 4/6 with Stan James to make it back-to-back victories at the expense of the Wallabies (6/4, bet365) and punters seeking slightly bigger prices where the hosts are concerned should head to the handicaps, where England are penalised by four points at odds of 10/11 courtesy of Skybet.

In Cardiff, Wales look slightly overpriced at 21/10 via William Hill as they take on South Africa and they certainly seem worth siding with at 19/20 in betway’s handicaps when starting six points in front.

In boxing, Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora face-off at London’s ExCel Arena in a long-awaited heavyweight re-match with both the vacant British title and the European belt on the line.

Fury won the pair’s first fight in July 2011 via a unanimous decision and the Manchester scrapper is a hot favourite at 2/5 with BetVictor to overcome Chisora (12/5, bet365) once more.

Stan James rate the towering Fury at 9/4 to again triumph but he could get the job done a little earlier and a case can be made for Paddy Power’s 6/4 for the 26-year-old to KO his opponent.

Also on Saturday, Ladbrokes go with Billy Joe Saunders (4/5) as he face Chris Eubank Jr (11/10, but the latter is a real threat and this might be a contest to avoid from a betting perspective.

Bet of the week: Tyson Fury to beat by KO 6/4 (Paddy Power).

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