It’s a cliché that you can’t win the title in September but you can lose it and there will undoubtedly be plenty of pundits writing off champions Manchester City’s chances of retaining their crown should they fall eight points off the pace by losing to Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday.
However, assisted by their home advantage, Manuel Pellegrini’s troops are considered 6/4 favourites by William Hill to close the gap on their rivals to just two points while the Blues are 2/1 with BetVictor to register a success that would be crucial even at this early stage of the campaign.
Inevitably, a collision of such heavyweights will generate interest in the stalemate, available here at 5/2 via Stan James and in a contest that should see both teams find the net (7/10, Ladbrokes), a case can be made for a score draw at 7/2 courtesy of BetVictor.
More precisely, Winner.com go 13/2 about a 1-1 scoreline, although it might be worth a more speculative flutter on it finishing two-each at 12/1 (bet365) given that Chelsea’s four matches have produced a whopping 21 goals.
That statistic lends appeal to betway’s 4/5 for the teams to come up with at least three goals between them at Eastlands, where BetVictor rate Diego Costa at 11/8 to continue his blistering start to life with the Blues by notching at any stage. City front man Sergio Aguero is identically priced.
Manchester United lifted the gloom over Old Trafford last week by hammering QPR 4-0 but one swallow doesn’t make a summer and it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’ll justify their slender odds of 8/13 (Stan James) by brushing aside Leicester too.
The Foxes have started the season impressively, in light of the difficulty of their fixtures and although Winner.com’s 9/2 for them to secure maximum points is perhaps a touch ambitious, Paddy Power rate Nigel Pearson’s side at a generous 7/2 in the ‘Draw No Bet’ market and they benefit from a goal start in bet365’s handicaps at 7/5.
Stunned at home by Aston Villa last weekend, Liverpool are 3/4 (Skybet) to bounce back at West Ham but the Hammers look a decent proposition going forward so the Reds are set to concede and subsequently, William Hill’s 12/5 for an away victory combined with both sides getting on the scoresheet is the best bet at Upton Park.
At Villa Park, Stan James chalk Arsenal up at 4/5 to burst Villa’s bubble but Paul Lambert’s charges can nick a point (11/4, bet365) and BetVictor mark an enticing 4/1 against a score draw.
The Gunners’ north London rivals Spurs by contrast, should ease past West Brom at White Hart Lane, where they’re Ladbrokes’s 8/15 jollies and 8/5 (bet365) to prevail ‘to nil’.
Elsewhere, Stan James quote 4/9 about home bankers Everton seeing off Crystal Palace, Burnley are 6/4 via betway to secure a first victory of the campaign at home to Sunderland and as under-fire Newcastle boss Alan Pardew comes face-to-face with the man tipped by many to replace him, Steve Bruce’s Hull City have been overpriced by BetVictor at 3/1 to come out on top.
Finally, Ladbrokes’s draw quote of 12/5 stands out as Swansea entertain Southampton and it’s just 9/4 at bet365 for QPR and Stoke to be inseparable. The same bookie make that one 7/1 to be goalless.
The Super League play-offs get under way this week, with Wigan strong favourites (3/10, betway) to get the better of Huddersfield at the DW Stadium.
It could be closer than the odds suggest and with a 10-point advantage at 10/11 courtesy of Skybet, the Giants are fancied.
At Langtree Park tomorrow (Friday), regular season table-toppers St Helens can take a big stride towards Grand Final glory by defeating Castleford and Ladbrokes make them a tempting even money to cover an eight-point start.
Meanwhile, BetVictor go 10/11 about Warrington seeing off neighbours Widnes by more than 16 on Saturday and it’s also 10/11 (William Hill) for Leeds to overhaul Catalans Dragons’ eight-point cushion at Headingley.
The Formula One season heads to Singapore this weekend for a race under the floodlights and of course all eyes will be on Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, whose battle for the Drivers Championship looks set to go right to the wire.
Inevitably the pair head the betting, Hamilton odds on at 4/5 with BetVictor to see the chequered flag first and Paddy Power pricing his rival Rosberg at 21/10 while Ladrokes rate the pair at 4/7 to occupy the top two positions in any order.
However, it’s tough to find value in those prices so it’s worth considering who might follow the duo home and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo is a stand out candidate.
The Australian is in blistering form and as the track will suit, he has already been backed in to 6/5 (William Hill) to secure a podium finish. At 7/4 via Stan James however, he’s a slightly better wager in the betting without the Mercedes team.
Bet of the week: Daniel Ricciardo to win the Singapore GP (betting w/o Mercedes) – 7/4 (Stan James).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com