Derby victory for Man City essential if they are to keep on Chelsea’s tail

Manchester City lost further ground on Chelsea in the title race last weekend as they failed to find an equaliser at West Ham and with the Premier League leaders facing a home clash against struggling QPR next, the champions know that a victory over local rivals Manchester United is vital if they are to stay in touch with Jose Mourinho’s charges.

Often disregarding the statistics, many punters tend to favour the stalemate in derby contests and it’s likely to be no exception at Eastlands given that United have shared the spoils in three of their four travelling assignments.

BetVictor’s 3/1 about an inconclusive affair is set to prove popular then, alongside Ladbrokes’s 13/2 for the visitors to register a second consecutive 1-1 scoreline or Paddy Power’s 7/2 about them posting a third score draw on the spin.

William Hill however, rightly favour the hosts at 17/20 and as Louis van Gaal’s team have thus far failed to convince on the road, the bookies appear to have got it spot on.

Nevertheless, United are at least scrapping out results of late and they’re capable of keeping this close so a home win by one at 14/5 (Stan James) isn’t without appeal.

The same meanwhile, can be said of bet365’s 8/1 for the hosts to register a 2-1 success and in attack the bulk of the first scorer cash looks set to be carried on the shoulders of City marksman Sergio Aguero (16/5, BetVictor).

Table-topping Chelsea look a banker to at least maintain their lead at the summit but punters won’t be paying off their mortgage backing the Blues, who are just 1/6 at to see off neighbours QPR (16/1, Skybet).

The smart money at Stamford Bridge will be on Mourinho’s men prevailing ‘to nil’ at 4/5 courtesy of BetVictor and Diego Costa’s return to fitness means he stands out at 5/2 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock.

Southampton sit proudly in second spot and Stan James make them 11/10 jollies to continue their excellent run by recording another victory at Hull. The Tigers however, have proven to be a tough nut to crack this term and bet365’s 5/2 about them holding Saints to a draw is arguably the eye catcher at the KC Stadium.

Winless Burnley look primed for more disappointment, this time in North London, where they’re just 3/10 via Stan James to succumb to Arsenal and bet365 already report trade for the even money they chalk against the Gunners combining the triumph with a clean sheet.

In Saturday’s early kick-off, William Hill offer 11/4 about improving Newcastle frustrating Liverpool by grabbing a share of the spoils in their St James’s Park showdown and at 12/5 (Stan James), it could also prove inconclusive at the Britannia Stadium, where Stoke entertain high-flying West Ham.

Elsewhere, betway rate rejuvenated Everton at 3/4 to bag a third straight win, at home to Swansea, Tottenham are 23/20 at Ladbrokes to inflict a fifth straight defeat on Aston Villa and it’s an identical price, this time with William Hill, for Crystal Palace to see off Sunderland.

Leicester and West Brom finally, are 23/10 (bet365) to be inseparable.

England weren’t at their best in the Four Nations opener against Samoa but they picked up a vital victory nonetheless and now know that they will be almost guaranteed a place in the final if they can defeat an Australian side stunned by the Kiwis in their first match.

The Kanagaroos however, are just 2/5 (bet365) to bounce back by seeing off Steve McNamara’s men, Paddy Power’s 11/5 underdogs and patriotic punters will therefore be better off backing the English in the handicaps, where BetVictor give them an eight-point start at even money.

In the other match, buoyant New Zealand, now joint favourites alongside the Aussies in the outright tournament betting at 11/10 (Stan James), are 10/11 at BetVictor when starting 22 points adrift of Samoa.

BetVictor’s 9/4 Super Bowl favourites Denver can continue their march towards the AFC crown this weekend as they visit rivals New England. The impressive Broncos are odds-on at 3/5 via to emerge victorious at the Gillette Stadium where betway rate them at 5/6 to cover a three-point spread.

Bet of the week: Diego Costa to score first – 5/2 (Paddy Power)

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