Without taking the breath away at any point, Manchester United have steadily crept to the top of the Premier League table.
But they’re still no shorter than 5/1 at Skybet to capture the title, their ‘noisy neighbours’ City remaining at the head of the betting at 10/11 via bet365, closely followed by Arsenal at 4/1 with the same firm.
There could nevertheless be a significant shift in a couple of those prices this weekend as the Gunners and the league leaders collide at the Emirates Stadium.
Home advantage ensures that Arsene Wenger’s troops are William Hill’s 21/20 favourites while Louis Van Gaal’s team are a 3/1 shot (BetVictor) to continue their impressive start to the campaign by plundering all three points in north London.
The visitors though are hard to oppose at present, especially up against a side whose best work so far has come on the road and accordingly Stan James’ 13/5 about the pair taking away a point apiece is the value bet.
In a clash that’s 7/10 at BetVictor to see both teams find the net, Ladbrokes’ offer of 10/3 for a score draw also appears generous and it’s an equally enticing 6/1 (Paddy Power) to end one-apiece.
Both Everton and Liverpool carded thrilling 3-2 victories last time out but a similarly goal-laden contest seems unlikely as the two sides lock horns at Goodison Park.
The Merseyside derby showdown appears to be confusing the bookies, BetVictor making the visitors their 15/8 underdogs and Paddy Power classing the Toffees as outsiders at 17/10 but five of the last six meetings between the pair have finished all-square and this one is a tempting 12/5 at William Hill to follow suit.
It’s often a fixture high on energy and effort but low on quality so a case can be made for a goalless encounter (9/1, Stan James) and bet365 price the clash at 9/2 to be level when each half is brought to a close.
Champions Chelsea came from behind to secure a point at Newcastle but they remain unconvincing and Winner.com’s 7/10 for them to get the better of Southampton at Stamford Bridge subsequently looks far too short.
Saints don’t quite entice enough either at 9/2 (Paddy Power) and the shrewd cash will be on Skybet’s 5/6 about both teams getting on the scoresheet.
Manchester City looked unstoppable over the first five games but have now lost their last two.
However, it would be a huge shock if they failed to justify the 1/4 favouritism afforded to them by Stan James as they entertain struggling Newcastle. High-flying West Ham (13/10, Winner.com) also stand out ahead of their trip to rock-bottom Sunderland and bet365 rate Crystal Palace at 4/5 to get the better of West Brom in Saturday’s lunchtime encounter. That trio meanwhile, combine at 22/5 (Stan James) in a tasty treble.
Elsewhere, Norwich get the nod at 13/10 with Paddy Power as they host free-scoring Leicester and BetVictor chalk 11/10 against a Bournemouth triumph over Watford.
Finally, Ladbrokes go 23/10 about Swansea sharing the spoils with Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium and it’s also set to prove inconclusive, an outcome rated at 9/4 by Stan James, as Aston Villa take on Stoke.
In the Rugby World Cup, England look to bounce back from their dramatic defeat to Wales as they take on Australia at Twickenham.
Stuart Lancaster’s troops are 8/11 (Skybet) to get back on track with a crucial victory over the Wallabies, 5/4 chances at Ladbrokes and Stan James price the hosts at 10/11 to overhaul a three-point start in the handicaps.
Scotland are also in action on Saturday, looking to make it three straight victories as they take on South Africa.
The Springboks though command 1/7 favouritism at Paddy Power while the Scots are 6/1 (bet365) to emerge victorious at Newcastle’s St James’s Park, where they receive a generous 14-point head start from Ladbrokes at odds of 10/11.
Also at 10/11 (Winner.com), this time kicking-off 20 points in arrears, are Ireland, who take on Italy at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Switching codes and tomorrow (Friday) night sees League Leaders Shield winners Leeds take on St Helens in the second Super League semi-final.
The Rhinos are 8/15 jollies at BetVictor and boosted by their dramatic last-second triumph over Huddersfield, they’re a great bet at evens with Skybet to cover Saints’ six-point advantage.
Bet of the week: Arsenal v Man Utd score draw – 10/3 (Ladbrokes).
Odds supplied by www.betrescue.com