It was a weekend that taught us more about the teams competing at the top and bottom of the Premier League and even if there was little movement in the outright title odds for Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea, there were dramatic changes in the prices for other sides including Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Liverpool, while Aston Villa were once again cut for relegation and are now joint-fourth favourites with Wigan Athletic, behind Southampton, Reading and Norwich City.
With leaders Chelsea, who remain 333/100 to win the Premier League, not in domestic action due to their involvement in the UEFA Super Cup final, the Manchester clubs took full advantage to close the gap at the top.
City are still the favourites, drifting ever so marginally from 7/5 to 27/20, after a fairly comfortable 3-1 win over Queen Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium. Neighbours United’s 3-2 victory over Southampton was anything but comfortable, but a Robin van Persie hat-trick, two of which came in the final five minutes after the former Arsenal man had missed a penalty, gave United a dramatic victory that keeps their title price unchanged at 19/10.
Arsenal were impressive 2-0 winners at Anfield on Sunday and the victory against Liverpool has moved the Gunners back to 14/1 for the league, in from 20/1 before kick-off. That defeat, and no doubt the manner of it, means Brendan Rodgers’ side have been pushed out to 66/1 for the Premier League title and are now 4/1 from 3/1 to qualify for the Champions League.
It wasn’t a good weekend for the other top-four hopefuls, with Tottenham failing to win for the third successive game this season under new manager Andre Villas-Boas. Spurs were held 1-1 by Norwich at White Hart Lane to leave them 80/1 to win the league (from 66/1), while their price to qualify for the Champions League has been pushed out from 3/1 to 7/2.
Newcastle also drew 1-1 at home, this time to Aston Villa, to go to 300/1 for the league. Villa, meanwhile, have once again been cut for relegation despite winning their first point of the season at the Sports Direct Arena. Paul Lambert’s side are now 2/1 from 5/2 to be playing Championship football next year.
Norwich and Southampton still head the market at 11/10, with Reading, who didn’t play this weekend, a 5/4 chance. After a 2-2 draw at home to Stoke City, Wigan are 2/1.
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