Manchester United remain very strong favourites for the Premier League title after an exciting and controversial weekend of top-flight action, while Manchester City and Chelsea can still be backed at reasonable odds following their victories away from home. Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Arsenal all lost ground, lengthening their odds in the process, while it was a good weekend for most of the teams at the bottom with Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Wigan Athletic, Southampton and Newcastle United all avoiding defeat, leaving Aston Villa deeper in relegation trouble.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s men are 3/10 to win the title after a 2-1 victory over arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday. Goals from Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic secured the win for the Red Devils, who remain seven points clear of neighbours Manchester City, who did their bit by beating Arsenal at the Emirates in a game where both sides were reduced to ten men. The 2-0 victory means Roberto Mancini’s side are 3/1 to retain their crown.
Chelsea are now 14/1 to win the league for the first time since 2010 after an impressive 4-0 victory over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. Aided by two Jonathan Walters own goals, Rafa Benitez’s side were good value for the win but stay 14 points behind United, who have played a game more.
It wasn’t a good weekend for the chasing pack, who all failed to win. Arsenal’s loss to City means they are now 200/1 to win the league, the same price as rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who drew 0-0 with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. Everton were also involved in a goalless draw, at home to Swansea City, and are 400/1 to be crowned champions.
It was a good weekend for many of the sides at the wrong end of the table, the majority of whom picked up at least a point.
The exception were Aston Villa, who were defeated by fellow strugglers Southampton at Villa Park. The 1-0 win for the Saints, courtesy of a controversial Rickie Lambert penalty, means Paul Lambert’s team slide into the relegation zone and are quoted at 10/11 for relegation, their shortest price of the season. Nigel Adkins’ team are 6/4 for an immediate return to the Championship.
QPR and Reading remain very short for the drop, with the Royals 1/4 favourites despite coming from 2-0 down with eight minutes left to secure an incredible 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Madejski. Rangers are 2/5 and still bottom of the table after that goalless draw with Spurs.
Wigan and Newcastle are both odds-against for relegation after picking up a point away from home, the Latics drawing 1-1 with Fulham at Craven Cottage while the Magpies played out a goalless draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Roberto Martinez’s side are 7/4 to be relegated, while the Toon are 11/2 to be playing second-tier football next season.