Upon consulting the Premier League outright betting ahead of the post-international break return to action your correspondent was shocked to see Manchester City quoted at 3/1.
Having spent much of pre-season in a nip and tuck tussle for title favouritism with Chelsea, one unexpected defeat has set Manuel Pellegini’s side adrift.
It seems like both an overreaction and an act of Rockefeller-like largesse from the layers at bwin HQ given the Citizens’ penchant for taking things gently in the opening stanzas.
Last season City had six points on the board after their opening triptych just as they do now.
After six games they’d slipped down to seventh place, having drawn or lost half of their fixtures and conceded as many goals as all bar one side in the top half of the table.
It was where they remained after nine games, while they dropped as low as eighth after 11 outings.
Ultimately the won the league with a degree of inevitability at odds with the their berth at the vanguard of the chasing pack for much of the campaign.
Just as it would be foolhardy to read too much into City’s unhurried undertaking of 2013/14 hostilities, Chelsea’s perfect pre-deadline push-off should be taken with a pinch of salt, despite their 4/5 title-favouritism.
They have topped the standings after three games in all but one of the last four seasons, failing to win the Premier League so much as once.
Arsenal are the reigning champions’ next opponents and, given the Citizens’ propensity for off-colour showings at this juncture, backing the Gunners to follow up their Community Shield win over the Sky Blues at 39/20 holds some appeal.
The north London side have been proficient at taking points off City at the Emirates, losing the fixture just once in the last four renewals.
However, the hosts’ chances of victory don’t seem to be half as generously assessed as City’s chances of claiming consecutive Premier League titles do at 3/1.