Liverpool have been eased out to 11/5 in bwin’s Premier League winner predictions following the news that Virgil Van Dijk requires knee surgery.
The 29-year-old suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in a controversial high challenge by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford in Saturday’s 2-2 Merseyside derby draw.
“I’m now fully focused on my recovery and will do everything I can to be back as quickly as possible,” Van Dijk posted on Twitter.
“Despite the obvious disappointment, I’m a firm believer that within difficulty lies opportunity and with God’s help I’m going to make sure I return better, fitter and stronger than ever before.”
The Reds are lying in third place on 10 points following the Goodison Park thriller, three behind the pacesetting Toffees.
Liverpool led twice through Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, but Michael Keane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin hit back for Everton.
It appeared that Jordan Henderson had snatched victory for the champions in added time, only for that goal to be chalked off by the most marginal of VAR offside decisions.
Everton are 20/1 for the title and Carlo Ancelotti commented: “I think we have improved in this game, we competed well, properly.
“Of course, it is really difficult and this doesn’t mean we are at the same level as them, because we are not.
“But I think it could be a target for us, to be able to reach not the same level but to compete against them like we competed, like an old Merseyside derby.”
Villa’s dream start continues
Aston Villa maintained their 100 per cent record when striking late on to win 1-0 at Leicester to secure a fourth consecutive victory.
Ross Barkley’s added-time stunner in a game low on quality continued the flying start for a team which escaped relegation by just one point in July.
Villa are 66/1 to finish top but Dean Smith said: “We take it one game at a time, as always.
“We never get too high when winning and never got too low last season fighting relegation. We have to stay on an even keel.
“This was a big win. I know they had some players missing but if you are off your game at any stage in the Premier League you can get a bloody nose very quickly.
“It was a very tight game, a scrappy game at times. It needed a little bit of quality to win the game and Ross certainly showed that at the end.”
Manchester City are back as favourites in bwin’s Premier League winner predictions at 87/100 after a 1-0 win over Arsenal put them on seven points from four outings.
Raheem Sterling grabbed the deciding goal and Pep Guardiola was also delighted with new defenders Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake.
“The reason they play is they don’t make mistakes,” said Guardiola. “Ruben is the type of leader, a guy who in a short time will lead the game. We are delighted so far with what we have seen.”
Arsenal are 28/1 for the title after that defeat left them on nine points from five games.
Tottenham are a point below the Gunners and quoted at 12/1 after letting a 3-0 lead slip in their draw with West Ham.
Chelsea have the same tally after also drawing 3-3 with Southampton and they can be backed at 20/1.
Manchester United have six points from four matches following a 4-1 triumph at Newcastle and are 28/1.
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