It’s rare to see the Premier League champions given an odds-on quote to lose a match, regardless of the opponent but that’s the case as a vulnerable-looking Manchester United head to the capital to face in-form Chelsea.
The Blues are 17/20 at Paddy Power to effectively put paid to any lingering hopes David Moyes’s men have of retaining their crown, while BetVictor price United at 7/2 to inflict a rare home reverse on the Blues and it’s 11/4 via Stan James to finish all square.
Inevitably, the latter will have one or two backers given that this is a collision between two of the top flight’s heavyweights but in reality, Jose Mourinho’s charges look significantly stronger, especially in the absence of the visitors’ influential front man Robin van Persie and it would be no surprise to see their price come down significantly in the lead-up to kick-off.
Bet365 post 13/5 against the hosts shading it by a one-goal margin at Stamford Bridge, where Ladbrokes price them at 7/1 to bag the only goal and it’s a tempting 9/4 at Skybet for Chelsea to combine victory with a clean sheet, a quote made more attractive in light of the question marks over Wayne Rooney’s fitness.
At the other end meanwhile, Fernando Torres is beginning to look a bit more like his old self and will undoubtedly attract cash at 5/1 with William Hill to break the deadlock.
Still in possession of a hundred percent record on their own patch, Manchester City are just 1/7 via Stan James to overcome Cardiff and with that price not exactly a money spinner, punters might be better advised to consider the handicaps.
It should be an equally straightforward afternoon for Arsenal, another of the title contenders, as they entertain struggling Fulham. Bet365 make the Gunners just 2/9 for a sixth straight win in all competitions, Paddy Power mark 4/6 against them leading at the end of each half and it’s 6/1 courtesy of betway for them to run out 2-0 winners.
Completing a trio of high-flyers set to record easy home victories are Liverpool. The Reds are 1/4 (William Hill) to get the better of Aston Villa and the Reds combine in a treble with City and Arsenal at 4/5 with Stan James.
Fifth-placed Everton are 13/10 via BetVictor to boost their chances of gate-crashing the top four by securing the points at West Brom and hot on the Toffees’ heels are Tottenham, a slightly heftier 7/5, this time at bet635, to see off Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
Tony Pulis meanwhile, is 11/8 (Ladbrokes) to get one over on former club Stoke by guiding his Crystal Palace troops to victory in the pair’s Selhurst Park contest, Norwich are also 11/8, courtesy of Skybet, to edge out Hull and it would be no surprise if West Ham and Newcastle were also inseparable, an outcome William Hill offer at 5/2.
Chelsea to beat Man Utd by one – 13/5 (bet365)
Handicap treble on Man City (-1), Arsenal (-1) & Liverpool (-1) – 5/2 (Stan James)
Double on Crystal Palace and Tottenham – 9/2 (Paddy Power)