Is it too soon to call this weekend’s showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge a title decider? Well, it’s perhaps a touch premature given that at full-time both teams will still have another 15 matches to play before the season is out but as the Blues already hold a five-point advantage over the current champions, a home win would certainly leave Manuel Pellegrini’s troops with an uphill struggle to retain the Premier League trophy.
Of course, a City success, priced at 31/10 by BetVictor would open things right up again and as the visitors possess the division’s best away record, there’ll be plenty of takers for William Hill’s 11/4 about an inconclusive affair but Jose Mourinho’s men have a perfect record on their own patch, where they’ve won ten out of ten fixtures, so they’re tough to oppose.
Chelsea are 19/20 with bet365 to extend their lead at the summit to a daunting-looking eight points and as City have looked far from convincing so far in 2015, the Blues can ruthlessly expose their opponents to card a crucial and potentially comfortable victory.
While most punters will be expecting a tight encounter, the value actually lies in a Blues cruise. In Paddy Power’s handicaps for example, Mourinho’s charges catch the eye at 3/1 when kicking off a goal in arrears and BetVictor rate them at 11/1 to notch twice without reply.
Third-placed Southampton have picked up five wins and a draw in their last six league outings and they’re just 8/13 (Ladbrokes) to overcome a Swansea outfit heading to the St Mary’s Stadium on the back of a four-match winless streak.
Saints don’t concede many at home and with the Swans still adjusting to the departure of front man Wilfred Bony a case can be made for the host to prevail ‘to nil’ at 7/5 courtesy of Paddy Power. Bet365 meanwhile price Ronald Koeman’s side up at 6/1 to record a 2-0 triumph and BetVictor offer 6/4 about them leading at the end of each half.
Also set to score a home win are Arsenal, 1/4 chances at Stan James to get the better of faltering Aston Villa, Winner.com quote a marginally bulkier 1/3 about Manchester United defeating Leicester at Old Trafford and those two combine with Southampton in a tempting treble at 17/10 (BetVictor).
At Anfield, Liverpool represent solid value at 4/6 via Paddy Power to enhance their top four chances by accounting for the team directly above them in the table, West Ham and despite their decent start to life under Tony Pulis, West Brom are 6/4 at Stan James to come unstuck against Tottenham at the Hawthorns.
Everton’s dismal run looks set to continue at the hands of rejuvenated Crystal Palace, who are too big at 19/10 (William Hill) to pick up a fifth straight victory in all competitions and Ladbrokes go 8/13 about Stoke inflicting more misery on travel sick QPR at the Britannia Stadium.
Finally, Winner.com chalk the relegation six-pointer between Sunderland and Burnley up at 23/10 to finish all square.
Chelsea (-1) to beat Man City – 3/1 (Paddy Power)
Arsenal, Man Utd and Southampton treble – 17/10 (BetVictor)
Crystal Palace to beat Everton – 19/10 (William Hill)
Liverpool and Stoke double – 17/10 (bet365)
Sunderland v Burnley draw – 23/10 (Winner.com)