At one stage it looked it would be a two-horse race between Chelsea and champions Manchester City for the Premier League title but Manuel Pellegrini’s troops have lost three of their last five to slip down to fourth in the table, leaving their bid to retain their crown in tatters.
The pressure is subsequently mounting on boss Manuel Pellegrini , who looks unlikely to be at Eastlands next term and indeed the Chilean has been cut to a top price of just 13/5 at Paddy Power to lose his job before the season concludes, although his employers will probably wait until the end of what has been a disappointing campaign to swing the axe.
Nevertheless, Pellegrini’s position will come under increasing scrutiny if his side loses at neighbours Manchester United on Sunday and as faltering City have lost three on the spin on their travels, it’s certainly the hosts at 6/4 with bet365 that catch the eye at Old Trafford, where the visitors make for no appeal at 9/5 (Stan James).
As it’s a derby, Ladbrokes’s 12/5 about an inconclusive affair will undoubtedly attract cash but Louis Van Gaal’s side, for all their well discussed shortcomings, possess a tremendous home record and have registered five straight league wins, so they can’t be opposed here.
City still possess the quality to trouble their rivals and should find the net so BetVictor’s 15/4 about United prevailing but both teams finding the net stands out, it’s 3/1 (Skybet) for Van Gaal’s side to triumph by one and more precisely, bet365 post 10/1 against a 2-1 home success.
In attack meanwhile, Wayne Rooney has notched six times in eight outings across all competitions so he’ll be well backed at 11/2 courtesy of Stan James to break the deadlock.
At Loftus Road, Chelsea are just 4/11 (Paddy Power) to overcome struggling QPR but Rangers, bet365’s 8/1 underdogs, have arguably been underestimated a touch given their desperate need for points as they seek to avoid relegation.
Couple that with the fact that the Blues have almost got the title wrapped up and a modest flutter on Chris Ramsey’s men to claim a point (4/1, betway) starts to appeal alongside BetVictor’s 12/5 for the hosts to avoid defeat.
Currently Chelsea’s nearest challengers, Arsenal can tighten their grip on second spot by seeing off gritty Burnley at Turf Moor, a result William Hill rate at 4/7, Liverpool are 4/9 at the same firm to bounce back from consecutive defeats by defeating a demoralised Newcastle outfit and it’s 11/20 at Ladbrokes for Southampton to overcome relegation –threatened Hull. A Gunners, Reds and Saints treble comes in at a generous 12/5 courtesy of Coral.
Elsewhere, Aston Villa’s survival hopes are 3/5 (Paddy Power) to suffer a blow at the hands of Tottenham, Winner.com quote Leicester at 12/5 to clinch a valuable point at West Brom and it’s also 12/5, this time via Ladbrokes for West Ham and Stoke to be inseparable at Upton Park. Bet365 finally, offer 9/4 about Sunderland sharing the spoils with visiting Crystal Palace.
Man Utd to beat Man City and both to score – 15/4 (BetVictor)
Draw double at West Brom and Sunderland – 10/1 (bet365)
Arsenal, Liverpool and Southampton treble – 12/5 (Coral)
QPR or draw in double chance market v Chelsea – 12/5 (BetVictor)
Compare all and bet at the best price.