Eleven rounds of games played in the Premier League and Manchester City show no signs of slowing down, with Roberto Mancini’s team actually producing a mediocre performance at Loftus Road and still managing to win 3-2 on Saturday.
City fell behind against a spirited Queens Park Rangers team before goals from Edin Dzeko, Yaya Toure and David Silva help to maintain their five-point gap at the top of the table. Some bookmakers have cut them for the title, although Ladbrokes (£50 free bets) still offer 10/11 about the Citizens.
Even so, with Champions League qualification at stake, there is every chance that City might slip up at some stage and Manchester United will undoubtedly be looking to grab any opportunity with both hands.
The Red Devils came out of the traps flying although that recent 6-1 derby thrashing at Old Trafford has seen Sir Alex Ferguson revise his tactics, especially where Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney are concerned.
Ferdinand was deemed to be at fault for many of the City goals in that heavy defeat and the return of Nemanja Vidic means that he and either Phil Jones or Jonny Evans is more likely to form a partnership in central defence.
Similarly, Wayne Rooney has been brought back into midfield since the City game, which means that the manager has lost faith in Anderson when it comes to providing an obstacle in front of the defence.
Will this new-look United succeed in retaining their title, especially with Ashley Young set to return from injury and Javier Hernandez likely to feature more and more? Bet365 (£200 – free betting) offer 15/8 that the champions keep that crown.
The bookmakers have the Premier League title as a three-team race this season, with Chelsea deemed to be the team that can break the Manchester stranglehold despite a distinctly average start which has seen the Blues keep just two clean sheets.
Andre Villas-Boas has been beset by disciplinary problems throughout the campaign, something which sees them sitting fourth in the table and odds of 8/1 are available about Chelsea claiming the title.
Perhaps Tottenham Hotspur are the best each-way value on the basis that they haven’t looked back since losing to City and United in the opening two games, with 40/1 available about Harry Redknapp’s side who can move to within a point of the Red Devils by winning their game in hand.
Arsenal have enjoyed a revival since that sorry start, although the Gunners seem to be heavily reliant on Robin Van Persie who is prone to injury. Meanwhile, anyone who saw Liverpool’s recent performance against Swansea will be sceptical as to whether the Reds can get anywhere near the top.