You could have backed Manchester United at 2/1 before the season started although the Red Devils are half that price in some places after a blistering start to the campaign which has seen them score thirteen goals in their first three matches.
The best odds about Sir Alex Ferguson’s side retaining the title are 5/4 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets) after wins over West Brom, Tottenham and Arsenal, with the latter being thrashed 8-2 at Old Trafford – a game which showcased United’s attacking weaponry and also effectively illustrated that the Gunners won’t be challenging at the top this term.
It is hard to pick holes in the champions’ squad, with Wayne Rooney in the form of his life and Ashley Young hitting the ground running for his new club. Ferguson will be delighted that Phil Jones has also bedded in well in the absence of Nemanja Vicic and Rio Ferdinand, while Tom Cleverley is ensuring that Paul Scholes isn’t being missed.
Even so, the blue half of Manchester delivered their own statement of intent in their most recent Premier League match by winning 5-1 at White Hart Lane – just twelve months after stumbling to a goalless draw in the same fixture.
City have also enjoyed a 100% start thanks to wins over Swansea, Bolton and Tottenham, with the goals flying in from Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, a strike partnership that should flourish very well in front of the creativity supplied in droves by Samir Nasri and David Silva.
Roberto Mancini is starting to gel his team together and can even afford the luxury of Carlos Tevez warming the bench in every match, with City on offer at 2/1 (bet365 – £200 free betting) to claim their first Premier League title after winning the FA Cup last season.
Many people are starting to talk about the Premier League as a two-horse race and Chelsea certainly haven’t convinced many people that they are going to finish above both Manchester teams this season.
Fixtures against Stoke, West Brom and Norwich suggested things would be easy for Andre Villas-Boas’ team although they have made hard work of landing victories against the Baggies and Canaries, with Stan James prepared to lay 9/2 about Chelsea winning the title this term.
Fernando Torres continues to misfire for the Blues and the arrival of Juan Mata will not automatically mean that the west London team start to unlock the mean defences that will face them every week.
Liverpool probably represent better value at 16/1 (Betfred) after Kenny Dalglish’s team kicked off with a solid seven points from games against Sunderland, Arsenal and Bolton. Luis Suarez has kicked on from the Copa America, with Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam all proving to be exciting signings.
Arsenal are out to 40/1 after a dismal start to the season and even the most positive Gooner would accept that a top four finish is the height of the team’s aims.