According to the bookmakers, the Premier League title can be won by one of three teams, with Liverpool and Tottenham on offer at big odds after the first seven matches (six in the case of Spurs).
Manchester United were not convincing at home to Norwich on Saturday although their 2-0 victory against the Canaries keeps them at the top of the table and Sir Alex Ferguson’s team remain odds-on across the board. Bet365 (£200 free bets) are prepared to lay the Red Devils at 10/11 although United now face consecutive matches against Liverpool, Manchester City and Everton.
Ferguson will point to the fact that Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley weren’t available for the game against Norwich and that all four players could make a return for the clash at Anfield in a fortnight’s time.
Meanwhile, Manchester City showed no ill-effects from their Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich when winning 4-0 at Blackburn, despite Sergio Aguero getting injured early in the game. Roberto Mancini’s team are just one goal worse off than United as far as goal difference is concerned and could be in top spot after the next round of games.
The big concern for City backers is a lack of strikers now that Carlos Tevez has burnt his bridges with the club and Aguero has an injury concern. However, odds of 5/2 (Paddy Power – £100 free betting) still look pretty tasty considering there has been little between the two Manchester clubs thus far.
As for Chelsea, they are certainly in contention for the Premier League title despite that 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford where Andre Villas-Boas could legitimately point to a number of poor refereeing decisions. The Blues were simply too powerful for Bolton on Sunday and they look strong in all departments this term.
The emergence of Daniel Sturridge is like the Blues signing a new striker, with Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres and Nicolas Anelka all scrapping for places in attack. Frank Lampard, Juan Mata and Ramires all look lively and the Blues are a tasty proposition at 4/1 with Ladbrokes (£50 free bets).
Newcastle are fourth in the Premier League table although odds of 1500/1 reflect the fact that the Magpies are likely to fall away when some tougher games come their way. However, Liverpool have a solid 13 points from their first 7 matches, having already visited Stoke, Tottenham and Arsenal this term.
Kenny Dalglish’s side won the Merseyside derby on Saturday and their odds to win the title will shorten a lot if they beat Manchester United in a fortnight, with a best price 33/1 currently available.
As for Tottenham, they have 12 points from six games and will move to within four points of the top by winning their game in hand, although they struggled to a win against Arsenal last weekend and that is reflected in their odds of 50/1.