Manchester City (15/8) reclaimed favouritism in the Premier League at the weekend as the top spot in the title market changed for an unprecedented sixth consecutive week.

The latest flip-flop came due to City’s customary 5-0 home beating of Burnley, while Liverpool (out to 2/1) only managed a point at Brighton.

After that game Jurgen Klopp bemoaned the scheduling of his side’s fixtures. That meant that they end the gameweek with a slightly negative air around them, despite sitting level on points with leaders Tottenham.

Pep Guardiola’s City were the only winners from a quartet of teams that I highlighted last week all showing at under 7/1 for the title.

Tottenham's draw at Chelsea is an example of odds-compilers excusing the performance of a team, because the end goal was to avoid defeat.

I also mentioned that they would have to travel up the table to retain that position and, although they were fully expected to win at the weekend, closing the gap to the top four positions to just three points with a game in hand was exactly what the odds-compilers wanted to see from them.

Tottenham’s draw at Chelsea ensured that they joined the Blues at 6/1 joint-third-favourites, a clear indication that the result at Stamford Bridge suited Jose Mourinho’s team more than the hosts.

This is an example of odds-compilers excusing the performance of a team, because the end goal was just to avoid being beaten.

It would, of course, be tempting to say that one shot on target and 39% possession for Spurs meant they are inferior to Chelsea, but let’s not be kidded by Mourinho’s remarks that his players were angry in the dressing room. I’d say they were rightly delighted.

There is no doubt more cause for cheer in that half of north London as the dying embers of what was an extremely outside chance of an Arsenal title charge were extinguished at the Emirates a few hours later.

A third consecutive home defeat for the Gunners sees a token quote of 150/1 among bar prices starting with 25/1 for Manchester United.

The market is having trouble keeping up with downgrading Arsenal in all of the markets for a positive finish in the table.

The Gunners are 8/1 in the top-four finish market, but, in reality, that would require them to finish above any one of Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea or Tottenham. When put like that it looks insurmountable.


Their top-six finish price has only drifted to 2/1, but in percentage terms that’s 40% off an ultra-optimistic 4/11 that was quoted after they beat Fulham in game one – a result only slightly upgraded in the last 24 hours by the Cottagers’ win at Leicester.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that West Ham United were ones to watch in the market for a top-half finish in the division and David Moyes’ team have kicked on since then to rise up to fifth in the standings.

They are now a price of evens to stay in that half of the table, from a high of 5/1 earlier on in the season.

The latest six-pointer of the season at the other end of the table saw Sheffield United dominate at West Bromwich Albion, but fall to a 1-0 defeat. The Blades only have one point from a possible 30 and that cause for concern overrides any temptation to price them on their performance at the Hawthorns.

The relegation market is still insistent that it’s any three from four at the bottom, with Chris Wilder’s side now firmly odds-on at 8/15. Their weekend conquerors, West Brom, are a touch shorter at 4/9.

Fulham are also odds-on at 4/7, but Scott Parker could point out that his side’s win at Leicester was around as unlikely as if Burnley had shocked Man City.

Burnley sit two points behind Parker’s side in the table, but are somehow still evens for the drop.

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