Outright market changes after Premier League gameweek 8
In his weekly column, Alan Alger reveals which teams are making a move on Man City and Liverpool in the title market, and analyses the three teams that are odds-on to be relegated.
We now have a couple of weeks to take stock of Premier League markets that have seen any number of unpredictable swings in the first couple of months of action.
But while the lead in the live table has changed hands many times since Arsenal claimed top spot in game one, there have only been two leaders in the title-winning market.
Liverpool’s draw at the Etihad was impressive enough for our traders to flip-flop the favourites again. Jurgen Klopp’s side were back on top of the prices at 13/8 favourite, with Manchester City a fraction of a betting point bigger at 7/4, but Joe Gomez's injury has contributed to City returning to the top of the market in the days since.
The two sides now occupy just 74 per cent of the title market, as opposed to 89 per cent before a ball was kicked.
The chief beneficiaries of that redistribution of percentage are London clubs Chelsea and Tottenham. The Blues shorten to a low of 8/1, having been as big as 20/1 as recently as October 20.
Spurs have been at a huge high of 80/1 and a low of 7/1 in a topsy-turvy few weeks, although it’s important to note that successive unconvincing wins have seen them drift rather than shorten.
Their outspoken boss might see a little injustice in that and claim “what more can we do than win?”. As pointed out previously in these articles, sometimes a performance can count far more than a result in terms of the seasonal markets.
The compilers will certainly feel justified in the element of doubt hanging around Arsenal, despite a win at Old Trafford the previous weekend.
A pasting at home to Aston Villa shot them to a season high of 66/1, double their pre-season price. Mikel Arteta’s team have now lost four games already this season, one more league defeat than the total of three that cost Unai Emery his job last season.
Aston Villa deserve immense credit for the way they played and for responding to the notion that their bubble had burst having started so well.
Is it just Manchester United's big name that warrants a cut from 33/1 to 28/1 after beating Everton, or did they really turn a corner at Goodison Park?
They’re back to a respectable 125/1 to win a first top-flight title since 1980-81. Their boss Dean Smith will surely keep his squad grounded and look at more realistic aims like a ‘Top Half Finish’ at 11/10 from 6/1, and a ‘Top 6 Finish’ at 11/2 from 33/1.
Other sides to see their title odds shorten were weekend table-toppers Leicester and Southampton.
Brendan Rodgers' side held on to top spot into the international break, but both clubs came out of the weekend with a hat-trick of Premier League wins next to their names in the recent-form table. Given their previous course-and-distance form, we have the Foxes shorter at 25/1, with the Saints joining Villa at 125/1.
In between all of those sides are a yo-yoing Manchester United, who cannot seem to put two good performances together.
Is it just their big name that warrants the respect of a cut from 33/1 to 28/1 after beating Everton 3-1, or did they really turn another corner at Goodison Park?
The Toffees’ title odds, meanwhile, are rapidly expanding back towards the 250/1 they started the season at. Carlo Ancelotti’s side had, at one stage, been 16/1 and only 14.5 betting points off their local neighbours in the list.
People who bemoan the predictable nature of recent Premier League title races always seem to seek solace in wide-open battles for survival at the bottom of the table.
That doesn’t seem to be the case this year though with three teams firmly odds-on at this stage. Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Burnley all rate higher than a 50 per cent chance to be playing in the Championship next season.
Once again, the market is willing to forgive Sheffield United a defeat in a tough game. The Blades remain a 5/4 shot for relegation after losing at Chelsea.
That leniency can’t last forever, though, and remaining November matches against West Ham and West Brom will have to result in at least one victory for them to justify that faith.
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