Man City have been installed as the odds-on favourites to win the Premier League title after their key rivals struggled over the festive period. Pep Guardiola’s men picked up a third consecutive victory when they beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last weekend. That carried them up to fifth in the table, but they have played fewer games than the four teams above them.
Their upturn in form has coincided with a difficult patch for champions Liverpool, who have taken just two points from their last three matches. Injury problems have mounted for manager Jurgen Klopp this season, and they have struggled for fluency in recent weeks. The Reds remain top of the table, but they are now level on points with Man Utd, who have a game in hand.
The Red Devils’ league form has been exceptional, but they were comprehensively beaten by Man City in their EFL Cup semi-final last time out. Man Utd have also crashed out of the Champions League and they were not particularly convincing in their 1-0 FA Cup win against Watford on Saturday.
The bookmakers now believe that Man City can overhaul Man Utd, Liverpool, Leicester and Tottenham and go on to win a third Premier League title in four seasons. William Hill, 888 Sport, Unibet and Betfred have a market leading 10/11 on them lifting the trophy in May. Liverpool are now out at 11/4 with Bet365, while you can find 7/1 on Man Utd, 14/1 on Spurs and 40/1 on Leicester. Chelsea have drifted out to 66/1 after a disastrous run of form.
Atletico Madrid have also been named the odds-on favourites to win La Liga after champions Real Madrid slipped up again on Saturday. Los Blancos could only draw 0-0 away at Osasuna, and they managed just one shot on target in the entire match against a well-drilled side.
That result left Diego Simeone’s men a point clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table. With three games in hand. They would open up a 10-point lead if they could win all three of those extra games. Atletico have 12 wins, two draws and a single defeat so far this season, and they have only conceded six goals.
Simeone’s men received an added boost when Kieran Trippier’s 10-week suspension was put on hold after the club appealed. They next play on Tuesday, when they are even money favourites with Paddy Power to win their home game against in-form Sevilla.
Atletico are now best priced at just 7/10 with 888 Sport and Unibet to win the title, while Real Madrid have drifted out to 5/2 with Bet365. Barcelona are 8/1 with some bookies, despite moving up to third with a 4-0 victory over Granada yesterday. Barca have also won three in a row, and they are now just three points behind Real Madrid, but they have often been poor in the first half of the season.
Juventus blew the Serie A title race wide open by beating league leaders AC Milan 3-1 at the San Siro on Wednesday. The Bianconeri are chasing a 10th consecutive Scudetto title, but they made a sluggish start to the season under new manager Andrea Pirlo. They have won just eight of their opening 15 matches, but that win against Milan should give them encouragement for the rest of the season.
Milan bounced back with a 2-0 win against Torino yesterday, and they are now 10 points clear of fifth placed Juventus. However, Juventus have two games in hand. Inter are second, four points behind their city and three points ahead of third placed Roma. Atalanta are in fourth. Inter, Roma and Atalanta all have a game in hand on AC Milan, and we could be in for a five-horse title race.
Inter are still the title favourites at 13/8 with Paddy Power, despite losing 2-1 to Sampdoria last time out. Juventus are now 4/1 with Betfred, while Betway has 9/2 on AC Milan, 16/1 on Atalanta and 20/1 on Roma. Many punters feel that Juventus can hunt down the teams above them during the second half of the season, and a lot of money has gone on Pirlo’s side this week.