Football / Reaction / Premier League Title Race Update

Premier League Title Race

Much has changed in the Premier League since we recommended laying Chelsea at 1.60 for the title at the end of October with Man Utd now 2.50 favourites.

Man Utd's Ji Sung Park and Nani

At the end of October we highlighted Chelsea’s price to win the league as too short amid concerns that they would likely face a tough month in December and after they crumbled during an easier run of games in November they have now drifted from 1.6 to 3.25 with Manchester United the new favourites.


Surprisingly given their dominance during the Premier League era, this is only the seventh time the Red Devils have lead after 17 games, and they’ve gone on to be champions in four of the previous six occasions. Moreover, with their game in hand away at Blackpool, and their record since 2005/06 away to promoted teams being W12-D2-L1, their lead should effectively be five points along with the best goal difference in the league.


17 of the 18 Premier League leaders after 17 games finished in the top three (Aston Villa were the exception in 98/99) with nine of the last 11 finishing in the top two and 6/11 ending as champions.


Furthermore, no side in the past 12 seasons has come from more than three points off the lead at this stage to be champions and since 1995/96 4/6 teams with a 3-6 point lead have finished first (6/6 top-two finishers).


The bad news for Chelsea is their next two games are against the current top two and that none of the last eight Premier League winners were outside the top three at this stage with six of the last seven being either first or second.


While Man City are now unbeaten in seven games they’ve only travelled to two of the current top nine, including none of the Big Four, and with their best player wanting to leave they don’t look ready to sustain a title challenge.


From United’s perspective, they have played nine home games and just seven away, while the next three in the table have all played nine away and eight home matches. Also, United must still travel to all three other Big Four teams and Spurs. A final word of warning is that all eight Premier League teams to lead from now until the end of the season had at least 39 points by now, though six of those eight were not running away with it as they lead by 1-6 points.


If anyone can stop United it looks like Arsenal, given the Gunners have already played away at the other Big Four teams and Man City, although they will have to improve their home form to do so. However, overall Man Utd’s advantage looks to be a potentially decisive one.


Recommendation: 0.8pt Man Utd to win the Premier League at 2.5, Stan James
                                   0.2pt Arsenal to win the Premier League at 6.0, Coral


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