Joint favourites in title race

  • Last Updated: March 25 2014, 15:17 GMT

Manchester City ended the weekend as slight favourites for the Premier League title despite Chelsea all but ending Arsenal's hopes.

Manchester City: A best of 13/8 for the title after their 5-0 win over Fulham
Manchester City: A best of 13/8 for the title after their 5-0 win over Fulham

Both title contenders notched big wins on Saturday but Chelsea's victory was the most significant, a 6-0 demolition job on Arsenal killing Gunners' hopes of a first league crown since 2004.

It also ensured that their six-point lead over Manchester City was maintained when Manuel Pellegrini's side predictably swept aside Fulham, winning 5-0 later in the day.

Separating the pair are Liverpool, who matched Chelsea's six-goal haul in winning at Cardiff - 6-3 the final score - to remain four points behind in second with one game in hand. They play that, at home to Sunderland, on Wednesday night.

City have three games in hand over Chelsea and a superior goal difference and with that in mind they are 13/8 favourites on best price.

However, there is not unanimous agreement. While Betfred have Chelsea as their favourites at 6/4 with City at 13/8, most firms side with the Mancunians. Indeed Coral will give you 7/4 about a Chelsea success.

Team Score Team
Cardiff 3 - 6 Liverpool
Man City 5 - 0 Fulham
Chelsea 6 - 0 Arsenal

Ladbrokes are quote a top-price of 3/1 about a first Premier League title for free-scoring Liverpool.

While Arsenal remain in with a mathematical chance, lying as they do seven points behind Chelsea with a game in hand, Arsene Wenger's side have been readily dismissed by the layers at a general 50/1.

The good news for Gunners fans is that they remain heavily odds-on to finish in the top four - a best of 1/10 is offered.

Everton, who beat Swansea 3-2 on Saturday, are their nearest challengers. They are eight points behind but have a game in hand, while Arsenal still have to travel to Goodison next month. The Toffees ended the weekend a top-priced 12/1 to finish in the Champions League qualifying positions, while Spurs are 14/1 after their come-from-behind 3-2 win over Southampton on Sunday.

At the other end of the table, Cardiff and Fulham are both 3/10 chances for relegation after suffering those damaging, if predictable, losses.

Sunderland (evens) remain in danger after losing 2-0 at Norwich on Saturday.

Position Player Score
13 Norwich 32
14 West Ham 31
15 Swansea 29
16 West Brom 28
17 C Palace 28
18 Sunderland 25
19 Cardiff 25
20 Fulham 24

The Canaries were the big winners of the weekend in the race for safety and were duly pushed out to 5/1 by bet365.

Stoke virtually secured their place in the Premier League by beating Aston Villa 4-1 on Sunday - BetVictor pushed their relegation odds out to 100/1 after they moved 12 points clear of the drop zone.

Villa still seem unlikely to drop into trouble given their 40/1 (William Hill) quote.

With all the favourites winning in the Premier League on Saturday, it was a great weekend punters and an awful one for the bookies.

Sky Bet said the Saturday had resulted in their "biggest ever loss in a single day" after nine of the 10 best-backed sides delivered the goods for punters. Only Leicester, held by Blackburn, helped out the Leeds-based firm.

Their head of football trading Paul Wiggins said: "It's been a fantastic day for punters and we're just glad Leicester were unable to add another win to their superb run.

"While the match results have been tough, the relentless run of accumulators coming in has significantly added to our losses, with one customer landing over £20k from a £25 nine-fold accumulator."

Hill's spokesman Joe Crilly added: "We have had a tricky old day today but that is the nature of the industry.

"Once every so often you will have a weekend like this that will have punters up and down the land toasting their success this evening and well into the weekend."

There were plenty of stories of big-money accumulators coming in with Betfred reporting one of their customers won more than £420,000 from a £2 stake.

The punter's 18-team acca came good only when Spurs scored a last-minute winner on Sunday, the goal sealing a comeback from 2-0 down.

TITLE RUN-IN FIXTURES

CHELSEA (Pld 31 Pts 69 GD +39)

Mar 29 - Crystal Palace A
Apr 5 - Stoke H
Apr 13 - Swansea A
Apr 20 - Sunderland H
Apr 27 - Liverpool A
May 3 - Norwich H
May 11 - Cardiff A

LIVERPOOL (Pld 30 Pts 65 GD +44)

Mar 26 - Sunderland H
Mar 30 - Tottenham H
Apr 6 - West Ham A
Apr 13 - Manchester City H
Apr 20 - Norwich A
Apr 27 - Chelsea H
May 3 - Crystal Palace A
May 11 - Newcastle H

MANCHESTER CITY (Pld 28 Pts 63 GD +49)

Mar 25 - Manchester United A
Mar 29 - Arsenal A
Apr 5 - Southampton H
Apr 13 - Liverpool A
Apr 16 - Sunderland H
Apr 21 - West Brom H
Apr 27 - Crystal Palace A
May 3 - Everton A
May 7 - Aston Villa H
May 11 - West Ham H

  • Posted at 1750 GMT on 22/03/2014; updated at 1815 GMT on 23/03/2014.