Liverpool out to 8/1 for title
Liverpool have been pushed out from 6/1 to 8/1 for the Premier League title by Sky Bet as a result of Luis Suarez's four-month ban from all football.
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The bookmaker clearly feels the Reds' title hopes have been dealt a massive blow by FIFA's disciplinary panel, who acted after the Uruguay striker bit Giorgio Chiellini during their 1-0 win over Italy on Tuesday. It was the third time Suarez has been involved in a biting incident on the field of play during his career.
Liverpool have also been pushed out in the top-four betting to 4/5 and although they remain odds-on they are now only fifth in a packed market having slipped behind both Manchester United and Arsenal, who are both 4/7 shots.
FIFA have banned Suarez from all football activity for four months, meaning he cannot play again until October 26. As the fixture list stands, Suarez is due to miss nine Premier League games, three Champions League group matches and a Capital One Cup tie.
He is also suspended for Uruguay's next nine matches, ruling him out of the remainder of the World Cup. The Uruguayan FA have already announced they plan to appeal.
Games covered by ban
Aug 16 - Southampton H
Aug 23 - Man City A
Aug 30 - Tottenham A
Sep 13 - Aston Villa H
Sep 16/17 - Champs Lge
Sep 20 - West Ham A
Sep 23/24 - League Cup
Sep 27 - Everton H
Sep 30/Oct 1 - Champs Lge
Oct 4 - West Brom H
Oct 18 - QPR A
Oct 21/22 - Champs Lge
Oct 25 - Hull H
The silver lining for Liverpool fans is that he is now rated unlikely to leave Liverpool in this summer's transfer window.
Sky Bet have moved his odds on leaving Anfield this summer from 5/6 to 7/2. Barcelona had been backed in to odds-on to sign the 27-year-old.
Paul Wiggins, Sky Bet’s head of football, said: “It’s mixed news for Liverpool fans, with plenty fearing they might lose their star man this summer as interest in his services appeared to be cranking up.
“However, for both on and off-field reasons, it now seems unlikely that either Barcelona or Real Madrid would be willing to stump up the sort of money required to convince Liverpool to sell, but the Reds will have to play almost a quarter of the season without their leading marksman.”
Posted at 1545 BST on 26/06/2014.