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City slickers

Mancini's men see odds cut again after latest Premier League win

Ed Chamberlin - Ed Chamberlin Posted 3rd November 2011 view comments

It was yet another good weekend for Manchester.

City have now gone odds on for the Premier League title with Sky Bet after their win at Wolves.

Meanwhile United have shortened to 13/8 from 15/8 after bouncing back from the derby humiliation with a dogged display at Everton.

Man City: Turning the screw

Man City: Turning the screw

Gary Neville explained on Monday Night Football that Sir Alex Ferguson would have demanded a clean sheet on Saturday and set up his team accordingly.

Sky Bet's title odds: 10/11 Man City, 13/8 Man Utd, 7/1 Chelsea, 28/1 Arsenal, 33/1 Liverpool, 40/1 Tottenham, 500/1 Newcastle, 1,000/1 bar.

Gary explained that in modern day football, playing offside is "dead in the water"

Ed Chamberlin
Quotes of the week

Wayne Rooney played in central midfield and was outstanding. Could that be the future position for Rooney at United, especially for matches away from home?

Gary's big theme on Monday night's show was defending. He described some of Chelsea and Arsenal's defensive play at Stamford Bridge last Saturday as 'crazy', with both adopting a dangerously high defensive line that kept being broken through.

Gary explained that in modern day football, playing offside is "dead in the water".

The question now is how will Chelsea and Arsenal react? Will Andre Villas-Boas and Arsene Wenger take a leaf out of Sir Alex's book and prioritise a clean sheet this weekend?

Arsenal (2/5) have shortened from 66/1 to 28/1 to win the title over the last couple of weeks and are up against West Brom (13/2) on Saturday.

Albion will fancy their chances after being unbeaten in both meetings last season, winning 3-2 at the Emirates.

Plenty of eyes will be on the Gunners' back four but there has never been a goalless draw between these two sides on Arsenal's home turf - that's 62 games in all competitions.

Chelsea (2/5) go to Blackburn (13/2).

The Blues are unbeaten in the last 10 Premier League meetings between these two sides, winning eight and conceding just two goals.

Going further back, Chelsea have lost only one of their last 16 PL contests against the Baggies, winning 12.

After what happened last weekend, Andre Villas Boas' side to win to nil at 13/8 with Sky Bet has to be a good punt.

Swansea (10/1) are a great story at the moment as they continue to thrive on life in the Premier League.

This weekend they meet Liverpool (2/7) for the first time in 21 years, and will be hoping for a better outcome.

On that weekend in January 1990, the Reds dished out an 8-0 hammering in their FA Cup third round replay at Anfield - Ian Rush hitting a hat-trick for Kenny Dalglish's side.

Swansea's only win in 15 visits to Anfield was a 2-1 victory in an FA Cup sixth round game in February 1964. Cilla Black was number one in the the charts at the time, and that same month Muhammad Ali was crowned heavyweight champion of the world after beating Sonny Liston in Florida.

Manchester United (2/9) play Sunderland (12/1), who have a poor record in this fixture.

United have conceded only three goals in the last nine PL meetings with the Black Cats, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last three. Sir Alex Ferguson's side are unbeaten in the last 24 meetings between the two at Old Trafford in all competitions, winning 15.

With their emphasis on defending at the moment, like Chelsea I expect them to win to nil (evens).

Sunderland's last win at Old Trafford came 43 years ago - 2-1 in an old Division One game in May 1968. Colin Suggett and George Mulhall scored for Alan Brown's side.

That win prevented United from winning the League title which, ironically, went to Manchester City, winners at Newcastle. That same month, United went on to become the first English team to win the European Cup.

I'll be heading to Craven Cottage this weekend to present Super Sunday. First up we have Wolves (5/6) against Wigan (10/3). Both sides badly need a win.

Wigan have won the last three PL meetings between the pair. Wolves were the only side Wigan did the double over last season and they have won on both visits to Molineux in the Premier League.

Following that match Fulham(2/1) play Tottenham (5/4), which should be a really good game.

They are both in Europa League action on Thursday, but while Fulham will play a strong side, Tottenham will use their squad players - which gives them a major advantage on Sunday.

Tottenham are bang in form, having taken 19 points from the last 21, and have won three successive PL games against Fulham, including a 2-1 triumph at Craven Cottage last season.

Tottenham are my 'bet of the week' at 5/4 with Sky Bet.

Horse Racing

It's already been a dramatic start to the National Hunt season with a brilliant performance by Weird Al in the Charlie Hall, and the thrills at Exeter, with spills for Captain Chris and Menorah.

Last week I put up Kid Cassidy as my first horse to follow for the season. My second is another Nicky Henderson inmate, Spirit Son. This horse is close to my heart having so nearly pulled off an ante-post touch for this column in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham, but then bolted up for us at Aintree.

I was at Seven Barrows for the day last week and Henderson seemed confident Spirit Son can develop in to a serious Champion Hurdle contender.

The dark horse they were all talking about that day was Darlan. Keep a close eye on him too.

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