Match day 10 passes us by and the race to be crowned Premier League champions has started to take shape. All the suspects you would expect to find at the business end of the table such as Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool look to be in strong positions but such is the strength of the competition this year, only three points separate the four sides.
Despite a slight three game blip, City are current title favourites at 7/5, followed by the teams mentioned above at 6/1, 11/2, 17/1 and 7/2 respectively. In the last five seasons, the team sitting top after 10 games has gone on to win the Premier League three times, two of those being Man City. Despite being a shorter price in 2012/13 than they currently are, it was Fergie’s Man Utd side who went on to win it that year. You’d have got yourselves 2/1 on United to win the title at the same stage that season.
Sticking with United, life under the special one hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Currently a massive eight points adrift of their Manchester rivals, in a not so special 8th place and without a win in four games, the Red Devils are in need of some of their old fashioned spirit to revive their title ambitions. Though many fans and pundits alike have written them off for another year, the history books say otherwise.
Cast your mind back to the 2008/09 season where you’ll find a Fergie-led Man Utd side eight points behind league leaders Liverpool in 6th. Their season took off and they ran out eventual Champions by a margin of four points. Starting slowly and winning is definitely their speciality. Over the past decade, they have been adrift of top spot and won the title on three occasions in 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2010/11, which is more than any other side. Write them off at your peril!
So what does this tell us about the current campaign? Well, being top after 10 games gives you a 50% chance of winning the Premier League (since 2006/07), with teams as low as 6th going on to win it. Everton are currently 6th and whilst the title does look out of their reach, Spurs do not look out the picture in 5th, three points off top spot. On the basis of United’s successful 2007/08 title-winning season, Spurs are not to be written off at 17/1.
North London rivals Arsenal are in the form of their lives, having not lost a competitive game since the opening day of the season. Despite their lengthy lay off from Premier League glory, many tipsters in the industry believe that the 11/2 on offer is too long a price and one that does not give Arsenal the credit they deserve. Similarly, Liverpool at 7/2, being managed by a man who knocked the mighty Bayern Munich of their perch, also looks a big price.
Chelsea came into 6/1 after beating United and are as long as they have been to win the title at this stage in the last six years (excluding their disaster year). Four wins out of the last five mirrors that of title winners Man Utd in 2012/13 who had racked up just four more points than the blues have this season.
To summarise, all of these sides put in excellent claims to be backed for the Premier League title. For the first time certainly since 2010/11, there is genuine value out there and evidence to suggest that each of these clubs are worth a flutter in their own right, even the adrift Man Utd.