Saturday 12 September, 12.30pm
An early look at the Premier League odds for this weekend's matches shows Man City favourites to win at Spurs and Liverpool almost evens at home to Leicester reports Max Liu...
"The match at Anfield should feature Golden Boot rivals Mo Salah 5.39/2 and Jamie Vardy 7.06/1 who have both scored eight goals so far."
The Premier League returns this weekend with two mouthwatering match-ups at the top of the table that should reveal plenty about two of this season's surprise title contenders.
On Saturday, second-placed Tottenham host last season's runners-up Manchester City at 17:30.
This weekend it will be exactly one year since Jose Mourinho took over as Spurs and, while many fans were unhappy at both the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino and the choice of his replacement, they will feel encouraged by their current league position.
Spurs are learning to win ugly under Mourinho and their match against Pep Guardiola's arch-artisans this Saturday could be the best Jose v Pep encounter yet in the Premier League.
If Mourinho's men upset the odds and emerge victorious from this one then they will be top of the table by about 19:30 on Saturday evening and their title price will probably have shortened from its current 10.519/2. As it stands, City 2.6213/8 are title favourites even though they're 10th in the table, albeit with a game in hand on many of the teams above them.
On Sunday at 19:30, league leaders Leicester travel to champions Liverpool for what is surely the ultimate test of the Foxes.
On the face of it the 1.981/1 on the hosts is probably one of the best prices you'll have been able to get on them at Anfield for a long time, but the team news is not positive for the hosts. Mo Salah is isolating after contracting COVID-19 during the international break while Joe Gomez picked up an injury to join Virgil van Dijk on the sidelines. There are doubts, too, over Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson. Little wonder then that Leicester are 3.9 with the draw 4.1.
Brendan Rodgers' bubble looked like it had burst at the end of last season but this term his players have come roaring back.
Liverpool are 3.39/4 to retain the Premier League title while Leicester are 27.026/1. Liverpool sit only a point behind Leicester in the table so there's a lot at stake on Sunday.
On top of that, Salah's absence gives Jamie Vardy a chance to go ahead of Golden Boot rival Mo Salah. Both have scored eight goals so far.
Chelsea aim to march on as Villa and Utd seek consistency
Chelsea have been impressive recently, in attack and in defence, with just one goal conceded in their last six in all competitions.
Frank Lampard will be delighted that his team have tightened up and that's one reason they're as short as 1.538/15 to win away to Newcastle in the 12:30 kick-off on Saturday.
After that, Aston Villa are tasked with following up their magisterial win at Arsenal with a home fixture against Brighton. Consistency has the been the problem for Dean Smith's team and they lost their previous two at home - one reason why they're 2.35/4 to beat Brighton 3.259/4 with the draw 3.7511/4.
Ready for a relegation six-pointer? Then Old Trafford is the place to be on Saturday night.
Manchester United won at Everton last time out, probably buying Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a bit of time, but can they follow-up with their first home win of the Premier League season this weekend?
The Red Devils are 1.341/3 to beat bottom club West Brom who are, incidentally, 1.374/11 for the drop. You can get 100.0099/1 on United playing Championship football next season.
Early odds on Sunday and Monday's matches
Scott Parker is a good bet to become the first Premier League manager to leave his job this season, according to Alex Keble.
If Fulham lose at home to Everton on Sunday then that bet might pay out sooner rather than later. Everton are 1.9720/21 to return to winning ways at Craven Cottage.
Where has it all gone wrong for Sheffield United? They're suffering from a case of second season syndrome, the like of which we've not seen since Hull City circa 2009-10, and the Blades are 3.1511/5 at home to West Ham with the away win 2.56/4.
Leeds host Arsenal at 16:30 in what fans of a certain vintage may think of as the John Lukic derby. This should be a good one, although the Whites are 3.259/4, with the Gunners 2.35/4 and the draw 3.814/5, indicating bettors think Mikel Arteta can get one over on Marcello Bielsa.
As for Monday's matches, the early odds suggest there's little between Burnley 2.8415/8 and Crystal Palace 2.915/8.
Saturday 12 September, 12.30pm