Manchester City go from 11/4 to 1/2 in space of a few weeks
Four games played, four games won, ten goals scored and no goals conceded. Manchester City’s start certainly falls into the dream category and the bookies deem them extremely likely to win the 2015/16 Premier League title.
Odds-against quotes have disappeared to be replaced by a best price 1/2 that Manuel Pellegrini enjoyed a second title with the Citizens and it certainly appears that the Chilean holds all the aces after the arrival of Kevin de Bruyne from Wolfsburg.
City have spent big this summer in recruiting De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, with the squad looking pretty strong in all departments and no team currently able to find their way past Joe Hart.
Yaya Toure and Fernandinho look like the perfect deep midfield pairing, with the former able to rove forward and support the creative David Silva who is currently being flanked by Jesus Navas and Sterling. In Sergio Aguero, City have the best striker in the division and in Wilfried Bony, they have an excellent understudy.
Even so, City were 11/4 to win the league before the season started and many were touting champions Chelsea, pretenders Arsenal and even Manchester United as stronger title contenders than City.
So what has changed? Perhaps it’s just that Pellegrini’s side are starting to fulfil the sort of potential that you might expect from expensively-assembled players, with Nicolas Otamendi expected to slip in alongside Kompany at centre-half.
It also appears evident that Chelsea are out of sorts at the moment, ceding an eight-point advantage to their rivals after four games, even if that included a trip to the Etihad Stadium.
Jose Mourinho’s side were warm favourites before a ball was kicked and they have strengthened by signing Pedro from Barcelona, although there are defensive frailties which have seen the Blues ship nine goals in their first four matches.
Arsenal have also dropped points against West Ham and Liverpool, while a 1-0 win against a ten-man Newcastle side suggests that Arsene Wenger’s side are not performing to the sort of level required to win the title.
But with thirty-four games left and plenty of surprise results happening elsewhere, perhaps we should hold back from proclaiming City as champions-elect at the beginning of September.
Mourinho is too astute and successful to be written off despite his team’s porous defence, with Eden Hazard, Pedro, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa capable of putting most teams to the sword.
Similarly, Arsenal have kept back-to-back clean sheets and have a solid platform to start accruing victories and put themselves in the title picture.