Arsenal are in pole position in the race to finish inside the Premier League’s top four and bookmakers have made them odds-on to do so.
The Gunners beat Newcastle 2-0 on Monday to move above Manchester United and north London rivals Tottenham into third place, behind title chasers Liverpool and Manchester City.
Thought to have been out of the race by Christmas, Arsenal’s steady form has since seen them go from 10/3 (+333) outsiders to 4/9 (-225) firm favourites in the top four Premier League betting odds.
Their tumbling price has been aided by Chelsea’s dwindling form, while the recent collapse of Tottenham has also given rise to the notion of Arsenal qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Gunners Taking Advantage
Indeed, Arsenal were 10 points behind Spurs at the beginning of February, but with seven games remaining Unai Emery’s men have taken full advantage of Tottenham’s run of five league games without a win, four of which have been defeats.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are enjoying their own resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but at 5/4 (+125) to finish inside the Champions League qualification spots the bookies suggest the Red Devils have given themselves too much to do.
📊 Top 4 odds following Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle...— Bookies UK (@bookies_uk) April 2, 2019
🔴 Arsenal - 4/9
⚪️ Tottenham - 8/13
🔴 Man Utd - 5/4
🔵 Chelsea - 15/8
😬 It's gonna be close! #EPL
That said, for United to even be in the conversation at this stage of the season is a remarkable achievement in itself, with the club having been 10/1 (+1000) when Solskjaer’s predecessor Jose Mourinho was sacked.
Yet it’s arguably Chelsea who have endured the most alarming odds swing in the second half of the season.
Sarri To Be Sacked?
Their manager Maurizio Sarri has been walking a tightrope since the turn of the year and remains the bookmakers’ favourite (4/6, -150) to be the next manager to lose his job following a handful of heavy defeats in 2019.
To put Chelsea’s drop off into perspective, they were nailed-on for a top four finish at 1/5 (-500) on New Years’ Day, but those odds have since drifted all the way out to 15/8 (+188), making them the least likely of the four teams to grab one of the two remaining spots after Liverpool and Man City.
All that will be music to the ears of Arsenal supporters, who have quietly watched their team dig out results and remain in the frame for a return to the Champions League, something the pre-season odds suggested was unlikely for Spaniard Emery in his first season in charge.
That said, the Gunners have a tricky month ahead in April, with Everton away next up, as well as visits to surprise packages Watford and Wolves, not to mention a testing Europa League tie with Serie A giants Napoli.