Manchester City recovered from their second domestic disappointment of the season at Liverpool in the only way that they know, by scoring lots of goals in a 5-1 thrashing of Premier League newcomers Norwich.
Victories for closest companions Manchester United and Tottenham against Aston Villa and Bolton meant that their advantage at the top remains five points, however the manner of their latest win saw them backed in to 4/7 for the title.
But while they are in a position of great strength back home, the dramatic return to form of their Champions League rivals Bayern Munich and Napoli after difficult periods in their own leagues is a cause of fresh concern ahead of Wednesday.
Roberto Mancini’s side must beat Group A leaders Bayern Munich and hope that Napoli fail to take all three points away to pointless Villarreal, yet their enemies ensured on Saturday evening that they will enter those deciders on similar highs.
The German giants, who have little to play for having already secured top spot, bounced back from successive Bundesliga defeats with a 4-1 triumph over high-flying Werder Bremen in which Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben both scored twice.
Napoli meanwhile shrugged off the surrender of a 3-1 lead against Juventus in midweek to claim a first Serie A win in five against lowly Lecce.
The 4-2 success marked their most prolific performance of the season and the first time that they have properly delivered after resting some star names. They are 8/11 to build on it in Spain against Villarreal, who lost 1-0 to Racing Santander.
Manchester City are surprisingly well fancied to fulfil their half of the bargain by overcoming Bayern at 8/13, though that isn’t expected to be enough, as odds of 11/5 are offered on them reaching the last 16 in their debut campaign.