Hazard and Torres announce Chelsea as title challengers

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Chelsea proved that they are ready to mount a title challenge after winning their third Premier League game in succession  at home to Newcastle.

Pre-season title talk focused almost entirely on the two Manchester clubs, although the form of Roberto Di Matteo’s side makes their 7/2 odds to top the league intriguing.

£32m new-boy Eden Hazard looked worth every penny as he produced a man-of-the-match display at Stamford Bridge while Fernando Torres looked to be getting back to his best in the 2-0 win.

Those two combined well against Newcastle and were both on the scoresheet as Chelsea reversed last season’s result against Alan Pardew’s side.

Another title chaser secured three points at home yesterday, with £24m summer acquisition Robin Van Persie scoring as Manchester United beat Fulham 3-2 at Old Trafford.

With Wayne Rooney likely to be out for around a month with a nasty cut suffered after coming off the bench, the onus will be on the Dutchman to keep United’s league flame burning. Along with Chelsea’s Torres, Van Persie is 5/1 to be the division’s top scorer.

A second consecutive victory for Swansea kept Michael Laudrup’s side at the top end of the table after the Dane oversaw a comfortable 3-0 win over newly-promoted West Ham.

£2m summer signing Michu scored his third league goal of the season whilst last season’s leading marksman Danny Graham opened his account for the campaign. If the Swans can keep up their early form then odds of 100/1 to make the top four could prove cheap.

Everton also extended their 100% to the new league season by backing up their shock opening weekend victory over Man Utd with an impressive 3-1 away win at Aston Villa.

Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic scored for the Toffees as they moved into third place in the league, with Everton’s unbeaten start pricing them at 8/1 to make the top four for the first time since the 2004/05 campaign.

Many people’s home banker Tottenham Hotspur disappointed in their first outing of the season at White Hart Lane, conceding a late equaliser to draw 1-1 with West Brom.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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