With all the talk of how Liverpool and Tottenham have emerged as genuine title contenders, it’s perhaps been overlooked what their respective performances may mean in the battle to claim a Champions League spot. And it’s bad news for Manchester United and Chelsea.
Pre-season saw general expectation, and the bookies odds, suggest that United and Chelsea would be hard-chasing Man City to claim the title. At the very least the pair would each secure a top-four finish.
Jose Mourinho’s arrival had United at 1/3 to bag a spot in the first quartet before a ball was kicked, while Antonio Conte could find odds of 2/5 on Chelsea securing Champions League football next term.
But with seven games completed, the Red Devils and the Stamford Bridge club now find themselves fifth and sixth in the top four betting.
And it’s Jurgen Klopp’s marauding Reds and Mauricio Pochettino’s water-tight Spurs who have replaced them.
Liverpool began the campaign as 7/5 to make a return to Champions League football, but a sensational start from the Anfield club means the Reds now sit second in the market at 3/10.
And it’s a similar story for Tottenham, who really announced themselves as contenders with their 2-0 win over Man City last weekend.
The White Hart Lane outfit were 13/10 before the season began, but those odds have come in now to 8/15.
For Man United and Chelsea – two sides with 17 of the 24 Premier League titles between them – a second successive season outside the top four is unlikely to be tolerated.
But with six genuine contenders for only four spots, two will fail come May.
Make no bones about it, the pressure really is on Man United and Chelsea this season, and Liverpool and Tottenham seem plenty happy about applying it.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing