Should Manchester City continue in their current state, their title defence will be over by Christmas.
A point against Queens Park Rangers in London, after Chelsea defeated Liverpool at Anfield, saw the Citizens slip eight points behind Jose Mourinho’s Blues and do little to quell the thinking that Manuel Pellegrini’s men are quite disjointed at present.
But for Sergio Aguero’s brace, this would have been a third league defeat of the season for City and no less than they deserved. Their current price of 11/2 to retain the crown they won under the Chilean last May will surely stretch again before the season is out.
At the moment, Aguero is Manchester City. The Argentine’s 12 goals count for over half of the team’s league total and an injury, which he has been known to acquire, would be a death knoll for a club that lean heavily on his production.
Yaya Toure continues to look abject and the back-four inspire little confidence. Edin Dzeko’s golden touch seems to have deserted him as the Bosnian looks set for a spell in the physio room after limping off four minutes into his substitute’s appearance at Loftus Road.
During a six-game run in which their only win came against 10-man Manchester United, City have conceded two goals in five of those matches and the panic-stricken side have little time for respite.
A key Champions League tie with Bayern Munich is followed by a trip to Southampton, who sit four points ahead of the sky blues themselves.
Chelsea, meanwhile, continue to look every bit the champions-elect that their 1/6 price with Ladbrokes anoints them.
Their unbeaten start to the season continued over a Liverpool side restored to full strength by Brendan Rodgers but playing well below their means.
Mourinho insists his team’s magic run won’t last, but it won’t need to in order to lift the league trophy.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.