Arsenal’s chances of winning the league next year have improved hugely after Barcelona’s president said the Spanish club would not attempt to buy Cesc Fabregas this summer.
The Gunners are 6/1 to win the league – behind Chelsea (13/8), Manchester United (7/4) and Manchester City (5/1) – and that price could well be a generous one.
“Arsenal feel very hurt by Barca,” Sandro Rosell said. “They don’t want to listen to offers and are not putting the player on the market.”
Fabregas is crucial to Arsene Wenger’s plans and was magnificent last term, scoring 15 league goals and assisting another 15, despite suffering from recurring injuries.
It seems certain he will captain the club from the middle of the park and with the additions of Laurent Koscielny at the back and Marouane Chamakh up front, the team spine looks a strong one.
Given they’ve not finished out of the top four since Wenger took over in 1996 it seems assured they will do it this season, at 4/6.
West Ham United have strengthened their squad with the addition of two new players.
Avram Grant has completed the signings of Frederic Piquionne and Pablo Barrera, while reports also suggest the ex-Portsmouth boss has raided his former club for Tal Ben Haim.
Piquionne joins from Lyon but score five times in the league for Pompey last year, with performances improving week on week as the side reached the FA Cup final.
Barrera, the two-footed winger, joins the Hammers for £4million and brings a good reputation having played three times for Mexico at the World Cup.
The hat-trick of new players will help Grant implement his own style with West Ham, and if the Israeli can add a few more in key areas the east Londoners could make a mockery of their 9/4 price for relegation.
Who knows, if the man who guided Chelsea to their only Champions League final to date and took Pompey to a remarkable cup final can repeat his trick with West Ham they might even threaten the top six – a 16/1 chance.
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