The league is finally beginning to take shape now and I always find it strange that after as little as four games the league generally tends to have ordered the top end of the table fairly accurately, in relation to how they will finish in May. After a slow start, Arsenal have settled down and have powered themselves into the top 4, causing punters to slash their price both in the top 4 market and the winners market. Having been matched at a high of 28, Arsenal are now as low as 12 on Betfair to win the title for the first time since 2004. As far as I am concerned, anyone backing Arsenal at that price (or any price at all for that matter) is absolutely mental. They beat the worst team in the league 6-1 and recorded a good victory at Anfield, albeit a poor Liverpool team, but I would not even consider them for the title, particularly not at this early stage. They face Man City and Chelsea in the next couple of weeks and I think we could see a knock back to reality for the Arsenal contingent. Their top 4 price is now at 1.54 but, having layed them at 1.899 (an annoyingly high price as they traded down to 1.75 the day after I was matched), I'm not yet concerned for my money. As I said before, they will play City at the weekend, with Spurs (3 points behind Arsenal) playing QPR at home. If both favourites win those games Spurs and Arsenal will be level on points once again and the top 4 merry-go-round will be truly underway once again.
Relegation is an interesting market at the moment as we have two contenders odds on (Southampton and Reading), along with Norwich teetering on the edge at 2.1. The price ups are intriguing because if we look at the fixtures these three teams have had, it would appear to suggest that Norwich are the worse off out of the three. Reading have one point from three games, with one in hand, having drawn to Stoke and lost to Spurs and Chelsea, the last two being games they weren't likely to gain points from. Southampton are pointless and look to be struggling greatly, but when looking at their games, there is no real shame in being thrashed at the Emirates and losing 3-2 to United and City, leading in both games. Losing at home to Wigan was a disappointing result, but this is the only fixture to date which they have really stood a chance of gaining any points. Norwich on the other hand have had two home games to mediocre opposition, West Ham and QPR, and drew both of these. These are games which they would have been winning last year, and in my opinion they definitely look set to struggle this year. No goals so far (though I know it has only been four games) from Holt or Morison, two players who were relied upon last season, and although they managed to nab a good point away to the ailing Spurs, the 5-0 loss at Fulham highlighted the look of things to come. The problem they now face is that they now face Newcastle, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in succession, whereas Reading won't come up against a top 5 team until December, and Southampton's only big test is Spurs over the next couple of months. I expect Norwich to trade odds on for relegation before long, meaning the 2.1 is still pretty big. I backed them for relegation at 2.547 for £50, and might consider topping up on them soon. With my Reading bet, I jumped a bit too early and traded out at 2.3 after backing them at 2.6. After Spurs' poor start I was concerned that Reading were going to take at least a point yesterday, so I took a small profit after Reading's poor start had already driven the price down. It turned out to be the wrong decision but at least I took a small profit. The more I try out these different trades the more I will learn, and hopefully I will learn a lot on timing of trades over the season.
In the top 10 market, my back of Fulham has had little movement so far, despite what I see as a very encouraging start from the Cottagers. Two good home wins see them sit in 8th place at the moment, yet there seems to be a large amount of resistance on their price. They remain at odds of 2.38 with the market preferring to side with Sunderland (2.06) at the moment. I haven't yet seen anything to blow me away from three-draws-Sunderland, who finished 13th last season, and Fulham's squad looks superior in my eyes. I may consider taking the best price I can get on a Fulham lay as the market might take a while to side with my opinion. We shall see.
Thank you again for your continued support, I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it.