Frontrunners odds-on to win
City and United backed to come through the weekend unscathed
By Jamie Casey. Last Updated: 29/11/12 5:09pm
Roberto Mancini: May get another bite-sized taste of the top on Saturday
Manchester City will go back to the top of the Premier League, perhaps only momentarily, if they justify their odds-on price to beat Everton at home on Saturday.
City are 8/15 on to overrun the Toffees, who are 5/1 outsiders to register a win at the Etihad Stadium, as they did in 2010 when Leighton Baines was on target. The left-back is 5/1 to score at any time throughout the 90 minutes this time around.
Roberto Mancini's men won this fixture 2-0 last year, and Sky Bet go 13/2 for a repeat correct score which has proved one of the more popular prices with punters in our pre-match betting odds.
Should City return to the top, the onus will be on league leaders Manchester United to respond at Reading in Saturday's late kick-off. United, Sky Bet's current favourites for the title, are 2/5 on to hand the Royals their second home defeat of the season.
United appear to excel in the challenge of falling behind, which is perhaps why we've received a substantial amount of bets on Reading to be leading at the break, only to succumb to the visitors' resilience at 22/1.
Robin van Persie, who's first-minute opener was enough to defeat West Ham on Wednesday, is once again favourite to open the scoring at 2/1, with very little being placed on other options. Javier Hernandez, incidentally, is 5/1 to score a brace.
Earlier on Saturday, Rafa Benitez will perhaps be relieved to be experiencing his first away game as Chelsea boss, with the Blues 9/10 on to open his win account at West Ham. The Hammers are 3/1 to pile the pressure on the Spaniard with a home win, while another draw can be backed at 5/2.
Sky Bet offer odds of 12/1 for a third straight 0-0 draw, while under 2.5 goals is priced at evens. Meanwhile, we've opened the market for Fernando Torres' next league goal - he's 4/1 to open the scoring at Upton Park and evens to score at any time.
Elsewhere, Liverpool are odds-on (2/5) to bounce back from their defeat at Tottenham as they host Southampton (7/1), who are unbeaten in four. The Reds have a habit of being held at home this season, though, with many punters opting for the good value for the draw at 7/2.
The sides to be deadlocked at the break, only for Liverpool to go on and win is rated at 3/1, while we go 5/4 for there to be three goals or under. Southampton's Jason Puncheon has had his shooting boots on of late, and he's available at 9/2 to score any time.
At the bottom end of the table, Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers are evens to beat unpredictable Aston Villa in our outright betting odds, with Villa having lost five out of seven on the road.
Christian Benteke eased the pressure on Paul Lambert (22/1 to be the next Premier League boss to leave his club) with a winner against Reading on Tuesday, and he's 6/1 to get on the score-sheet alongside the home side's Jamie Mackie.
Sunday sees struggling Sunderland travel to Norwich (23/20), who are unbeaten in seven, with the Black Cats 12/5 to come away with a much-needed three points. The draw can be backed at 23/10, but plenty of the pre-match money has been wagered on Chris Hughton's side to win 2-1 at 8/1.
On Monday, Newcastle are evens to stop the rot of four defeats on the trot as they host Wigan (11/4), a game which can be seen live on Sky Sports 1 HD.
Alan Pardew's odds on the next Premier League manager to leave his post have shorted from 60/1 to 16/1 in the last week, although the former Charlton boss is not understood to be under any real pressure having recently signed a mammoth contract with the Magpies.
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