London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/01/2013 -- Manchester City did ensure the gap remained at 12 points on Sunday but the spread betting firm has priced their spread at 38-40, suggesting any hopes they have of retaining their league title are done and dusted.
Many pundits predicted a blip from the Red Devils but there is a composure and a confidence about this United team. A trip to QPR on Saturday was just the sort of game in which lesser sides could have slipped up in – indeed Chelsea were beaten by the bottom club in the league and City were held to a goalless draw there – but Sir Alex Ferguson’s men rolled on with a 2-0 win.
City’s 2-0 defeat of Chelsea, coupled with Tottenham’s win over West Ham on Monday night, means the Blues are now two points behind Spurs and the battle for third spot looks set to be a thriller.
Tottenham are involved in the North London derby against Arsenal on Sunday and it’s been a long time since most people would have argued that the former rule the roost in that patch of the capital now.
Arsenal’s inconsistency has cost them this season and they are fifth, four points behind their weekend rivals ahead of the trip to White Hart Lane.
However, perhaps the Gunners’ best performance of the season came in this corresponding fixture in November when they triumphed 5-2.
Successive 5-2 victories came after a run of three games without beating Tottenham and overall their record is four wins, four losses and two draws from the last ten encounters.
Nine of those ten meetings have seen over 2.5 goals and five of the last six have had over 4.5 goals.
The last two clashes have seen a red card – both times shown to Spurs’ players – and four of the last five games have seen a goal scored in the tenth minute or quicker.
Theo Walcott has netted four goals in his last three appearances against Tottenham and is Arsenal’s leading scorer with 18 goals this season.
Arsene Wenger hasn’t won at White Hart Lane in the league since September 2007.
Chelsea have won just two of their last six league games and defeat to West Brom could well be the final game the unpopular Rafael Benitez presides over at Stamford Bridge.
Blues’ fans will hardly take comfort from the fact the Baggies have won their last two games over Chelsea, ending a run of eight straight losses to the west London club.
Chelsea had won five of those eight without conceding and have hit 15 goals in their last five home games versus the Midlands club.
Norwich’s surprise 1-0 win over Manchester United in November was only the second time in the last ten meetings a side had failed to score twice.
It was the seventh time in those ten games that both teams had failed to hit the net in the same match.
Manchester City are in action on Monday night at Aston Villa. The last three fixtures have seen over 4.5 goals and City won the corresponding match 5-0 at the Etihad in November.
City have won just one of their last five visits to Villa Park but it was their most recent.
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