- Man City dropped a surprising result to Norwich City this weekend
- Despite the loss and sitting five points behind first place Liverpool, they are still odds-on favorites to win the league
- Is the value on Liverpool now while still at plus-money?
The new EPL season took an unexpected twist at the weekend when newly-promoted Norwich City pulled off a shock home win over Premier League favorites Manchester City. It’s a result that already leaves the Citizens five points behind leaders Liverpool after just five games.
Man City’s average Premier League odds have moved from -180 to -150 since August 1, while Liverpool have shortened from +250 to +140, but do they still deserve to be favorites? Or is now the time to bet Liverpool while they are still plus-money? Let’s take a look.
2019/20 English Premier League Odds
*Odds taken 9/17/19.
That City are still favorites even when facing such an early deficit is quite something, but with 33 games still to go the big question is, is there time for them to close the gap?
While that may sound a daft question with only five games gone, it’s important to remember how last season’s EPL panned out. Liverpool finished second but accumulated the most points ever for a side that didn’t win the Premier League and lost just a single game all season – away to Man City.
All of which makes Man City’s defeat at Norwich that much more significant, with there being so little room for error for either of the top two.
Pep Guardiola cut a beleaguered figure on the Carrow Road touchdown on Saturday night as his side struggled to break-down the Canaries’ defense, but of even more concern would have been his side’s error-strewn defending.
With center-back Aymeric Laporte out injured until the new year, Guardiola paired England center-back John Stones with Argentinian Nicolás Otamendi in the center of his defense with disastrous consequences. Neither looked comfortable and both were given a tough ride by Norwich’s scoring sensation Teemu Pukki, their own Argentinian star Emi Buendia and the rest of their potent attack.
For Man City to chase down Liverpool, this is an area Guardiola will have to address and quickly. And with this morning’s announcement that John Stones will miss five weeks with a muscular injury suffered in training, there is a real defensive crisis for Guardiola to manage.
OFFICIAL: Pep Guardiola has confirmed that John Stones was injured in Manchester City training this morning and will miss the next 4-5 weeks. pic.twitter.com/vlHv58l7xq
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 17, 2019
The Reds meanwhile continue their quest for their first league title since 1990 and show no sign whatsoever of slipping up unexpectedly, as City did at the weekend.
Liverpool’s five wins from five have been achieved at a canter and Jurgen Klopp’s men have barely broken into a sweat so far, but it’s important to note that only one of those five games has been against other members of the ‘big six’.
They have sterner tests ahead and with the UEFA Champions League starting this week, they will start to feel the heat of having to play Wednesday/Sunday, which naturally stretches playing resources.
#TopSport Update: HT Scores
Liverpool 2 – 1 Newcastle
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) September 14, 2019
On that score, City may have the edge on the Reds by having greater strength in depth and being more equipped to cope with the increased intensity the Champions League fixtures bring.
Of course, there is also the small matter of the rest of the Premier League hunting down City and Liverpool, and Tottenham and Manchester United, in particular, will fancy their chances of getting among them, but both have already shown signs of inconsistency.
In my view, it remains a two-horse race with Liverpool’s early lead a significant one, especially in light of City’s defensive frailties.
My pick: Liverpool to win the EPL (+150)