Pellegrini right to dismiss Spurs and Liverpool title claims
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini risked the wrath of Lilywhites and Reds everywhere by appearing to rule Tottenham and Liverpool out of the running for the Premier League title this season.
Spurs travel north next time out to face City, who are 4/6 to win at home for the sixth Premier League game in a row.
Peeved Tottenham supporters may feel compelled to point out that their side currently sit a point ahead and a place above their hosts in the top-flight table after 11 matches.
Liverpool fans – who travel across Stanley Park to watch the Reds face local rivals Everton, for which they are 13/10 favourites to claim all three points – can feel even more aggrieved, as they are Premier League-leaders Arsenal’s closest challengers at the moment on 23 points.
However, by delving into the history of the division some sense may be made of Pellegrini’s controversial assertion.
Since its inception in 1992, no team has finished outside the top three and won the Premier League title the following season and neither Liverpool nor Spurs achieved that distinction in 2012/13.
Manchester United were pipped to the 1991/92 First Division Championship by Leeds before coming back to take the first Premier League crown and their first league trophy for 26 years.
Blackburn finished second to United before lifting the title themselves two years later and Arsenal’s first triumph under Arsene Wenger in 1997/98 followed a third-place finish behind the Red Devils and Newcastle the year before.
In every season since, whether the title has been won by the Gunners, Chelsea or the Manchester clubs, each set of champions were in the top three the previous term.
With that in mind, odds of 13/2 and 33/1 on Liverpool and Tottenham Premier League triumphs respectively look about right, if a little too short in the case of the former.