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Southampton slashed for top four finish in Coral’s market movers

Coral have cut Southampton’s odds for a top four Premier League finish to 9/4 (from 4/1) following their fifth straight win. Shane Long bagged a brace to take the Saints past lowly Leicester City and cement second place, now holding a four-point lead over reigning champions Manchester City.

Speaking of Manuel Pellegrini’s men, they dropped another two points by drawing at strugglers QPR and, as a result of that, their price on retaining the Premier League crown is now 6/1 (from 7/2). Conversely, Chelsea have shortened even further to 1/6 (from 1/3) to win their first title since 2009/10.

Elsewhere in the top four finish market, northwest rivals Manchester United and Liverpool are going in opposite directions. Louis van Gaal’s Red Devils defeated Crystal Palace courtesy of Juan Mata, also keeping a rare clean sheet. That has seen their odds shorten to 4/7 (from 4/5) to end up in a Champions League place.

Brendan Rodgers’ boys, meanwhile, lost a lead and another Anfield encounter to Chelsea. Reds teenage star Raheem Sterling set up Emre Can, but Gary Cahill cancelled out that opener and Diego Costa, now a 2/1 chance to be Premier League top scorer, netted the winner. Liverpool are 9/4 (from 5/4) for another top four finish.

Like Southampton, Newcastle United have recorded five wins on the spin to move completely clear of relegation danger for the foreseeable future, and are now 16/1 shots to finish in the top six. The fine form Alan Pardew’s team have found means his odds to be the next Premier League manager to leave are now 40/1 (from 16/1).

It contrasts sharply with under pressure Man City coach Pellegrini, who was 33/1 prior to the Champions League home defeat by CSKA Moscow. The Chilean is a 6/1 price to be clearing his desk at the Etihad next, although Paul Lambert (Aston Villa) and Harry Redknapp (QPR) remain more-fancied in this market at 3/1 and 5/2 respectively.

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has moved a clear 12/1 third-favourite to be the Premier League’s leading marksman come the end of the season, after his fifth goal in three games. The Chile international attacker is now on eight, with only Costa and even-money chance Sergio Aguero ahead of him.

Finally, QPR are now equal second-favourites for relegation at 13/10, alongside fellow London club Crystal Palace. Burnley’s first Premier League win of the campaign at home to Hull City has done little to reduce their status as strong odds-on 2/7 favourites for the drop. Leicester City continue to slide in this market, however, and are now 7/4 to end their top-flight stay after just one season.