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Rupert Wyman 20th Oct 2008 - 22:00

Big Four dominate the weekend's proceedings

On Saturday the Big Four underlined what they mean to the Premier League with only their matches containing any goals. The other four matches on Saturday all finished goalless. With all Big Four winning the title continues to appear to be a four horse race, at least for now. Following a tremendous performance at Middlesbrough, Chelsea are still favourites and were shortened for the title from evens to 10/11. Man Utd are really starting to hit form and despite a gallant defensive effort by West Brom they eventually collapsed and Man Utd's attacking prowess was for all to see with four goals in the last 34 minutes.  They remain as second favourites at 15/8 with Liverpool (6/1) and Arsenal (8/1) trying desperately to make sure they can at least prove competitive all season long.

Over the course of the weekend fifth favourites Man City drifted from 66/1 to 100/1 following a disappointing 2-2 draw against struggling Newcastle who were down to ten men for the vast majority of the match.

That spirited draw by Joe Kinnear's Newcastle saw them lengthen to 3/1 in the relegation market. Fellow crisis club, Tottenham, failed to win yet again. This time it was away to relegation favourites Stoke (2/7). Spurs were cut from 5/1 to 11/4 for the drop. Surely they are too good to go down? But apparently so were West Ham in 2003 and Leeds in 2004.

At the other end of the table the fairytale continues for Hull City as a fourth match against London opposition meant a fourth win and they maintained their position among the big boys in third place. As a result they can now be backed at 11/5 for the drop. No one realistically expects them to crack the top four in their first season, but in the betting without the Big Four they have been shortened to 25/1 after starting the season as 200/1 shots.


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