Manchester United touted favourites to win league

Manchester United has now been confirmed to be leading the outright market after their controversial victory against league leaders Chelsea at home in Stamford Bridge as Southampton got the worst rating of the season being main relegation candidates.

A most dramatic weekend so to say since the new season began, with wins for Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, the prices in the outright market changed significantly. Meanwhile, with Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Southampton, Aston Villa and Norwich all failing to win, Wigan Athletic is the only team to see their relegation odds lengthened.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were pitched as new favourites ahead of Chelsea to win the EPL title for the season after an eventful 3-2 win over nine-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Javier Hernandez’s late winner cut the Blues’ lead at the top of the table to just one point and as a result, bwin now make Sir Alex Ferguson’s men 8/5 (from 2/1) to win the league. The defeat leaves Chelsea as a 5/2 chance, out from 9/4.

Manchester City are also just one point behind Chelsea after a Carlos Tevez strike gave them a 1-0 win over Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium and Roberto Mancini’s men are now 7/4 to retain their crown.

A late win for Arsenal doesn’t seem to have impressed punters or odds compilers alike, with the Gunners longer for the title than they were before the weekend began. A 1-0 win over ten-man Queens Park Rangers at the Emirates saw Arsene Wenger’s side move into the top six, but they are now 20/1, out from 18/1, to win the Premier League.

Tottenham have been cut to 50/1 (from 66/1) after winning 2-1 against Southampton at St. Mary’s. Spurs now occupy the fourth Champions League place ahead of this weekend’s clash with Wigan at White Hart Lane.

At the other end, that defeat for QPR leaves Mark Hughes’ side at the foot of the table and the Hoops are now 2/1 to be relegated, cut slightly from 11/5.

However, Southampton is the favourite for the drop at 13/20 after that loss at home to Spurs. Saints were 17/20 before the weekend’s action and have now overtaken Reading, who is 3/4 (from 7/10) for the drop after a pulsating 3-3 draw with Fulham at the Madejski Stadium.

Aston Villa and Norwich City played out a 1-1 draw at Villa Park as Paul Lambert’s old club faced his new one, a result which leaves the Canaries 9/10 (from 3/4) for relegation, while the Villans have gone from 12/5 to 2/1.

The only team in the bottom six who won were Wigan, who beat West Ham United 2-1 at the DW Stadium. It means that Wigan’s odds to be playing Championship football next season have gone out from 8/5 to 7/4.

Ashley Cole set to honour England despite calls for ban

Chelsea Full back and England player Ashley Cole has been told to report for National duty for his home country even after calls from different quarters foe the defender to be banned from international activity on pitch for England, nothnaks to his recent attack on the Football Association.

Cole called the FA a “bunch of t***s” on Twitter after he was accused of “evolving” his statement supporting Terry’s defence against the charge he racially abused Anton Ferdinand.

Despite former England player; Alan Shearer’s call and that of pundits alike for Ashley Cole to be banned form international football,the Chelsea full-back is in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino.

He is facing disciplinary action from Chelsea and the FA after he reacted furiously on Twitter to doubts being expressed about his evidence in the John Terry racial abuse case.

Shearer said on BBC that he thinks the FA can put a big statement out there by not fining Ashley Cole but actually banning him on Friday against San Marino.

Cole responded by retweeting a comment on Twitter which referenced an incident in the game between Newcastle and Leicester in 1998 when the former Magpies forward’s boot made contact with Neil Lennon’s face.

The FA ruled the striker had been making a “genuine attempt to free himself” from a tangle with his opponent and took no disciplinary action against him.

Cole retweeted a post from @CollinR4 which read: “Alan Shearer says @TheRealAC3 needs to be banned for comments. I want his opinion on bans for kicking Neil Lennon in the head. #GlassHouses”

Cole has spoken to Hodgson and will meet up with the squad at the new national football centre, St George’s Park near Burton-upon-Trent, today.

It is understood that if he is left out of the San Marino match it will be a case of Hodgson resting players against the Group H minnows rather than any statement relating to the controversy that erupted on Friday. Cole, 31, has 98 England caps to his name and will be desperate to reach the 100-mark.

He will also be part of the England squad that assemble at St George’s Park for the official opening tomorrow by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.

Cristiano Ronaldo, a player than Lionel Messi – Pedrag Mijatovic

A former star for Spanish giants Real Madrid ; Pedrag Mijatovic expressed his opinion on an issue that has been lingering in the midst of football lovers and pundits equally, who plays better complete football between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?

A number of prominent football names, including Brazilian Ronaldo, have had their say on the matter, but it is the Argentinean that has won the award three times to Ronaldo’s one – the last three in a row, in fact.

To Mijatovic, he thinks Portuguese international and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo id more of a complete player than his fellow player Lionel Messi who plays for Argentina and Barcelona.

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is “a more complete player” than his Barcelona counterpart Lionel Messi, Pedrag Mijatovic said.

Giving his analysis, the former Los Blancos forward who during his days in the 90’s scored 29 goals in 90 league games during said the Portuguese forward’s ability to use both feet more comfortably and heading prowess made him a better player than the record goal scorer at Camp Nou.

Messi scored 73 in all competitions for Barcelona last season, but the Montenegrin was adamant that Jose Mourinho’s talisman should be the preference in any choice between the two players generally agreed to be the best in the world.

Though Mijatovic admitted that their movement and way of playing is totally different making them distinct players but for him, Cristiano is better than Messi as he is a more complete player, faster, more explosive with both feet as advantage also good with his head.

He said he sees Cristiano as not having any faults.

A touch of bias is being perceived here afterwards, as Mijatovic was director of football at the Bernabeu as recently as 2009.

Esteban Granero ready for Chelsea in weekend derby

Esteban Granero said he cant wait to make his home debut for QPR in this weekend’s derby clash with Chelsea.

Rangers face a tough task against the in-form Premier League leaders, who have made a brilliant start to their campaign.

And the midfielder, recently signed from Real Madrid, says he is well aware that local pride will be at stake when Roberto Di Matteo’s side visit Loftus Road.

“Chelsea is one of the great teams and also our neighbours. QPR supporters are very excited by this game and expect a good game,” he said.

“It’s a great game for our supporters against our neighbours. It’s not just about three points – it’s more important than that.

“The supporters of QPR are looking forward to this game and so am I – my first game at Loftus Road.”

New-look Rangers have drawn at Norwich and lost at Manchester City since being thumped 5-0 at home by Swansea on the opening day of the season.

But Granero insisted: “At first it’s normal to take time to get to know each other as we have a lot of new players. We will have a good season.

“We have only one point but it’s not the way it’s going to be. This season is going to be great – I can see it.”