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Chelsea look good to become Christmas number one

| 22.10.2012

With 10 weeks to go until Christmas, the market for which Premier League club will be topping the table going into the festive season is now open.

The favourite to be Christmas number one is Chelsea, who currently top the table by four points and can be backed at 6/5 to stay there when Santa comes to town.

It is debatable as to whether being top of the pile on Christmas day is a good omen or not, with arguments existing for both cases.

On the one hand only nine teams that have sat down for their roast turkey dinner on December 25 have triumphed as league winners the following May over the last 20 seasons.

However, a recent trend suggests that leading at Xmas is followed by summer success, with the last three Premier League champions completing this unique double.

For Chelsea, there are further appetising signs for Robert Di Matteo’s side to keep up their early season form, as every time the Blues have won the title in the modern era they have been on top at Christmas.

However, the current Champions League holders have ten tricky matches to negotiate if they are to try and fulfil their good omen and provide fans with some Christmas cheer.

Chelsea face just one side from the bottom six – Aston Villa on Dec 23 – in a match that could prove vital in deciding who sits top going into the festive period.

Before then Chelsea make trips to Tottenham, Swansea, West Brom, West Ham and Sunderland, an unenviable away fixture list but not one that will hold too much fear for captain John Terry and co.

At home the league leaders will have to entertain title challengers Manchester United and Manchester City, but doing so at Stamford Bridge is less daunting than Manchester.

That also leaves Liverpool and Fulham, although Chelsea will be hopeful of taking three points against both those sides in West London.

Whilst those are ten tough encounters with no easy points on offer, the size of Di Matteo’s squad allied with their strong early season showings and four-point cushion may prove invaluable.

Elsewhere, champions Man City are the 11/2 second favourite, and will face Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton, Man United and Newcastle between now and Christmas.

Roberto Mancini must also cope with the increasing demands of the Champions League, something the Citizens are finding difficult already this campaign.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man United have been around the block enough times to need not worry about good omens in the race for the title.

But having conceded last season’s Premier League trophy in injury time to their ‘noisy neighbours’, they will take any help offered this season.

United are 5/2 to be top at Christmas, but face potential hurdles in Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City amongst others.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Jamie Dickenson