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Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Manchester City backed to get title defence off to a flying start

Punters all over the champions

Manchester City's Pep Guardiola and Sergio Aguero
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Manchester City are red-hot title favourites as they aim to retain the Premier League crown and their expected domination of the division can be shown in the opening-weekend markets with Pep Guardiola's side backed down to odds-on prices for a victory at Arsenal on Sunday.

The evens disappeared as City's backers came out in force and Guardiola was happy to accept his team are being seen as strong market leaders.

"Since nine years I live with that situation, it's no problem," said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss.

"Since nine years, every season - except the first when I arrived at Barcelona - we won the treble and, since then, we are the favourites."

Guardiola revealed Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, who both missed the 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley last week, will be available for selection for the trip to the Emirates.

De Bruyne heads the PFA Player of the Year betting at 8-1 with Betfred, Coral and Ladbrokes after his narrow miss last season to Mohamed Salah. The Liverpool flyer is 10-1 to retain the award from 12-1 shot Eden Hazard.

Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri said Hazard was "very happy to stay" with the 2017 champions, but would not confirm whether Kepa, the goalkeeper signed for a world-record fee from Athletic Bilbao, would make his debut at Huddersfield.

The Blues have loaned Kurt Zouma to Everton and Michy Batshuayi to Valencia, while Tiemoue Bakayoko is also expected to depart.

Promoted Fulham's ambitious summer spending has seen them become the plunge side in the Premier League handicap market. The Cottagers, who host Crystal Palace, are as short as 10-1 in receipt of as many as 45 points with bet365, Betway and Sky Bet.


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Chelsea have loaned Kurt Zouma to Everton and Michy Batshuayi to Valencia, while Tiemoue Bakayoko is also expected to depart
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