The busy festive season continues, and betting editor Paul Gough believes there may just be value in the matches of some of the Premier League's title contenders
|By PAUL GOUGH
Both Manchester clubs could be vulnerable at short odds as the non-stop festive period continues in the English Premier League with another eight matches set down for Saturday.
United opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the table over arch-rivals and defending champions City on Boxing Day despite trailing three times at home against lowly Newcastle before finally prevailing 4-3.
City suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat away to Sunderland, which followed on from a lucky last-minute win against bottom side Reading in their previous outing.
After those two results, United are now as short as they have been all season at Betfair to win the title at $1.44, with City out to $5.80.
A revitalised Chelsea have firmed into $8.40 after closing to within four points of City in third spot, having won away at in-form Norwich.
All three title contenders face tricky games this weekend, however, with Chelsea away to fifth-placed Everton on Sunday.
But first to the Saturday action, when United are the $1.33 favourites at home to West Brom at $11 with Betfair, while City are the $1.60 favourites away to Norwich at $6.60.
But while we are not brave enough to tip the underdogs in either fixture, both are capable of holding their highly rated opponents to at least a draw.
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City also look shaky at their odds-on price for their trip to Norwich.
While the Canaries have hit a mini-slump with losses in three of their past four games, they have been fantastic at Carrow Road this season and have already beaten both Manchester United and Arsenal at home in the league.
And that record, combined with City's worrying recent form, means Norwich look a great bet at $5 in Betfair's draw no-bet market, where punters get their money back should the Canaries draw against the visiting champions.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Arsenal and West Ham - whose Boxing Day clash was postponed due to a Tube strike in London - should be refreshed for their weekend outings against teams that had to play in midweek.
Aston Villa - having leaked 12 goals without reply in their past two matches against Chelsea and Tottenham - are the $2.44 favourites at home to fellow relegation candidates Wigan at $3.30, where the draw looks the way to go at $3.35.
In-form Stoke, unbeaten in their past nine matches, should win at home at $1.85 at Betfair against battling Southampton at $5.20, while Fulham at $2.24 are favourites at home against Swansea at $3.60 in what looks the toughest game of the day to predict.
And in the early game, Sunderland - on the improve under Martin O'Neill with three wins in their past four games - are great value at $3.95 at home to high-flying Spurs [$2.12], as is the draw at odds of $3.55 at Betfair.
* Note prices subject to change