SPORTS BETTING: Arsenal can shorten odds at Old Trafford

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The Independent Online
The teams may have taken a week off, but the market on the Premiership has done anything but, with several significant moves in recent days.

The most dramatic shift in a single list was surely the reduction to 6-1 (from 11-1) about Chelsea with Super Soccer, who supply odds to the Tote and many independent layers. Gianfranco Zola is certainly a fine signing for Ruud Gullit's team, but the 14-1 still on offer with Ladbrokes and Hills is a more sober assessment of their title chance.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are drifting rapidly, and are now out to 15-2, though the Gunners visit Old Trafford on Saturday with the home side's confidence in tatters. A fourth Premiership defeat for the champions might well see them supplanted as third favourites by Arsene Wenger's side.

The national side are now clear favourites to win their group and thus qualify automatically for the World Cup in 1998 following their no-nonsense victory in Georgia on Saturday. William Hill offer England at 8-11, Italy on 11-10, and Georgia breaking three figures on 100-1.

Were Georgia to win all their remaining qualifying matches 5-0, it would hardly be more of a surprise than the result of Saturday's heavyweight championship bout in Las Vegas. Despite his deserved success, however, Evander Holyfield will still start as the underdog for a rematch with Mike Tyson. The date and venue have yet to be decided, but Hills already have their odds to hand, and make Tyson favourite at 2-7, with Holyfield a 5-2 chance.

FA PREMIERSHIP Best odds: 6-4 Newcastle (H,T); 5-2 Liverpool (C,T); 7- 2 Manchester United (C,L,T); 15-2 Arsenal (T); 14-1 Chelsea (H,L); 28- 1 Aston Villa (C,T); 50-1 Everton (C,H,L,T); 66-1 Wimbledon (L); Tottenham (H,L,T); 150-1 bar. (C=Coral, H=Hills, L=Ladbrokes, T=Tote). To be relegated: Hills: 8-13 Leicester; 11-10 Nottingham Forest; 6-5 Coventry; 6-4 Derby; 2-1 Sunderland; 9-4 Southampton; 11-4 Blackburn; 4-1 Sheffield Wednesday; 6-1 Leeds; 7-1 West Ham United.