United favourites to retain crown

Manchester United have been installed as 11/8 favourites to win the 2013-14 Premier League title after claiming a 20th domestic crown on Monday night.

The Red Devils ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Aston Villa at Old Trafford thanks to a first-half hat-trick from Robin van Persie, who is now one goal ahead of Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in the race for the Premier League golden boot.

The victory over relegation candidates Villa confirms United’s place at the top of the standings with four games to go as they took full advantage of Manchester City’s slip-up at Tottenham on Sunday.

United’s win on Monday night made it 13 titles in the 20-year history of the Premier League and five in the last seven years. 

Having dominated the Premier League this season, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have been made the early favourites to retain the title next year, with rivals City 7/4 to pick up a second Premier League crown.

Ferguson was full of praise for his squad after Monday’s win, admitting they could arguably be the best group of players he has been in charge of during his 26-year tenure.

“There is a lot of youth and a lot will get better, we expect that,” said the Scot. 

“It is sweet, it doesn’t matter when you win the title, the consistency has been phenomenal.”

The victory will take the pressure off United and Van Persie as the Dutchman gets set to return to his former club Arsenal this weekend.

The United players will be given a guard of honour on to the Emirates Stadium pitch on Sunday for a game they are 2/1 to win, with the Gunners 6/5 and the draw 5/2.

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