The Premier League season is yet to hit the halfway point – but Paddy Power have already paid out on Manchester City winning the title.
Pep Guardiola’s impressive side are eight points clear at the top of the table after 15 of the 38 games that make up the season.
However, they face a tough test this weekend in the form of the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
If Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils beat City, the gap will be narrowed to just five points.
But Paddy Power are so confident the Sky Blues will be lifting the trophy in May that they’ve already paid out on them clinching the title – five months before season ends.
Spokesman Paddy Power said: “We hold our hands up, we’ve fully bought into the hype and can’t see who will come close to Pep’s lads this season.
“If you ignore the sky blue shirts, empty seats and Manc accents, being at the Etihad feels like watching a Guardiola Barcelona side.
“So we’re rewarding the shrewd punters that knew they’d walk it this year.
“Then again, if some of our previous pay-outs are anything to go by, Jose Mourinho can rest easy yet. We paid out over $1m on Hilary Clinton to be president and look where that left us.”
At 12/5, United are the biggest price they have been to win a Manchester derby at home since David Moyes’ reign in 2014. City went on to win that game 3-0.
On Twitter, people have described the move to pay out as “bold”
And Paddy Power brand ambassador, former Manchester United player Paul Ince, agreed.
He said: “It’s both brave and stupid of Paddy Power to pay out – we’re not even half-way through the season yet. It’s crazy to rule out Manchester United, and even Chelsea.
“It’s great for those who backed City, of course, but it could all change – and Paddy Power could end up with a lot of very expensive egg on their face.”