We’re a few weeks into the Premier League season and while there will no doubt be surprises and upsets ahead, we are starting to get an idea of how the season will probably pan out.
It’s really hard to look beyond Manchester City now, even after being tested to the limit by Newcastle and Crystal Palace, they just seem to find a way and that is the mark of champions. The 3-1 Community Shield loss to Liverpool that made people question if Erling Haaland would be successful in the English game seems a long time ago and few would bet on the title ending anywhere but the Etihad Stadium.
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Arsenal and Spurs have made positive starts and appear to have the right managers in place to continue to make progress. Just missing out on Champions League qualification last season should ensure Arsenal doesn’t make the same mistakes and the addition of Gabriel Jesus already looks like one of the signings of the season. Spurs are starting to look like an Antonio Conte team and their favorable Champions League draw in Group D, as highlighted by the mirror.co.uk, should see them comfortably qualify from the group stage without too much drama.
Liverpool is the team surprisingly struggling and for the first time in a long time, Jurgen Klopp has been questioned regarding his decision-making. Fans always want new players with expensive price tags, but Klopp felt that he had enough midfield options to last the season. Yet, a stuttering start, significant injuries, and a general malaise against arch-rivals Manchester United has cast doubt on Liverpool challenging on all fronts once again. They should have enough to finish in the top four, if only because teams such as West Ham and Leicester don’t appear equipped enough to mount a strong challenge.
The top team that appears most in danger of failing to finish in a lucrative Champions League qualification spot is Chelsea, as Thomas Tuchel simply doesn’t appear to have the goal scorers required and has had to reshape his defense.
Many expected to three promoted teams Nottingham Forest, Fulham, and Bournemouth to find it tough in the Premier League, but they have already shown that they have the talent to make it a real scrap this season.
Fulham, with Aleksandar Mitrovic proving doubters wrong, appears the best bet to avoid the drop, but much will come down to manager Marco Silva keeping his side’s aggressive outlook and fielding a consistent first eleven. Forest are the big spenders and while it’s good to have some points on the board, they were very lucky to take all three against West Ham and fingers will be crossed that Steve Cooper can quickly get a group of strangers to gel.
Bournemouth, like Forest, had a good initial result at home, but don’t look better than other teams in the league and early predictions of their demise don’t appear unwarranted. Established names that could have a troubled season are Everton and Leicester, two teams that have been selling talented players without sufficiently recruiting. As this article by fourfourtwo.com states, Xisco Munoz of Watford was the unlucky first casualty of the Premier League sack race last season, but Brendan Rodgers and Frank Lampard are the managerial names most expect to lose their job soon, and much will come down to who replaces them.
Still all to play for, but as we assess the season so far we have a better idea of who will challenge and who is in trouble.