Thursday, November 15, 2018

Are there really five Premier League title contenders?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 31 Oct 2018

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Manchester City’s attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva recently stated in an interview with Sky Sports that he believed that there are five contenders for the Premier League title. However, it is difficult to see five teams with the quality and consistency in the top-flight to challenge for the title. Here are my thoughts on the teams that Silva was talking about:

Manchester City

The reigning champions just seem to be getting stronger and stronger under Pep Guardiola. Not only are the Citizens firing in attack with a league-high of 27 goals, but they have also conceded just three goals in ten league games this season, another league best.

It will be highly difficult for any team to stop the Citizens retaining the title this season. The men from Manchester look to have very few weaknesses and City are currently heavy favourites to win the title at odds of 4/9.

Liverpool

The Merseysiders are currently seen as the biggest threat to the Citizens dominance in the English top-flight. Jurgen Klopp’s team are level on points with City, having also started the campaign ten games unbeaten in the Premier League.

The Reds have also been solid in defence, conceding just four goals this season. However, the much-vaunted attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have not been on the same level as last season.

The Merseysiders have still averaged two goals a game this season in the league. However, City, Chelsea and Arsenal have all scored more league goals.

Chelsea

The Blues were always going to be a good team to watch under highly-rated boss Maurizio Sarri and the team from south west London have started their league campaign with seven wins and one draw.

The Blues have certainly been firing in the top-flight this season, as they are the joint-second top scorers in the Premier League alongside Arsenal. Sarri has managed to help the likes of Ross Barkley and Eden Hazard to up their game.

Chelsea are certainly no strangers to winning the title in recent years, and it would take a brave man to write them off for the title this year. However, for me, the team from the capital will fall just short of winning the title this season.

Arsenal

Arsenal have made a positive start to life under new boss Unai Emery. The Gunners currently sit fourth place in the table, having recorded seven wins and one draw, while suffering two defeats.

The Gunners have also been impressive in front of goal, as previously mentioned firing home 24 league goals this season, the joint-second highest in the Premier League. The team from north London have not really had a problem finding the back of the net in recent years.

However, poor defensive displays have proven costly in the Gunners pursuit of a top-four finish in recent seasons. Although the Gunners have been winning games, there are signs that their defensive vulnerabilities have not been fixed. In fact, Emery’s team have the worst defensive record of any of the leagues current top seven teams.

Tottenham

Tottenham are currently fifth place in the table and five points behind leaders Manchester City. However, in reality, they are some distance behind the Citizens. The north London team did produce a decent second-half display in their recent 1-0 home defeat by the champions, but they are short of depth in their squad.

The lack of summer signings has made everything a bit samey at the club. For me, Spurs do not have enough to challenge at the top of the Premier League table, although they will be challengers for the Champions League spots.

Conclusion

I cannot look any further than Manchester City retaining their title this season, even though it is early in the campaign. Liverpool and Chelsea look the most capable sides of dethroning the Citizens, but I would be very surprised if that happens.

Are there really five Premier League title contenders?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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James

WTF?

“Is”? “Are”, David. “Are”.

And then repeated again at the end?

If soccernews ever needs a proper copy editor, I’d be delighted to cleanse these posts of their grammatical stains.

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