Out of the 38 rounds of games that are to be played in a full premier league season, all the clubs have already played at least 9 and some have played 10. So a quarter of the new season (2020-21) is already behind us. At this stage, normally, the league table begins to take shape at both the ends – top and bottom. The league table at this stage starts to give clear indication about the teams that can eventually win the title and the ones who can face the drop. So let’s see below what are indications/trends shown by the first quarter rounds of the games
Who will win the Premier League?
So far not a single club has been able to race ahead of the pack. The pre-season favourites – Liverpool and Manchester City have suffered big defeats already against Aston Villa and Leicester City respectively. Liverpool, however is still in the mix, though the same cannot be said of City at this stage. Jurgen Klopp’s injury list is getting bigger after every game and Virgil van Dijk, who is supposedly out for majority of the season is a big blow for them. Manchester City, surprisingly find themselves closer to the bottom of the table rather than top. Admittedly the gap between them and league leaders is just 6 points, but it may be become too big to close eventually. Tottenham has been a real surprise package so far and their league position indicates that their 1-6 demolition of Manchester United was no fluke. In Mourinho, they have a manager who knows a thing or two about winning Premier League. Will he be able to become the first manager in the history of premier league to win the title with two different clubs? Chelsea is another club who has forced their way towards the top after a bad start. Looks like their new signings are beginning to gel well and they may be ready to kick on from here. Based on the games played so far, it looks like the league title will be contested between these 3 sides – Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs and Chelsea.
Who will finish in top 4?
Assuming first 3 positions are taken up by Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs and Chelsea (not necessarily in the same order) that leaves just one place. One would normally expect that one among Manchester City or Manchester United or Arsenal would be able to get that last champions league place. However it appears that Manchester United’s inconsistent form will make it difficult to reach close to 4th position. Arsenal under Arteta had shown a lot of promise early in the season and it appeared just a matter of time that their performance will begin to result into points but they seem to have regressed badly. And with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang misfiring, it appears that top 4 is already ruled out for Arsenal. Early season surprise package Everton may have been a contender but they seems to be losing the momentum already. With the quality in the squad and Pep Guardiola’s presence in the dugout, Manchester City may eventually be able to finish in top4.
Who will face the drop?
Sheffield United appear to be a firm favourites for the drop – they have one solitary point and have lost 9 out of the 10 games. Among the newly promoted teams, only Leeds look certain to stay in the premier league. The other two – Fulham and West Brom are already in the bottom four and it looks likely that at least one of them will face the drop.
As mentioned above, these are the indications/trends based on the first 9/10 rounds of games. A lot could change between now and next couple of months. The festive period is typically critical when games come thick and fast and injures begin to mount up. Also January transfer window will be crucial and one good signing can change the fortunes of the club – as Manchester United discovered last year with Bruno Fernandes signing. So let’s sit back, grab a beer and enjoy the roller coaster ride of Premier League over the festive period!
– Rajneesh Verma [Rajneesh Verma is the Founder of Sportz Cosmos and leads the Football Galaxy. You can reach him at the gmail id: sportzcosmos]