Liverpool and Manchester City are set for a second Premier League title showdown but that looks likeliest to join them this year?
The 2019/20 term might be in its infancy but as matchday eight strategies, themes have emerged to suggest that an scrap under the top two involving heavyweights caught in transition or struggling to balance attacking threat with grit.
Can Manchester United fight to make the top six best four? Are Leicester the actual deal in the Struggle for Champions League football? With the help of both pundits and essential stats, we have a peek at the battle that is ancient, and you may have your say.
Fare was served up by a once-fearsome fixture between the forces of football in Old Trafford although Arsenal and manchester United played a 1-1 draw on Monday Night Football.
United have, in fact, made their worst start to a Premier League year – nine points from seven matches sees them just squeak into the upper half heading into the weekend – and also their own stuttering form stretches back into last term; a haul of just 17 points from the previous 16 matches is your third-worst from the league, even excluding this seasons newcomers.
The chances on Ole Gunnar Solskjaers side have slipped since the start of the season. They had been 5/4 with Sky Bet before a competitive ball was pumped, but, to 9/4, are out after two wins out of seven.
Solskjaer spent large in the summer on Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka but child Dan James – more of a wildcard recruit compared to a thing – was a standout performer, scoring one third of the goals of United so far. Considering that a 4-0 coming weekend rout of Chelsea, just Brighton (2), Newcastle (4) and Watford (4 ) ) have scored fewer goals than Uniteds five, with just Brighton and Watford using a worse shot-conversion speed than their 5.8 per cent. Together with lingering questions over the place of Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku allowed to leave, Solskjaers squad is definitely short, together with the director himself will exude intentions and imagination.
It is a concern for United going forward, said Jamie Carragher after the Old Trafford draw, where 12 of the 16 attempts came from outside the box. For United, that are famous as that group of flying wingers, folks getting in the box, goals and consistently a large target threat, it is a massive worry and I dont really see it shifting. Ole talks about them being clinical but have they really got the players with the ability to become clinical?
Sky Sports Jose Mourinho, speaking after the dismal defeat to West Ham, stated he felt United werein trouble to get not just to the top four but also the best six, although Gary Neville has conceded the gulf but urged them to prioritise long-term strategy. Top four and winning a trophy could be a prosperous season, he stated on his recent podcast. That is where Manchester United are in. Thats unacceptable but they are incapable – following six or seven decades – of moving from seventh, fifth or sixth into first. Being on the ideal track this year is more important than fifth, fourth or third.
Like Man Utd, Arsenals deficiencies have been emphasized from the Old Trafford stalemate however the Gunners – appearing to secure Champions League football for the first time in five seasons – have seen their odds shorten greatly from 11/8 into 10/11.
Their art – along with their rivals worries – are reasons for optimism. Injuries have prevented Unai Emery from fielding Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang along with Nicolas Pepe collectively from the start but Aubameyang has already netted seven times this season and they have created more substantial chances than Man Utd and Tottenham so far.
I think Arsenal have just got the edge due to the strikers within their team, Carragher said on MNF. I think they are going to concede more objects, however, Aubameyang is top class. Hes one of the greatest strikers in the match, that he had been scorer last season and I would not bet against him top scorer again. Theyve Lacazette as well, so that there are just more goals there.
There remains A guess defence: no Premier League side has generated more mistakes while this term no side has faced more shots in complete than the 126 clocked by Opta leading since Emerys appointment. David Luiz remains prone to lapses but Carragher, in a deeper look at Arsenal defects, considers Emery has structural work to do to ensure his backline is shielded.
A capitulation at Watford and a twist against Aston Villa have been further reminders of a center that was tender and Paul Merson expects margins at a race that was nervy. Id likely say Arsenal will make it but there were just two worried soccer teams on Monday night with a great deal of pressure on these, he explained. There isnt going to be a lot between Chelsea, United and Arsenal; yet it isnt going to be like its been where the best four are 10-15 points ahead of everyone else.
Tottenham could have pushed Liverpool and City hard last year before eventually falling off as the race on two fronts took its toll, but also the mood has darkened dramatically across north London – and that had been before Tuesdays 7-2 Champions League humiliation at home to Bayern Munich.
A one off thrashing, with Robert Lewandowski and his team-mates ruthless, might bite but be deciphered. Yet Spurs have dropped from cup competition into Colchester, looked devoid of ideas in defeat Newcastle and surrendered leads; in the circumstance of a beginning where Mauricio Pochettino confessed his talented squad is unsettled following a turbulent transfer window, these are troubling times.
Pochettinos side have won just three games from 10 in most competitions but their encounter could be tracked back to February; in their past 19 Premier League matches, theyve won just 22 points because a defeat to Burnley. Newcastle have made.
Christian Eriksen was benched again in midweek, although in Jan Vertonghen Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Serge Aurier, Tottenham fielded a backline composed of players whose futures have been or remain unclear. Hugo Lloris gaffed against Southampton however no goalkeeper has prevented more league goals than the Spurs man since the start of last season (14), based on Optas expected targets on target data. Just four sides have confronted over Spurs 112 shots and five things have been dropped out of positions.
Merson, before a gritty 2-1 win over Southampton who appeared a morale-booster, speaking, considers Spurs – 8/11 for a finish – remain the challengers to both top but seems a spark has now gone from the dugout and on the pitch.
Theyre the third-best group from the league, in my view, nevertheless, Merson said. I really dont wish to say eliminate Pochettino and everythings correct, but it is only gone sour there. With everybody, the whole thing needs altering. They are a fantastic team, who are not going to win the jackpot – . It seems a bit as the players are believing that. The sparks gone a bit.
Chelseas wait for a first home win in the Premier League ended in the weekend however, their youthful negative has galvanised fans regardless of outcomes and a developing sense of optimism was bolstered in Lille, at which Frank Lampards players passed a stern Champions League test, albeit with the support of an elderly head in Willian.
Lampard has approached the task of blooding childhood in the face of a transfer ban although they might be in transition and his trust in youthful gift is paying off. Tammy Abraham has scored eight goals already this season. He, along with Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount are in line for England call-ups. Each one of the top-flight goals of Chelsea this season have been scored or assisted by academy graduates.
A team filled with enterprise ranks second shots on target and opportunities, for shots and these chances are good ones – Manchester City are scoring higher in terms of aims.
There is ample area for defensive improvement – theyve just kept one clean sheet this season – and the exertions of a long season could well take their toll players adapting to life at the very top level, but Carragher has witnessed enough to believe Lampards facet – 6/4 to get a top-four finish – may capitalise as their rivals toil.
The one team considering [Man Utd vs Arsenal] who will be invited is Chelsea, Carragher stated in the MNF studio.
In the onset of the year, I thought Chelsea could struggle to get into the top . It is going to still be a fight butin these early stages, they have higher quality than what we have observed from both of these teams.
Brendan Rodgers could be playing Leicesters chances -we all know it is a big ask because of all the other clubs that have been regulars there; were just focusing on our performance levels, he said following a 5-0 thumping of Newcastle, however the amounts wed with the eye evaluation.
Only Liverpool and Manchester City have taken more Premier League points than Leicesters 31 since Rodgers coming, with a win over Tottenham assisting them to third at the fledgling table. A vibrant facet has been crafted by the former boss with James Maddison and Jamie Vardy while Wilfred Ndidi and new fan favourite Caglar Soyuncu are playing key roles farther back thriving in attack.
Neville considers the Foxes – together with West Ham – look in good shape to mount a top-six challenge. If West Ham and Leicester keep their squads fit, theyve a really good prospect of getting into that fifth or sixth position, he said about the Gary Neville tradition.
Youd probably swap a number of either side players to the Man Utd club or bench. Theres a possibility there. Arsenal are erratic, Chelsea and Man Utd are unreliable and youthful. We watched Leicester break at the very top miraculously a couple of years back; it wouldnt be a wonder to see them break into the top five or four time.
Roy Keane also sees a chance:From what I have seen lately of United and Arsenal, if youre these other teams – West Ham, Leicester – in case theres ever an opportunity for them to put from the top four it will be this season.
Merson is impressed with what he has seen so far – but includes words of warning. Rodgers has not even been Leicester a year and hes already improved that group 10-fold, he explained in his latest column. There is not one player that has gone backward since his arrival but theres quite a way to go, its a big ask. When Jamie Vardy gets hurt certain players have to remain fit for these, who is going to come in? That is the issue over a 38-game season.
Who are you backing to make the top ? Use the up and down arrows to form the tables top. Teams available for selection are those with the least Sky Bet chances (correct at 11am, October 3)
Manchester City – 1/250
Liverpool – 1/100
Tottenham – 8/11
Arsenal – 10/11
Chelsea – 6/4
Manchester United – 9/4
Leicester – 7/2
West Ham – 16/1
Read more: www.sporttobet.com/nfl-odds/