English Premier League: Can Anyone Catch the Manchester Clubs?
Six matchdays have been completed in the English Premier League and so far, this season is shaping up to be one of the more exciting in recent memory. In the summer of 2017, Premier League teams spent around $1.9 billion on new talent. Thus far, the layout of funds has benefitted some of the league's top sides, while others haven't been so lucky.
The Premier League title goes through Manchester
Heading into matchday seven, Manchester City tops the Premier League. Pep Guardiola's side has been the most entertaining team to watch, and has reeled off three straight matches scoring five or more goals. The team's demolition of Liverpool, 5-0, showed Guardiola has finally got his tactics and players right. Although the team spent heavily to acquire better defenders and goalkeeper Ederson, it is the attack that has got most headlines. Striker Sergio Aguero looks rejuvenated, and the Argentine has tallied six goals already.
City rivals, Manchester United, is keeping pace. The team is level on points, but sits second thanks to goal difference. While the blue side of the city has received praise for its attacking displays, the Red Devils have excelled in front of goal as well. Much of the team's scoring verve has been thanks to new signing Romelu Lukaku, who is tied with Aguero with six goals this term.
Is London second best?
Last year's champions, Chelsea, got off to a rough start. The Blues lost their season opener to Burnley, 3-2, a team Chelsea should have beaten with ease. Since then, the team is unbeaten and new signing Alvaro Morata has been on fire. The Spaniard can't stop scoring – especially with his head – and after six matches, Morata has tallied six goals. Chelsea will tangle with Manchester City in gameweek seven at Stamford Bridge. The Premier League title can't be won, but it can certainly be lost by whichever team comes out on the short end.
In North London, Arsenal and Tottenham are still trying to get their seasons on track. Arsenal has lost twice already, and was embarrassed by Liverpool, 4-0, back on matchday three. The good news is, the Gunners are slowly improving.
Spurs, on the other hand, sit fourth and their only loss this season came against Chelsea. Tottenham's defense has continued to play well, and the team has already kept three clean sheets. To catch Manchester City or Manchester United, however, Spurs will need to be more consistent this term, especially in big games.
No Trophies on Merseyside
Both Liverpool and Everton had high hopes when the season started. Yet, already both teams are attempting to limit the loss of points. Liverpool has accumulated 11 of 18 points, having drawn with Watford and Burnley, two teams the Reds should have beaten. The team has potential thanks to its high-powered attack. However, Liverpool's porous defense has led to shipping sloppy goals from set pieces.
Meanwhile, Everton spent big in the offseason on players Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen and the re-signing of Wayne Rooney. Yet, all the team has to show for its outlay is a paltry seven points from 18. Everton has massively underachieved and must now play catch-up as it attempts to get players back into form.
Bottom dwellers and former managers
The battle for points in the Premier League is stiff, and due to the financial rewards of staying in the league, it is more important than ever for teams to survive relegation. Crystal Palace, losers of its first four matches, fired manager Frank de Boer in early September. His sacking made him the shortest tenured coach, in terms of matches, in Premier League history. Former England national team manager Roy Hodgson replaced the Dutchman, but he has done little better. Crystal Palace is dead last and is the only team not to score a goal this term. Right now, the gap between Crystal Palace and 17th place Leicester is the size of the Pacific Ocean.