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    Could this be the most open Premier League title race ever?


    Could this be the most open Premier League title race ever?

    May the 7th seems a long time ago now which was the day Leicester City shocked the world of football with a seemingly impossible victory in the race for the premier league title. The so called giants of English football swept aside as Leicester cruised to the title by a 10 point margin.

    We now find ourselves 12 games into the new season and a repeat performance from any of the so called lesser teams seems ever more unlikely. Last season may be seen as a real wake up call that all teams in this league will not just roll over and relinquish 3 points so easily. This result could be seen as the catalyst for how the premier league table is currently taking shape.

    After this weekends results and just 4 points separating the top 5 teams do we have a title race where realistically all 5 teams have a good chance of claiming the premier league crown? Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are all in my eyes contenders for the crown however despite the unquestionable amount of talent that Jose Mourinho has at his disposal I just cannot see Manchester United keeping up with the 5 teams I have mentioned due to the points gap that is already there and the lack of consistency. As a fan of none of these teams i am going to give my impartial thoughts on what is sure to be a gripping title race.

    Chelsea currently sit on top of the tree after a professional display away at Middlesborough. Antonio Conte has given the blues a new lease of life with his much discussed 3-4-3 system and last seasons disastrous display seems a distant memory. The fact that the blues similarly to Liverpool have no European football to occupy them can be seen as a huge boost to their chances and other managers struggling to come to terms with there formation stands them in good stead to mount a serious challenge this season. The form of Diego Costa is a massive factor in their rise to the top and keeping him fit and making sure his discipline doesn't land him any bans will be a key priority for Conte. A player that has had a new lease of life under Conte is Victor Moses. The Nigerian international who was out of favour and loaned out to West Ham last season has been superb and fits the system played perfectly. His athleticism and work rate have proved a real asset to the team and Nigeria's failure to qualify for the African cup of nations will come as a huge relief to Chelsea fans. 

    Manchester City started the campaign like a house on fire however they have slightly faltered recently and rediscovering the early season form will be on Pep Guardiola`s mind. In my view Manchester City`s squad is the strongest in the league and when they are on there game they are a joy to watch. Two key figures in their title push this year are Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero. Aguero is without a doubt in my mind the best striker in the league and if kept fit he will almost guarantee you 25 goals a season which will almost certainly mean that City are there or thereabouts come May. Kevin de Bruyne is a major asset for the citizens in this title race as he has the ability to create something from nothing and i believe the chemistry between himself and Aguero may well bring the title to the etihad. I did not include Vincent Kompany as a key figure due to his injury problems, I am in no doubt of the qualities he possesses but realistically i just cant see him playing a long run of games which is a problem as their other central defenders do not match up to the leadership and footballing skills he has.

    Arsenal for me can be the most entertaining team to watch in this league however their real lack of steel is a problem which has haunted them for many years. They are no doubt a great team but when the going gets tough they seem to falter. I am a massive admirer of Arsene Wenger and what he has done for the club but the lack of procuring top quality players is what i believe is preventing them from going to the next level. They have done well in bringing in Mustafi from Valencia and he looks like a capable partner for Koscielny who is one of the best central defenders in the league but as has been the problem for a while who is the top class forward who is going fire them to the title? Alexis is a brilliant player and so is Ozil but I see them as attacking midfielders with Alexis liking to come in from wide positions. City have Aguero, Chelsea have Costa, Spurs have Kane where is the gunners talisman who is going to get the goals to fire them to glory?

    Liverpool under Klopp have been excellent this season and the front three have been a joy to watch with them scoring goals left right and centre. The whole team has been playing well and apart from a 2-0 loss at Turf Moor the results have been reflecting that. If Liverpool are to do something they have never managed to do and lift the Premier League title the front 3 of Coutinho, Firminho and Mane are going to be pivotal to that. I say this as a real problem I believe that the reds have is that their defence isn't particularly strong. James Milner has done very well but for me he isn't a left back and the centre backs can be error prone. In high pressure games which come thick and fast towards the end of the season i can see problems as they are going to concede goals which piles a huge amount of pressure on the attackers to score goals. Sadio Mane also will not be with the team in January as he goes to the African cup of nations which is a blow can Sturridge fill his boots?

    Tottenham where the best team that i saw play last season with there high pressing and youthful exuberance a breath of fresh air in the season. The emergence of Dele Ali showed that there are young talented Englishmen capable of lighting up this league. I am a huge fan of Pochettino and i believe that The Fa should have sounded him out for the England job and with spurs this season i think they can have another successful campaign and possibly challenge for the title. Spurs are still the only unbeaten team in the league but they have had some disappointing draws. This could be attributed to the possible lack of killer instinct without the injured Harry Kane who is key for them. Son Heung-min proved an able deputy in his absence but for me this was mainly due to him hitting a purple patch I couldn't see him sustaining it throughout the season so the return of Kane is a huge boost as his 2 late goals at the lane against West Ham on Saturday night. Hugo Lloris and the injured Toby Alderweireld are also huge players for them and the sooner the latter returns to fitness the better for their title pursuit. 

    All things considered this title race is going to be brilliant and I cant wait for the inevitable twists and turns that we have in-store for us starting with a huge Saturday night football at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Spurs.

    My predictions for the premier league top 5:

    1. Manchester City 
    2. Chelsea 
    3. Liverpool
    4. Arsenal 
    5. Spurs 

    James Kendrick


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    Item Reviewed: Could this be the most open Premier League title race ever? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: James Kendrick
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