Premier League title race: Top three teams and their chances
The current Premier League campaign has been quite fascinating with as many as nine clubs occupying the top position in different matchdays. We are through the halfway mark of the season and there has not been any side which has taken an unassailable lead at the top of the standings which was the case with Liverpool last term.
However, judging by the recent performances, it is quite clear that Manchester City are the team to beat to the title while Manchester United and Liverpool could be the potential challengers. The Cityzens made a rather average start to the season and they found themselves five points adrift of the top of the table after Tottenham Hotspur inflicted a 2-0 defeat on them in November.
They have since gone unbeaten in the league and a tally of 29 points from a possible 33 has propelled them to the top of the standings ahead of arch-rivals Manchester United. Sports betting sites around the world (including Australia) are backing Manchester City to win the title and justifiably so. They are presently one point ahead of the Red Devils and have the game in hand against Everton which could see them extend the slender lead.
The Cityzens have vastly improved on the defensive displays from last term with the recruitment of Ruben Dias in the summer, but they have also the added edge in the attack this season. They have recently found another match-winner in midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who has been in superb goalscoring form with seven goals from his previous eight league games.
Hence, they are definitely the team to beat to the title. United behind them recently went on a stunning 13-match unbeaten run in the league, but that ended with a shock 2-1 loss to Sheffield United at Old Trafford. United have been the comeback kings away from home this season where they have conceded early in the majority of their games before going on to clinch the points.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been the best team on the road (eight wins and two draws) this term, but their home form has been the pretty poor. The club have picked up just four victories from 10 games (two draws and four losses) and that has hampered their prospects of building up a potential lead at the top of the table.
They are one of the best attacking teams in the division, but there remains the vulnerability in the central defence which has cost them valuable points. They are unlikely to reinforce the position this month and that could affect their title pursuit. Liverpool, on the other hand, are currently four points adrift of the Cityzens, having played an extra game more.
The Reds seemed comfortable at the top after the first 14 games of the season despite missing key defenders in Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez due to long-term injuries. However, they have since gone through a woeful run of form where they have struggled in both the attacking and defensive departments. The club recently went on a five-match winless streak (two draws) before the terrific 3-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in midweek.
The victory should provide them the much-needed momentum for the backend of the campaign, but there are concerns whether they can avoid shipping out goals. In addition to Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, Joel Matip also seems to have suffered a serious injury and that has left the Reds with no senior central defenders in the squad.
There has been no indication that the club may enter the market for a new centre-back and the decision could prove costly for them, given they can’t expect the attackers to make up for the goals conceded in almost every game. Pep Guardiola’s side are definitely favourites for the title as things stand, but stranger things have happened in the past and both United and Liverpool can’t be ruled out from claiming the silverware come the end of the season.
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