Will Mourinho’s Manchester crush Conte’s Chelsea? Can Spurs supplant Arsene’s Arsenal yet again? Find out who will win the Premier League…
Now that the transfer window has finally creaked shut, with no last gasp Torres-shapes regrets in sight, we take another gander at the Premier League squads and see who will win the Premier League.
The smart money for the title at the start of the season are still the smart money. Mourinho’s charges have made a fast start in the league as the only side to have a 100% record from the opening three matches. They have scored the most goals, and in typical Mourinho style, have yet to concede. The only question that remains is whether they can match it against the top sides – they are yet to come up against a title challenging side this season (and won’t until they come up against Liverpool at Anfield on 14 October).
Much has been made of Coutinho’s proposed exit to Barcelona. Many have glazed over the fact that Liverpool have excelled in his absence. With eight goals in three games, they are second in the standings only to United. Firmino, Mane and Salah have shone in opening games, and perhaps only a lack of strength in depth will stop them having the most potent in the league. Critics found fault with their defence in Liverpool’s opening match, but they have since had two clean sheets. Will his third season in charge be Klopp’s magic season?
Manchester City have been far from convincing under Guardiola so far this season. Close wins over Bournemouth and newcomers Brighton sandwiched a draw with an underwhelming Everton side. Guardiola’s side have so far not hit the heights his previous sides have in Germany and Spain, and even if they go on to challenge for the title, don’t expect them to blow teams away. Mourinho should get the goods over his noisy neighbour this year.
The champions struggled in their opening half against Burnley, but have since gone from strength to strength, with good wins over Everton and title challengers Tottenham. Captain Gary Cahill has been suspended for the latter two games, and may find it difficult to break back into the team, with Rudiger impressive in the dominant win over Everton. Chelsea struggled to get deals over the line in the transfer window though. Their lack of strength in depth might hurt them deep into the season. Expect a top four finish, but no better.
Spurs have struggled with the Wembley curse so far this season, and if it continues, expect them to miss out on a Champions League place. An away win over Newcastle papered over the cracks in their unfortunate loss to Chelsea and draw with Burnley. Then again, Harry Kane always struggles in August, so expect the Spurs machine to start firing off the wins again after the international break. They will be there or thereabouts, but with Manchester United’s resurgence, we can imagine Spurs falling behind once again.
But not so far as to fall behind Arsenal. Will someone please just give the Arsenal fans what they want and fire Wenger? Arsenal’s support of their manager was admirable three seasons ago – now it is just frustrating. Players don’t seem to want to play for him (read: Sanchez), and he isn’t able to instill the mental fortitude required of a top European side. Perhaps a season in Europe’s second tier competition will jolt them to action, but we expect to see them back there again next year (if they make Europe at all).
Who do you think will win the Premier League? Let us know in your comments below.