It might be early sails in the Premier League, but some underdogs are already piling up the pressure on the favourites to mark the top spots for themselves. Now, unless there are some major surprise in store, Liverpool and Manchester City have the top-two spots for themselves battling for the championship.
However, the other two UEFA Champions League spots are up for grabs quite openly and the Premier League betting is relatively open for positions third to sixth. Now, normally the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal are the ones vying for these spots. However, with all four struggling to maintain consistency and showing serious vulnerabilities, they’ve opened up inroads for the mid-table sides.
Indeed, strong starts from the likes of Leicester City and West Ham United have fired up the top-four race. Having just lost one game apiece in the first s, Leicester and West Ham are reaping the rewards for investing heavily into their squads.
Both sides have compact attacking lines, including a creative midfield line, pacy runners and reliable goal-scorers leading their line. Brendan Rodgers and Manuel Pellegrini have enough experience in the league to know what it takes to go all the way into permanently inking a top-four spot, having done it with Liverpool and City respectively.
Of course, as the season wears on, their characters will be tested. However, with no European commitments and enough time to keep a fully fit squad, they hold an advantage over the rigorous schedule of their top-four rivals. If they continue their stylish attacking football marred with defensive solitude, it’ll be difficult to count them out.
Spurs have also experienced a wobbly start to the new season and are winless in Premier League away games since January. Pochettino’s side are also focused on scripting another wonderful UEFA Champions League tale, but must put the peddle to the meddle to start dominating in the league again.
Their defensive issues will torment them throughout the season, but Spurs have enough firepower in attack, especially with the clinical Harry Kane guaranteed to lead them to greater success. Arsenal are another side with a clumsy defensive line, who have allowed them to concede the most amounts of shots against them so far this season.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are lethal enough to win them points, but unless their defence stops undoing their good work, things could get nervy. Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are still relatively inexperienced in their managerial careers, but are under pressure to at least consolidate a Champions League place
Chelsea look all over the place defensively with an inexperienced backline, while United are lacking options in attack. The Red Devils need their marquee stars to usher them forward, while Lampard will hope his youngsters can come up big as the season wears on.
Unless the traditional big sides up their game as the season moves on, at least one or more can find themselves outside the top six in May.