Author is a sports lover and is currently playing football for his club team as a goalkeeper.
The top league football of England known as the English Premier League , has completed half of the season and so far things are looking very riveting at the points table. In the past few years, it was a two team race by this time or one team had made such a significant lead that it was almost impossible to catch them like Liverpool last year and Manchester City in 17-18. Not the case this time as any of the top 6 right now can present their case of ultimately prevailing by 23rd of May.
Manchester United, the current table toppers, surprised everyone with their consistency over the past 2 months and have compiled 29 points out of the last 33 available. This is more impressive when you consider how poor a start they had losing to Crystal Palace 1-3 and getting hammered by Tottenham Hotspur 1-6 , both at the Old Trafford. Bruno Fernandes has been their star player with the most player of the month awards this season. Marcus Rashford , Cavani and Paul Pogba have been a constant threat in the attack. Their defense is still an issue but there are some signs of improvement with Eric Baily coming back from an injury and showing his importance in the backline.
Their arch rivals, Liverpool, are at no. 2 with some dip in form seen over the last 5 games as their long list of injuries finally coming to haunt them. They dropped 7 points out of the last 9 with most of their star players Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Alexander-Arnold looking off color. Interestingly, they are playing Manchester United this Sunday at the Anfield and in what many are saying, is going to be an extremely important match in deciding which way the season will ultimately roll. Liverpool have not lost at Anfield for over three years now but they have not looked this vulnerable, especially in defense where they had to put two midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fab due to the lack of options in their last league game, in a long time.
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Manchester United's Harry Maguire
The Third team on the table are Manchester United's neighbors Manchester City with 1 & 4 points lesser than the teams on 1 and 2 in the table respectively with 1 game in hand. Just like United, Pep Guardiola 's side started slowly and were battered by the current no. 4 Leicester City at their home by 2-5 showcasing the defensive problems they had for the last two years. Then came the Portuguese 23 year old Ruben Dias, who has become a leader in the defensive line and looks part for a much needed replacement of their legend Vincent Kompany. He has formed a formidable partnership with Senior England defender John Stones at the back and city have right now the defensive record in the league keeping clean sheets in 6 of their last 8 league games. The star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and the young blood Phil Foden have been taking care of the attack in the absence of Sergio Aguero and the dip in form of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling. The only concern for Pep 's side right now is the absence of a permanent striker who converts chances created by their midfield but as of now given their current form, it won't be unreasonable to call them the title favorites.
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne
The case of Jose Mourinho's side Tottenham Hotspur, is different from the Manchester teams. After losing to Everton in their season opener, they got off to a roll beating United 6-1 in their own backyard and racking up wins after wins. Harry Kane and H-Min Son's attacking pair at the top has caused trouble to every other team with Kane arguably been the best player of the season so far.
Their problem has lied in conceding late goals which has cost more than 10 points till now and in a season as close as this, it's a lot. They are in desperate need of some reinforcements in the backline and should look to get a defensive option in the January transfer window to keep their title hopes alive.
The London rivals of Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are having a lackluster season with both desperately trying to stay in the first half of the table . Arsenal had a horrid November and early to mid December but have got some of the flow back by getting 11 points out of the last 15. Chelsea are struggling with their midfield and attack options as the new signings there are not looking the part.
Leicester City and Everton have impressed everyone with their rise and it looks like they in solid contention for a European Competition spot . Leicester have already upset City and held United to a draw despite trailing two times in the course of the match. Everton 's game against Liverpool can be seen as the moment where the season changed as the reds star Virgil van Dijk got an injury which will keep him out of the season and a last minute goal by red's skipper Jordan Henderson was disallowed keeping them at 1 point from the game only.
With the double game week coming up from tomorrow, things at the table might fluctuate even more with as much as 15 games being played over the course of 8 days. Most of the top teams are playing twice so don't be surprised if you see a completely different top 4 by the 22nd of January.
For a football lover, this is a great week overall to sit back and enjoy so many mouth watering games in the pipeline.
© 2021 Sid S