We are seven games into the new Premier League season and it has already been a cracker, with upsets almost every week and good form feeling like a distant memory for some teams already. Some big results for smaller clubs like West Ham and Brighton against Manchester United have been eclipsed by the constant rumour mill swirling around the club. Is there an issue in the United camp? Their recent run of results suggests so and so too do the press. In this article, we talk about everything that has happened so far this season and make some predictions on what is yet to come.
Wolverhampton Wander Into The Top Ten
Wolverhampton Wanderers are freshly promoted back into the Premier League and have gone from strength to strength so far. With three wins and one loss in the opening seven games, they have proved their ability to play as a strong defensive unit conceding only six goals (only Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have conceded less so far). Having got 1-1 draws with both Manchester United and City, they have shown the league early on that they are here to stay. With Palace, Watford and Brighton their next three fixtures, Wolves will be optimistic they can continue this run of top performances and solidify their place in the top ten.
Manchester United, who sit 10th just behind Wolves at the seven-game mark, have had a season to forget already. After starting the season with an unconvincing win over Leicester, they have gone on to lose against Brighton, Spurs, Derby and West Ham. A goalless draw to Valencia in the Champions League their latest result, fans are beginning to wonder whether they will see their team rise to the levels of success Sir Alex installed as an expectation.
Chelsea and Juventus are United’s next three fixtures and you would think José Mourinho would need a result from each of them to release some of the pressure building up on his position as manager. Every day more rumours about Pogba’s unhappiness with his manager fuels fans to demand one or both of them be let go from the club. We will have to wait until January to see whether Pogba will move elsewhere, but if United continue their current form we probably won’t have to wait that long to find out José’s fate…
The Battle for Europe
As predicted by many before the season kicked off, Manchester City and Liverpool are the top two and Chelsea are hot on their heels with all three teams on unbeaten runs in the Premier League.
After a tricky start to the season for Arsenal and new manager Emri, losing to City and Chelsea, they have found a shape that suits them and the results have improved massively with five straight PL wins. However, with their defence still looking suspect at times they will have to keep working to challenge for silverware this season.
Tottenham have not been the same team that we saw last season, despite not signing anyone over the summer. Lucas Moura feels like a new signing for them as he was on the fringes of the team when he signed and has finally come good. However, with a string of injuries lately their performances in Europe have slipped and they now look as though they could exit early. Whether they can find a way back into the competition in time will depend on how quickly some of their key players, such as Erikson, can recover.
Fighting The Drop
The three teams so far without a win are Huddersfield, Cardiff and Newcastle, all with just two points after seven games. Many expected these teams to struggle this season as they all lack that most important asset; a consistent goal threat. Huddersfield, in particular, have only scored three times but have conceded 16, sending alarms ringing warning sirens for David Wagner’s team.
Newcastle and Cardiff have only scored four goals each with Newcastle’s defensive record keeping them in 18th. Both teams seem to be playing with little confidence and desire which is understandable after going this long without a win. It will be down to their respective managers to work with their squads on the training ground and look to forward at their upcoming fixtures as a source of points.
At this stage in the season, it is hard to tell whether this trend will continue and these three sides will be relegated. But so far, they all look way off the pace this season.
Turn Around On The Cards?
What looked like a relegation season for West Ham after four straight losses in the first four games in the Premier League, they may have turned a corner. After signing nine new players in the summer window and the addition of new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, the Hammers fans were full of hope. But all this change caused them major issues as Pellegrini struggled to find a system that worked. In what was seen by many fans as a must-win game, West Ham won convincingly away at Everton and have since nicked four points after playing both Chelsea and United at the London Stadium. As is the way with the premier league, there are no easy games and West Ham will have to move on from these results and begin to pick up points from the teams around them to keep a top half finish within reach.
So with all that drama in just seven games, what can we expect for the rest of the season? Liverpool and Manchester City will certainly look to continue their unbeaten runs and remain the most likely to lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the season, while Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs will battle it out for the remaining Champions League spots. The current bottom three look set to stay there if they can’t begin to find goals from somewhere and fail to stop leaking them at the other end. Finally, at this stage in the season, it is impossible to predict whether United battle for a place in Europe or whether Watford and Bournemouth will continue with their blistering form of late. No matter what happens, we are all in for another unmissable season.
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