Six games have been played so far in the Premier League 2016-17 season. Six points separate the top six clubs, which centre around three footballing regions viz. Manchester (City and United), North London (Tottenham and Arsenal) and Merseyside (Liverpool and Everton).
Last season’s surprise champions Leicester City is now in mid-table (11th) after a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of United and have already lost three games out of six (the Foxes only lost this number of games the entire season last time out). Mid-table appears to be the upper limit for the Midlands club this season.
Chelsea, the champions before Leicester, have lost ground in the last three games, losing their last two games to Liverpool and Arsenal, their early form compromised by poor defending in the main and now having to settle for 8th place.
It is probably much too early to determine how the rest of the season will pan out but the Premier League is beginning to shape up as a six (or seven) club mini-league amongst the clubs mentioned above. The gulf between the ‘top’ clubs and the rest – which seemed to have equalised somewhat last season – has been entrenched once again this season.
Thus, it is the bunch of games amongst these top six (or seven) clubs that will probably determine the placings and where the title will end up. Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal are in top form now and barring any unforeseen circumstances look equipped to challenge leaders City for the top prize. For Liverpool, the lack of European football may seem to give them an advantage though the deep squads that the rest possess might balance the scales well somewhat.
Pep Guardiola’s City look like the team to beat and that is why next week’s crucial top of the table clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane will provide a crucial test to see how good this City side actually is, whilst the rest of the mini-league wait to take advantage of points lost.
It looks like a fascinating Premier League season is beginning to live up to its promise.
… still there’s more …