The Main Competition, (Probably), To Pep Guardiola At Manchester City And Jose Mourinho At Manchester United

Posted: August 27, 2016 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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Of the manager’s pictured above, one will probably be crowned Premier League champion at the end of the season. At least another one of the five will miss out on the top four. So who will be the winner and who will be the loser(s)?

Although it is certainly not a foregone conclusion it is widely expected that the title will end up in Manchester. There are some bets being laid on the unknown quantity that is Antonio Conte at Chelsea but many think his lack of Premier League experience will mean that he falls just short this time out.

Having proved himself in Italy with Juventus and then having taken an unfancied national team to the quarter-finals of the European Championships, he certainly can’t be underestimated. He has, however, failed to make any significant signings to date in this transfer window and may find that his Chelsea squad is a little lightweight to win the title this season. If he survives, something which is in itself a major feat at Chelsea, he may find he has a better chance of topping the table next season.

Arsenal have kept faith, yet again, with Arsene Wenger. This probably means there will be no major signings and no major change to the fate of the team! The only prediction for Arsenal in the near future, according to quite a few “experts”, is a lower finish than last season, possibly even missing out on the top four for the first time in a while. If this is the case then expect Arsene Wenger to take on a different role next season.

Last season he managed second place, admittedly in a league where all the top teams under performed, which meant that he qualified for the Champion’s League yet again. The problem is that occasionally winning a cup and only ever once reaching the final of Europe’s top competition is beginning to grate on the nerves of the fans. Apart from the obvious financial rewards of participating, Arsenal supporters are questioning the point of forever qualifying for a competition and never looking like winning it.

This year, compared with the rest, Arsenal have appeared to go backwards and, unless something changes, they look set to miss out on the top four for the first time in 20 seasons.

Liverpool, to be honest, are still too inconsistent. A barnstorming win at Arsenal, where they raced into a 4-1 lead only to be pegged back to 4-3 by the end of the game showed up their defensive weaknesses. This was followed by a 2-0 defeat at newly promoted Burnley where a problem scoring was evident.

The goals should come if Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings can be kept fit. Also, Divock Origi and Sadio Mané are starting to prove their worth. Other regular scorers inlude the likes of Philipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and new signing Georginio Wijnaldum so I don’t expect scoring goals to remain a problem for very long at Liverpool.

What is slightly worrying is that this inconsistency is something many people thought would be eradicated by now under Jürgen Klopp. If they can finally dispose of it then Liverpool could threaten the top four, it is unlikely to be this season though.

The other two dark horses who haven’t yet done enough to merit a place in the title picture are Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. One of these two could certainly finish in the top four as Spurs did last season. The problem again is that neither appear to have strengthened sufficiently and this will probably mean them missing out this time.

Maybe a genuine dark horse for top four, for the first time ever, is West Ham United! We await the outcome of what promises to be the best Premier League season in years.

A final note for fans of Hull City, (currently third), and Leicester City, (current champions). Unless Hull give the manager’s job to Mike Phelan they will be relegated. As for Leicester, they will finish comfortably in the top ten.

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