Manchester United, Manchester City And Chelsea Are Too Close To Call

Posted: August 31, 2016 in Chelsea, European Football, Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
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The battle for control of Manchester between the two clubs also looks set to be the battle for the Premier League title. At present, the only other team who may be a threat to that dominance is Chelsea, one of those teams from down South.

With newly appointed Antonio Conte in charge and having won three out of three, they are the only club going toe to toe with United and City in the early stages.

It will be interesting to see if Conte can mount a consistent challenge to the two Manchester clubs or whether Chelsea will, at some stage, slip into the comfort zone of a relatively easy top four finish. If this were to happen I can’t imagine the Italian being very pleased but, in fairness, a top four finish in his first season in England would be a great achievement.

He is used to winning with Juventus, of course, but the Premier League is not Serie A.

Pep Guardiola has only managed two football clubs before City but his winning record with them is remarkable. Detractors will point to the lack of competition in the countries where he previously plied his trade but he still had to beat the competition he had. Yes, in Spain it was mainly Real Madrid and yes, in Germany it was mainly Borussia Dortmund but Pep still won the league titles more than once in both countries.

Following his success with Barcelona he proved to himself and many others that he could continue to win in a foreign country. After his year long sabbatical, going to Germany was a clever move because he gave himself the best chance of winning a title abroad by joining Bayern Munich. If he had decided to learn all about football outside of Spain by immediately coming to the Premier League who knows what may have happened?

Now he is in England with Manchester City and is the favourite, with the bookies, to lift the trophy next May.

This will not happen if Jose Mourinho has his way. Of the three managers in this little discussion, he is the most experienced, has managed in the most countries and has won the most trophies. He has managed in England for years and knows, better than most, what is required to win the title.

All three have spent money improving their squads. All three hate losing. All three cannot win the Premier League. Which two will be disappointed?

In fairness it is very difficult to say. At this stage of the season there is nothing between them and they all have a perfect record. It is also fair to say that they haven’t really played anybody of note yet.

Chelsea have played two home games, against West Ham United and Burnley, and one away game against Watford. They have scored seven goals and conceded two.

Manchester City have played two home games, against Sunderland and West Ham United, and one away game against Stoke City. They have scored nine goals and conceded three.

Manchester United have played one home game, against Southampton, and two away games against Bournemouth and Hull City. They have scored six goals and conceded one.

It is doubtful whether any of the teams against whom they have played will be challenging for the title come next May.

The acid test for these three will come when they play each other and some of the bigger teams who are expected to provide a challenge. It will come when they have injuries or suspensions or both. It will come when they lose their first game and their character is questioned, as it will be, particularly if they lose a game they were expected to win.

The English Premier League is a long slog. It is, to use the cliché, a marathon not a sprint. It could very well be contested by more than these three teams although, if the start is anything to go by, that scenario looks unlikely.

Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City even dark horses like Everton and West Ham will all, at some stage, have their say on who wins the league. They, by their own results against the three favourites, could have a considerable influence on who is the eventual winner.

As I have said, there is little to choose between the three teams but I will make Manchester United favourites to win it for two reasons. Number one, they have the manager with the most experience of winning the Premier League and, number two, I am biased.

  1. RedMe says:

    There will be more pressure on Conte and Guardiola because they come with big reputations but are unproven in the EPL


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