It’s a Premier League more balanced than expected so far. Let’s recap where we are after week 8 of the English Premier League.
Uncertainty reigns in the EPL, as it happens also in other European leagues: in Italy, AC Milan, certainly not the favorite few months ago, is ahead of everyone; in Spain, on top there is the Real Sociedad followed by Villarreal; while, only in France and Germany, PSG and Bayern Munich are leading their respective championships as predicted.
At the moment, Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester in on top in the Premier League with 18 points. The “Foxes” won the first temporary position just at the end of the last round with a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton, which came in conjunction with the draw between Manchester City and Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers’ hopes are to repeat the incredible success achieved by Claudio Ranieri in 2016 when the Italian coach won the championship on the bench of Leicester. Jamie Vardy is having a great season so far having scored 8 goals, like Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Calvert-Lewin (Everton) and Son (Tottenham), the last two players without penalties.
However, Tottenham and Liverpool are both just one point behind. Tottenham did not have a great start and José Mourinho managed to obtain important points only over the last few matches. Once Tottenham found continuity, they managed to climb the ranking to the second spot. Certainly, at this pace, Mourinho’s team will be one of the favorite as EPL winner especially. If Harry Kane and Gareth Bale were fully integrated in the team, Tottenham could seriously be a contender for the final victory. So far, Mourinho needs to thank Heung-Min Son and his decisive and valuable goals.
As for Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool doesn’t seem to be the brilliant team of the past two seasons, particularly after losing 7-2 against Aston Villa. Except for that sensational match, Jurgen Klopp should be more worried about the injuries than the performances of Liverpool’s players. After Virgil Van Dijk and Fabinho, now Joe Gomez risks to be out for several months. If Klopp will overtake this issue of the injuries and bring back the right motivation to his players, Liverpool looks unstoppable.
Southampton, coached by the surprising Austrian Ralph Hasenhüttl, is currently fourth with 16 points. Behind the Saints, Chelsea is recovering from a weak start of the season and also Frank Lampard, like Mourinho, seems to have found continuity. Despite the new players acquired in August, Chelsea does not look yet at the same level of Liverpool and Tottenham.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton is just a bad copy of the entertaining team of last year. After three consecutive defeats, Everton need to use this break to gather physical and mental energies for the rest of the season. Currently Everton is in free-fall and, despite nobody was expecting them to win the EPL, Ancelotti’s team is expected to finish in the top 4 places.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is not where they were expected at the beginning of the season. Despite they have one game less than the rest of the EPL teams and so potentially 3-point behind Leicester, on several occasions, the management of the Citizens has mentioned that they expect more from the players. The situation is definitely not compromised, and Man City is still a favorite for the final victory. However, it will be crucial to commence to think and act as a great team.
On the contrary, Arsenal and Man Utd are both in bad shape with serious internal issues. Arsenal, with only 12 points, currently occupies the eleventh position and they lost 3 matches in the last 5 games. Manchester United has collected only 10 points so far and Ole Solskjaer risks to be sacked. Recently, the fans of the Red Devils commence a protest online and the #OleOut went viral. Despite in the last round Man Utd won 3-1 against Everton, the situation seems rather desperate and a new internal revolution is possible during the current season.