As we enter 2016, we’ve just passed the half way point in the premier league season. 19 games have come and gone, and we really are no closer to seeing who will top the pile in May!
It’s Arsenal who head into 2016 as top dog, but only just! They lead the way on goal difference from the ever resilient Leicester City side, who simply refuse to leave their shock position at the top. Waiting in the shadows of the 2 leaders, are the inconsistent favorites, Manchester City. A team which really should be on top, are 3 points of the pace. The chasing pack includes Spurs, and at a further stretch, United & Liverpool.
For the Gunners, they are now placed well to make a full charge at their first title since 2004. They will need to reinforce well during the transfer window, as tough trips away to Liverpool & Stoke await this month. If they come out on top as we move into February, the dream may well become reality.
Leicester City negotiated a tricky xmas period, which saw them face Chelsea, Liverpool & City. Points were dropped, as would be expected, but they still find themselves close to the summit. With only a single loss this season (which was to leaders Arsenal) there is no reason why the top 4 cannot be achieved. Could they make a dramatic run to the crown? If they are, then the fitness of the Mahrez-Vardy axis will be of utmost importance.
The pre-season favorites Manchester City have found it difficult, while on paper, the team looks like it should canter to the title, in action, it’s simply not the case. Their shocking away form has seen them lose valuable ground to rivals, trips to Arsenal & Leicester has seen a return of just 1 solitary point. Losing Kompany for large patches of this season has seen a nervous defensive line up, which several teams have already taken advantage off. The City attack is never in doubt, but it appears the defense will decide their Premier League fate. They are still most peoples favorites to win the title, but this will be an important month, to sort of their away form, and solidify their weak defense.
Several other teams are still in the mix, Spurs will fancy their chances at their best attempt to finish at-least in the top 3. Pochettino has done an excellent job, and they only find themselves 4 points behind. If they want to make a serious assault at the crown, they must get some support up front, with Harry Kane their only legitimate option in strike. It’s been a frankly disappointing season for both Manchester United & Liverpool for various reasons, and they are both 9 points off the top. For either team to make decent challenge, they will require a dramatic change in form.
Arsenal & City will both fancy their chances of being Champions of England, come the summer sunshine in May. But don’t rule out a potential fairy tale ending, with Leicester City gatecrashing the top 4 party!