Premier League Round Up: How the Teams Have Fared So Far
AFC Bournemouth – Bournemouth have had a decent start by their standards. The addition of Jack Wilshere will surely boost the squad whilst having striker Callum Wilson back from injury is also a bonus. Eddie Howe has the managerial know-how to keep his boys up. Being associated with the vacant England job is testament to his ability.
Arsenal – Started slow but showing strength again. Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil are showing their class whilst Theo Walcott seems to have hit form again – contract renewal time? The player that has stood out though is Alex Iwobi. Nephew of the legendary Jay-Jay Okocha, Iwobi has cemented himself in the starting line-up and is showing maturity beyond his years. Arsenal should definitely be in contention for their regular top four spot by the end of the season.
Burnley – Burnley have had a pretty decent start by their standards. Former Manchester United defender Michael Keane is looking promising whilst they have also acquired the services of Liverpool’s John Flanagan on loan. Defence is not their problem however; they have always lacked goals and if they cannot score more I fear they will be in for a relegation battle come the end of the season.
Chelsea – Impressive start but seem to have fallen off the rails. Losses to Liverpool and Arsenal have dented their confidence. Rumours surrounding an unhappy Thibaut Courtois, who has not been close to his usual influential self, is not helping matters. Having Diego Costa back on form is a plus for Chelsea though, and I believe not being in Europe should aid them in securing a top four spot.
Crystal Palace – The fans seemed to be on Alan Pardew’s back after the departures of fan favourites Mile Jedinak and Yannick Bolasie as the Eagles struggled at the beginning, but Christian Benteke is spearheading their attack. Keeping the services of Wilfried Zaha for at least another campaign is great news for the club. I see Palace in for a mid-table finish.
Everton – New boss Ronald Koeman has hit the ground running with his side. Striker Romelu Lukaku is in red hot form once again whilst the acquisition of Yannick Bolasie is a big bonus for the club. Their attack is very exciting with Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu added to the mix. If they can transform their poor home form from last season I can see them getting a Europa League place.
Hull City – Hull had a surprisingly good start with manager Mike Phelan receiving the manager of the month award for August. However after a narrow loss to Manchester United their fortunes have changed. With their small squad and injuries I see the Tigers in for a relegation battle come May.
Leicester City – After their incredible feat last season Leicester have not been as prolific as champions. Their defence is leaking goals whilst N’golo Kante is now applying his trade at Stamford Bridge. I’m sure there is a positive correlation there. Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are still warming up into the new season whilst new signing Islam Slimani seems to have slipped comfortably into the team. New signing Ahmed Musa seems to have struggled to adjust to Premier League football after an incredible brace against Barcelona in pre-season. I think Leicester will finish mid-table, with their main focus being on the Champions League.
Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp has Liverpool playing some silky football. Their attack force matches any in the league. The summer signing of Sadio Mane in particular will be a major threat, with his pace and direct running. Liverpool’s defence is an issue however, alongside their inability to put away the ‘smaller’ teams. With no Europe I think Liverpool will definitely look to be knocking on the door of Champions League football.
Manchester City – Pep Guardiola has settled in straight away at the Etihad. City are almost certainly the front runners and favourites for the title. Sergio Aguero is doing what he does best – putting balls in the back of the net. Youngster Kelechi Iheanacho has also managed an impressive goals to games ratio. Injuries to Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are the biggest worry. Both started the season in scintillating form and will be sorely missed.
Manchester United – Manchester United had a pretty good transfer window, bringing in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. However the Red Devils have been inconsistent as of late and manager Jose Mourinho doesn’t seem to know his best team. I can’t see United winning the league and with Europa League commitments United may struggle to get a top four place. They will be in and around as usual.
Middlesbrough – Middlesbrough have struggled on their return to the premier league. Striker Alvaro Negredo has been a good addition up front but I think they will also be in the relegation scrap come the end of the season.
Southampton – Charlie Austin has brought his goal scoring form back to the Premier League in recent weeks and Virgil Van Djik is solid as a rock at the back as usual. The team are in high spirits and I feel they could be in the Europa League places come the end of the season.
Stoke City – Stoke have had a shocking start compared to their usual high standards. They need their big boys; Marko Arnautovic and Xheridan Shaqiri to step up. If they can help Wilfried Bony find his shooting boots again they should be safe and secure a mid-table position.
Sunderland – Sunderland are struggling under new manager David Moyers. Their run of results have been poor and I feel they will also be in a relegation scrap come the end of the season. Having Jermain Defoe on their books is always a bonus though as he rarely has a problem scoring goals. If Moyes can help Adnan Januzaj settle, Sunderland should manage to stay up.
Swansea City – Swansea have had a decent start but are not on form at the moment. Fernando Llorente is a good addition to the team and he will definitely help with his share of the goals. Where the rest of the goals will come from is to be seen. Leroy Fer is a good player but blows hot and cold. I think Swansea will finish mid-table.
Tottenham Hotspur – Tottenham have had an excellent start to the season. Mauricio Pochettino continues to impress with his management. Son is on red hot form which is welcome in the absence of Harry Kane albeit with Kane not having a great start to the season. Spurs will be in and around the Europa league I think.
Watford – Odion Ighalo has not hit the heights of last season but strike partner and Captain Troy Deeney is holding the partnership up. Isaac Success looks like a great addition to the side with Watford having spent big money on a 20 year old. His cameo against Manchester United looked promising. Etienne Capoue is their stand out player so far with four goals and one assist. Watford should be safe come the end of the season.
West Bromich Albion – Now the club’s takeover is completed there is more stability. Tony Pulis has vast experience in this league keeping Stoke and Crystal Palace up and with Rondon on form and Berahino ready on the side-lines, they should have no problems staying up.
West Ham United – West Ham have had a dreadful start to the season. Antonio has been their only bright spark up until now whilst star man Dimitri Payet hasn’t recovered from the Euro blues. West Ham need to buck up their ideas or they could be taking the Olympic Stadium to the Championship. I don’t think that will be the case but after Leicester’s heroics last season, nothing can be ruled out.