Kieran Davies stands a safe distance away from another week of potential banana skins, ugly wins, and toilet dashes.
The Premier League is looking like the league we all dream of each season, the top five teams separated by a mere two points. This is the competition we all want to see irrelevant to your allegiance. Nobody likes to see a team run away with the title, who knows maybe this could be the season where it goes all the way to the wire with several teams still in contention. Pep’s Man City are definitely the benchmark whichever way you look at it, finish above them and you are likely to be Premier League champions. As hapless Burnley found out last week, only the slightest of margins can dictate a game. Were Burnley ever going to beat City, probably not but that second goal was never a goal for a number of reasons so Dyche’s team can feel hard done by. City were deserved winners but as a football fan, considering the wages they earn, it bemuses me how they can get so many decisions wrong week in, week out. No other job would forgive such constant incompetency.
A team who in recent years have made a habit of beating the big teams and dropping points to sides they should be beating is Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. Now the bad news for the rest of the league is that not only have they found the way to play attractive, fast-paced, attacking football that can tear teams apart but when they are not playing well they seemed to have found the knack to ‘win ugly’. With their defence no longer looking like it has the fragility of Kerry Katona’s state of mind, Liverpool could really be in it for the long haul. With City travelling to Tottenham on Monday, Klopp and his side have a chance to put down a good marker by winning well at home against Cardiff. Be warned though, this is a free hit for the Welsh side, fresh off the back of a first win in the league they could prove a potential banana skin.
Wolves were humbled by Watford at home last time out with a clinical two-minute spell in which they found themselves 2-0 down. Now we see if they have that ‘bounce-back-ability’. Brighton would be a game the Midlanders would see as winnable and defeat can be costly in that tight bottom half of the table. Two teams who I can see facing a struggle this season are Newcastle and Southampton. Both teams seem to have got into that losing habit, more so with Newcastle who have lost five home games on the bounce and will no doubt be glad to be on the road this week. Mentally, these games can demoralise a team if you lose them. With Huddersfield travelling south this week to take on Watford, The Hornets could cement their seventh place in the table with what some would expect will be a routine victory. Huddersfield couldn’t score in a brothel with a handful of fifties currently and teams who can’t score tend to do go down.
Leicester have had a hit and miss season so far, even Jamie Vardy left them to it to avoid ‘doing a Radcliffe’. With West Ham making the trip this weekend to the King Power Stadium, a Leicester side still in transition under Puel should have enough to outgun the Hammers. Fulham have been letting more in than a steward at a Little Mix concert this season. While they do have good attacking options, they certainly don’t have the might to go toe-to-toe with teams in a basketball style of play. The manager could find himself having a long time off over Christmas unless results start drastically changing. Chelsea fans were staying quiet this summer and trying to blend into the shadows after missing out on Champions League qualification. Their fans, with new manager in place, expected transition and some meagre seasons ahead. They didn’t expect the start they have had, especially when they saw Eden Hazard missing from the starting XI’s in the early part of the season.
The form team at the moment would have to be Arsenal. A change of manager, the end of a dynasty and some minor tweaks to the squad by the new man at the helm. Two defeats in the first two games and their fans were losing their mind on ‘fan TV’ podcasts up and down the country. Things are looking a bit different now and they are in a great run of form. A visit to Crystal Palace, a ground where they have not fared to well of in recent seasons will be a good test for Emry’s team, although Palace themselves are struggling to find form and goals. Lacazette and Aubameyang on the other hand have no such problem. A busy day for Wayne Hennesey me thinks. The final match up the weekend is between a team who haven’t won a trophy since our favourite Fresh Prince decided to bring Jaden into the world and a team who probably won’t win a trophy until Jaden stars in Independence Day 22. That’s right, Manchester United and Everton. We are all bored of talking about Jose’s job but never tire of seeing Paul Scholes in the studio looking like he’s going to hang himself from the Alex Ferguson Stand using a single strand of Fellaini’s hair. Long may it continue.